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Mayor Peter Kelly touted incorrect Rolling Stones attendance figures 

2006 concert on the Halifax Common was much smaller than advertised.

Just 39,875 people attended the 2006 Rolling Stones concert on the Halifax Common, far fewer than the "near 50,000 people" figure Halifax mayor Peter Kelly used to gain support for more Common concerts.

click to enlarge rollingstonestonguelogo.jpg
The Rolling Stones attendance figure was revealed in a 2007 letter from Barb Stegemann, then the communications manager at Trade Centre Limited, to Beverley Miller, a citizen opposed to the Common concerts. I first posted the letter on The Coast's website in April of 2010, but that was for purposes of discussing the supposed economic impacts of the concerts. Somehow, I had forgotten that the letter contained the attendance figure until I was reviewing it last night.

"I was badgering TCL staff for information on how they came up with the glowing financial spin-offs information they were bandying about [for the Stones concert]," says Miller. "I doubt [Stegemann] was supposed to give me the numbers, and you will note there is no indication of how they arrived at the per capita economic spin-off number but she did reveal the attendance numbers."

The letter reads:

Thank you for your letter dated March 28th, 2007. As discussed in my follow up call to you, the attendance expenditures were calculated at 39,875 attendees spending $135.24 each based on an average expenditure survey done exclusively for that event which amounts to $5,257,455.00 in addition to the Event Expenditures of $599,451, the amount is $5,856,906.00.
The attendance figure for the Rolling Stones concert is far smaller than the number Kelly placed on a “marketing card” he intended to send to concert promoters around the world, encouraging them to look at putting on shows on the Halifax Common, “with little or no municipal costs to the promoter." The Daily News revealed the existence of the marketing card in August, 2007.

The public was given an incorrect impression of attendance numbers at each and every Common concert, and the incorrect impression may have served to bolster public support for the concerts, leading ultimately to the concert scandal.

But for the Keith Urban, Paul McCartney and KISS concerts, city officials merely left the incorrect impression given by promoter Harold MacKay and in the press stand, without correcting the record---it was, if you will, a lie of omission. For the Rolling Stones show, however, Kelly consciously and purposefully put the incorrect attendance figure out into the world personally---that is, it was a lie of commission.

The real Common concert attendance figures are as follows:

2006
Rolling Stones-- 39,875

2008
Keith Urban-- 11,853

2009
Paul McCartney-- 26,504
KISS-- 21,420

2010
Black Eyed Peas-- 8,362
Alan Jackson-- 10,009

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