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The Tragically Hip’s Final Concert in Kingston

Live Broadcast of The Tragically Hip's Final Concert in KingstonFans and supporters of The Tragically Hip have been painfully frustrated by the farcical reality of the ticketing process that goes hand-in-hand with stadium shows and big name performers.  Tickets for what may be the band’s final tour were virtually unavailable the moment they went on sale, as they’d been instantly scooped up by scalper-bots and placed on reseller sites for five to ten times their face value.  Although a few lucky Hip fans managed to score tickets for shows in larger venues in Toronto and Ottawa, tickets to the concert at the K-Rock Centre, the final destination on the Man Machine Poem tour, were seemingly impossible to obtain without paying exorbitantly jacked-up prices demanded by greedy scalpers.  And if that weren’t disheartening enough, last week Kingston Police released a fraud advisory warning of reports from hopeful buyers who had been scammed out of $1,000 for tickets that don’t exist.

The disastrous situation has drawn more than just the disgust of fans, as it has renewed calls for a complete overhaul of event ticketing regulations.  And the short answer on that from Ontario’s Attorney General is essentially: don’t hold your breath.  Thankfully, the sound of disgruntled Hip supporters from across the country was heard by enough people with the power to do something about it, which led to last Friday’s announcement that their end of tour concert in Kingston would be broadcast live, and commercial-free via CBC.

The City of Kingston is aiming to do fans one better, by making that broadcast available on a large screen in Market Square, and possibly other venues.  Naturally, this got us thinking about the live broadcast, and what else the city might do to help make it an extra special affair.  Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:

What else should the City do mark the occasion of the Hip's final concert?

  • All of the above. (72%, 939 Votes)
  • Place broadcast screens in select parks. (13%, 171 Votes)
  • Get the Hip to play a free/outoor encore at Market Square. (7%, 89 Votes)
  • Hold a free music festival in Market Square during the day. (3%, 40 Votes)
  • Fireworks after the concert. (3%, 35 Votes)
  • Close down certain streets to vehicles. (2%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,296

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In light of the Gord Downie’s heartbreaking diagnosis, The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour is being billed as the band’s farewell.  The emotional gravity of what could very well be their last show together is amplified one hundred fold by those looking to make a buck off on the backs of the band and its loyal fans.  In spite of the fact that it would be a shame for a single seat to remain empty for their final show, here’s hoping that the broadcast will result in more than a few scalpers left holding unsold tickets.

Were you fortunate enough to get tickets without having to go through a scalper?  Is the live broadcast enough for you to resist temptation and get gouged?  What else would you like to see the city do to enhance the experience for those looking to take part in the conclusion of the Man Machine Poem tour?

Photo credit to The Tragically Hip.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

7 thoughts on “The Tragically Hip’s Final Concert in Kingston

  • June 20, 2016 at 11:48 am
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    Make it a full day event and raise money for a cancer fund. Then approach the Hip to do ONE song after the concert at Market Square. Talk to CBC about it… Follow the band off the stage at the end of the show to Market Square for one last song free to the Nation!

  • June 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm
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    "Then approach the Hip…."

    Finally someone is paying respect to the dying man that is already giving so much to his fans!!!!! Well put Duane. I would only add that in place of cancer fund we ask Gord where he would like to see funds go…. He's giving of himself. If we give back then let the man say where too.

  • June 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm
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    I'm not sure if The Tragically Hip would want this, but a second Kingston concert broadcast live from Old Fort Henry, outdoors with screens, etc. would also be amazing…..their sounds ringing out across the night sky, under the stars, across the lake, would be beautiful. Quebec has staged these massive outdoor concerts in the past…just a thought.

  • June 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm
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    I think they should do a final final concert to open Richardson stadium when it is finished renovations, and the tickets should be box office only, no online sales, make people get in line so the real fans can get a ticket.

    I think they should have waited to make the announcement about Gord's cancer until AFTER tickets went on sale, so real fans would have already had their tickets before the vulture bots swooped in to take the rest.

  • June 23, 2016 at 5:26 pm
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    As one of the many fans who couldn't buy a ticket, I'm charmed by the idea of The Hip performing an encore for those locked outside the stadium. But I'm afraid that the idea is logistically pretty much impossible. The capacity of Market Square can't be much more than about 2 or 3,000, and it will be a safe bet that as many as the Square can handle will be there to see the concert screened. But if The Hip are going to head over there to perform live after the concert, then most of the 5,500 people in the K-Rock are certainly going to want to follow the band. It would be chaotic.

  • June 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm
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    Yes, I was thinking Old Fort Henry can maybe accommodate more people? Plus the live screens around (Market Square?) to broadcast, as well as live on CBC, etc. And perhaps selling these tickets, as mentioned, box office style or what about in advance, through local businesses around town ??? i.e. you pick them up in person? Just dreaming I guess….?

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