HAVANA: March 25, 2016. Last week's free concert by the Rolling Stones required a crew of 350 to assemble 500 tons of equipment that had been delivered from Miami by containership and an Atlas Air 747-400 freighter.
The band played their historic two-hour set that included "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Satisfaction" to an audience of over 500,000 following a visit to the country by Barack Obama, the first for a U.S. president while still in office since 1928.
In preparation for the concert an Atlas Air freighter carried 97 tons of staging and musical equipment from Mexico City to Havana via Miami - the first commercial charter operation of its kind by a U.S.-based carrier.
Michael Steen, Atlas EVP and CCO commented: "As the first U.S. freighter operator chosen to operate into Cuba, we were delighted to support this one-of-a-kind event."
Havana was the culmination of the band's 'America Latina Ole' tour that included Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre, Lima, Bogotá and Mexico City.
The free concert in Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana and supported by the Institute of Cuban Music, cost a reported US$7 million to stage and was underwritten by a donation from non-profit Fundashon Bon Intenshon, based in Curacao. The foundation supports international education, athletics, cultural literacy, healthcare and tourism to help mitigate the impact of general poverty.
The 'Stones are also supporting a musician-to-musician initiative to donate instruments and equipment by major suppliers for the benefit of Cuban musicians of all genres. Donors include Gibson, Vic Firth, RS Berkeley, Pearl, Zildjian, Gretsch, Latin Percussion, Roland and BOSS plus the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation.