President Obama delays Rolling Stones' Cuban Concert
The Rolling Stones decided they were no match for Barak Obama and agreed to delay their historic Cuban concert until after the U.S. President's visit.
The British stars will rock the Ciudad Deportiva venue in Havana on Thursday, 25 March, three days after President Obama visits the nation's capital. He arrived in the country on Sunday, when he became the first sitting American President to visit the island in 88 years.
And while the Stones will make their own history as the first major rock act to play in Cuba since the country became communist in 1959, they had initially planned to perform the same day President Obama set foot in Havana, on Sunday.
Concert organisers have now revealed that they decided to push back the concert by five days after learning of the Commander-in-Chief's visit, which led to a number of difficulties, which ultimately worked out in the end.
"He's our opening act," Rolling Stones production manager Dale Skjerseth told Reuters. "At one point we thought he (Obama) was coming to the show!" However, the President is scheduled to leave town prior to Thursday's gig.
John Meglen, an executive at concert promoting company AEG Live, told Billboard, "It took a little while. We had some scheduling issues. We were trying to lock down certain date; it was complicated by President Obama's visit on March 21. We would have liked to have gone in a little earlier. We had to pick the right time. March 25 worked out very well for all of us. The Cuban government team have a lot of work coming up with Obama coming in. They want to make sure they do that right, and when we do the Rolling Stones, we do that right also."
The Rolling Stones concert is expected to gather 500,000 fans at the venue, marking the first open air concert in the country by a British rock band.