LATEST: The Rolling Stones are lending their star power to Sars-stricken Toronto with a massive concert on 30 June (03).

The Canadian capital's tourist industry was weakened after the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION named it a potential travel risk following an outbreak of Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Despite initial reports the concert will not be free, but 500,000 fans are expected to shell out and attend.

The performance will fall amid a short break during the Stones' European tour. The band is scheduled to play Prague on 27 July, before heading back to North America for the Toronto gig. The tour resumes with a controversial date on 8 August in Germany, plagued by ill-feeling towards the Stones' German support band, and runs till 15 September.

The Stones show will be the second in the city to help try to boost tourist travel in Sars' wake. This weekend (28-29JUN03), Avril Lavigne, SARAH McLACHLAN and the Barenaked Ladies were among the acts who performed at a concert to aid the city.

Several acts, including Michelle Branch and Elton John with Billy Joel, cancelled Toronto dates after the WHO listed the city as a Sars hot spot; the disease has been blamed for thirty-eight deaths in Canada so far.

Canada is the only nation outside of those in Asia to report any cases of SARS.

23/06/2003 21:09