Music

Secret Path show in Halifax sells out

Hopeful concert goers lined up for hours

Tickets for Gord Downie's Secret Path concert sold out within an hour.
Tickets for Gord Downie’s Secret Path concert sold out within an hour.   John Sandham

Over 100 people lined up Thursday morning to get their hands on tickets to The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie’s Secret Path concert at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

Brian Hill, who last saw Downie perform with The Hip at the Scotiabank Centre in 2015, arrived at the Arts Centre around 9:30 a.m. He called Secret Path an “amazing project.”

Randy Samson was one of the first to arrive. He and his companions set up their lawn chairs in the Dalhousie Arts Centre lobby around 6:45 a.m. for tickets to the Nov. 29 show.

Downie, who announced in May he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, went on tour with The Tragically Hip this summer. Their final show was on Aug. 20 in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ont.

Samson, who attended that final show, said he was happy Downie decided to bring the Secret Path tour to Halifax. The show was only announced two days ago.

“I think it’s great that Atlantic Canadians have the chance to probably say goodbye and have one more show with him,” Samson said.

The Secret Path album was recorded in 2013. The album and an accompanying graphic novel by Jeff Lemire tell the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young Indigenous boy who escaped an Ontario residential school in 1966. He died when he tried to walk the 400 miles home.

“It’s amazing that he’s taking this last chapter of his life to shine a spotlight on a problem I think that should be at the top of (Canada’s) list of things to figure out,” Samson said.

Brittany MacKeen was the last person in line around 11:50 a.m. Even so, she was fairly confident she would be able to get a ticket to the show.

She was excited at the possibility that she might get to see Downie on stage.

“(I was) pretty sad that they (The Tragically Hip) didn’t make it to the east coast this summer on their tour, so I was pretty excited to hear he’s coming here,” MacKeen said.

Tickets went on sale at noon and were also available for purchase online and over the phone. They had sold out as of 1 p.m.

The Rebecca Cohn Auditorium holds 1,023 people and this is Downie’s only Atlantic Canada stop on the Secret Path tour.