Gordon Lightfoot to perform three shows as refurbished Massey Hall prepares to reopen in November

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Toronto’s Massey Hall, closed since 2018 for major renovations, announced a 2021 concert list on Monday as the historic venue is set to reopen in November.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press

While presenting a performance of Feist and the Tragically Hip recorded at Massey Hall in Toronto for the recent Juno Awards broadcast, Gordon Lightfoot let the cat out of the bag about his own upcoming shows there, “Where I Stand.” will hopefully present in the fall. ”

Massey Hall, closed since 2018 for major renovations to the 127-year-old hall, has now officially announced Lightfoot concerts and more.

the Carefree highway troubadour, the last artist to perform in the concert hall, on July 1, 2018, will open the revitalized space with three shows on November 25, 26 and 27. Lightfoot celebrates its 83rd birthday on November 17th. is now known as Allan Slaight Stage on over 160 occasions.

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Other concerts announced in 2021 at the designated national historic site include Buffy Sainte-Marie (November 30), City and Color (December 9 and 10) and Broken Social Scene (December 16).

Along with the announcement of Massey Hall’s reopening, Toronto Mayor John Tory proclaimed Massey Hall Day in the city on Monday.

The news follows the announcement last week by music promoter Live Nation Canada that he has collaborated at a new venue in east Toronto. With a capacity of 2,500 seats, the History concert space will compete for reservations not only with the 2,700-seat Massey Hall, but also with the similarly sized waterfront Rebel entertainment complex. The first show at History is scheduled for October 22, with Maryland rock band All Time Low scheduled for a christening visit.

The announcements are another sign of the return of live music to Canada, an industry that, like so many others, has been shut down by the pandemic. Music concerts are still not permitted in Ontario, but Quebec already allows indoor and outdoor concerts with restrictions on capacity and seating configuration. Indoor concerts in British Columbia are expected just after Labor Day.

“I hope we have something outside by the end of the summer,” said Riley O’Connor, president of Live Nation Canada, whose first concert scheduled this season at the Budweiser Stage Amphitheater. of Toronto is Blue Rodeo on August 28. “And there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be back inside this fall.”

Although the concert industry is reopening with enthusiasm in the United States – Foo Fighters will play a Madison Square Garden at full capacity on June 20, with attendees required to show proof of vaccination – not everyone is optimistic that the sector in Canada is ready to follow suit.

“Other areas are going to open up, but we’re not there yet,” said Erin Benjamin, president and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association, an industry advocacy group. of the concert. “I would say we are six months away from being back to normal.”

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Returning to normal means that the sites are operating at full capacity. Indoor venues are likely to face crowd size restrictions for the foreseeable future. “The shows are on sale now because people are doing their best to plan, and some runway length is needed,” Benjamin said. “They will just be postponed if the operators cannot operate at all or with the kind of capacity they need to make it viable.”

It is possible that a promoter will increase the price of tickets to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the reduction in seats. One artist who won’t is Lightfoot. “He’s a non-runner with Gordon,” said Bernie Fiedler, longtime Lightfoot promoter. “He won’t have anything to do with it. He insists when it comes to reasonable prices for his fans.

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