The Rolling Stones play Cuba in free landmark gig

Western rock was banned in the country until 15 years ago

The Rolling Stones played a historic gig in Havana, Cuba after rock and pop music had been banned in the country for decades.

Cuba’s communist government banned music that is saw as diverse and subversive until the early 2000s.

However things are thought to have improved in the last 18 months, as they seek to build their relationship with America and even saw a visit from President Barack Obama a few days ago.


In a promotional video for the concert, Mick Jagger said: “Time changes everything. So we’re very pleased to be here.

“It would have been surprising for this to happen 10 years ago.”

The Rolling StonesGetty

The British rockers played a two-hour set at the free gig, to a 450,000-strong crowd opening with 1968 hit Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

Frontman Mick Jagger welcomed the crowd in Spanish, before adding “Hello, Havana. Good evening, my people of Cuba.”

Fans travelled to the venue from many countries to see The Stones play 18 songs across two hours.

One fan,Joaquin Ortiz, a 62-year-old night watchman, told the Associated Press: “After today I can die. This is like my last wish, seeing the Rolling Stones.”


The Mirror claimed that the band received a letter from the Vatican asking to reschedule the gig, as it fell on Good Friday. They reported that the Pope Francis had suggested the gig began after midnight, but the band wanted to honour their contract.


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