150,000 Tickets Sold For Toronto's SARS Benefit

The Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert — featuring AC/DC and RUSH, among others — sold a record 150,000 tickets in its first day of sales, according to Billboard.com. The event's main sponsor, Molson Canadian, also said that sales to U.S. fans for the July 30 concert at Downsview Park were "well ahead of expectations." As previously reported, the event will also feature the ROLLING STONES, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, THE GUESS WHO, FLAMING LIPS and KATHLEEN EDWARDS, among others.

Tickets, priced at CDN $21.50 (US $16) plus service charges, went on sale Friday (June 27) at all Ticketmaster outlets. Grocery chain A&P has purchased 240,000 tickets at full price, which they will sell at stores in Ontario and the U.S. beginning this week.

The concert, announced last week, is meant to boost tourism in Toronto and southern Ontario after the SARS outbreak.

Stung by a dearth of visitors in the crucial spring and summer tourism seasons, particularly from the United States, Ontario and Toronto officials have worked for weeks to organize an event they hope will draw hundreds of thousands of people.

The venue, a former air field north of downtown, hosted last year's visit by Pope John Paul II that drew an estimated 800,000 people to a Mass.

Proceeds from the concert will go toward the city's beleaguered healthcare workers and the tourism industry.

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