NEWS

Lac-Mégantic survivors invited to Paul McCartney Quebec show

07/19/2013 09:11 EDT | Updated 09/18/2013 05:12 EDT
Survivors of the disaster in Lac-Mégantic have been offered a brief moment of respite in the form of one of the world’s most famous musicians.

The promotional company behind the large-scale, outdoor Paul McCartney show that will take over Quebec City’s Plains of Abraham next week extended the invitation to the town’s mayor earlier this week.

On July 6, a runaway train derailed and exploded in the core of the town of 6,000, decimating the downtown and killing at least 42 people, the majority of them young adults who were at a bar near the tracks.

Another eight people are still unaccounted for. Several fundraising events have been set up to help the town with emergency relief and longer-term rebuilding projects. The provincial government has also pledged $60 million in funding.

The concert organizer said the idea behind the ticket offer was to give residents of the devastated town some time away from the stress they’ve experienced since the incident.

“We want to give them a break — a few hours of happiness that will allow them to not think about this tragedy that they’ve been immersed in for nearly two weeks,” Daniel Gélinas, chief executive of E3, which is promoting the show, said in a release.

Paul McCartney’s team were informed of the idea and quickly agreed, the company said.

E3 said the offer was also met with enthusiasm by municipal leaders in the town. Tickets will be distributed Sunday.

This will be McCartney’s second show on the Plains of Abraham. In 2008, he accepted a high-profile gig as part of the city's 400th anniversary party.

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