KINGSTON, Ont. – Hordes of Tragically Hip fans will descend on Kingston, Ont. today as the rockers return to their hometown to wrap the “Man Machine Poem” tour.
It’s going to be a bittersweet evening of celebration and reflection as the venerated Canadian band performs what many believe could be its final concert.
Lead singer Gord Downie revealed earlier this year that he’s battling terminal brain cancer. But the Hip still went ahead with a 15-show tour which passed through much of the country.
Tonight’s finale brings the Hip back to the streets where their storied musical journey began. And tens of thousands of fans – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau among them – are expected to be there.
Those with tickets to the sold-out show will be inside the 6,700-seat Rogers K-Rock Centre. Others will gather a few blocks away at Springer Market Square, an outdoor space next to city hall that’s streaming the show on a giant screen.
Even more are expected to watch a live broadcast of the concert airing across the country on the CBC.
Tickets for the “Man Machine Poem” tour sold out almost immediately after they went on sale in June – leaving many fans disappointed they’d miss a final chance to see the Hip live.
That led the CBC to lock in the one-time broadcast rights for the Kingston show.
It will air starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on the main CBC network and various other platforms such as CBC Radio One, the CBC website and its YouTube and Facebook channels.
Both casual and loyal Hip fans have been making plans for how they’re going to watch.
Some have drafted their own viewing parties with friends, while others will head to local community screenings in public spaces.
David Friend, The Canadian Press | Photo: Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press
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