With the summer concert season decimated due to the coronavirus, Live Nation Canada and Budweiser have launched a fully produced, high-quality live concert series, to air on Citytv starting next weekend. The weekly Saturday night concert hour, Budweiser Stage At Home, kicks off May 30, with The Black Crowes and The Trews, then Blue Rodeo and Alan Doyle on June 6. The acts for two more Saturday broadcasts will be confirmed shortly.
Budweiser Stage At Home will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on Citytv, and simultaneously live-streamed on Citytv.com and Live From Home – Live Nation’s all-new virtual music hub.
“Canadians are pretty resourceful people,” Joey Scoleri, Live Nation’s head of industry relations, tells FYI. “When this idea was percolating, it was through Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Adam Burchill [senior director, MLSE] wanted to create something to make the fans feel good about what's going on, and then we came up with this idea of a TV show and Budweiser Stage At Home was the name that came to me.
“Then it became ‘Let's make it the bands that were supposed to play [Toronto’s] Budweiser Stage. And because of our relationship with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and with Labatt and Rogers, they're all partners, but we're all friends. So it's a lot easier to get things done when people are cooperative, which they all were.”
Rogers Hometown Hocky host and Joydrop singer Tara Slone hosts the episodes from Budweiser Stage.
Said Live Nation Canada chairman Riley O’Connor in a statement, “Budweiser Stage has a long, rich history as one of North America’s premiere concert destinations, and we know how important music is to people, especially at a difficult time. We wanted to keep the summer concert season going, even when we have to be apart.
“Live Nation Canada is proud to present Budweiser Stage at Home to keep our fans connected with live music. Live Nation continues to be the leader in the presentation of live music performances and looks forward to when we can all celebrate together at a live concert.”
Last year, the lakeside amphitheatre celebrated 25 years of summer concerts. The venue has hosted everyone from Bryan Adams (who opened the venue on May 18, 1995) to Whitney Houston, The Tragically Hip to David Bowie, Iron Maiden to Drake’s OVO Festival. Blue Rodeo has played the venue 20 times.
Assures Scoleri, “I consider this Blue Rodeo streak is still intact because technically they are playing Budweiser Stage. It's just at home.”