Musician Tom Cochrane poses in Toronto on Friday, February 6, 2015. The grounds of an infamous Ontario prison will be transformed into a rock music festival later this year. Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Headstones, Tom Cochrane, Tragically Hip members to perform at the Kingston Pen

Kingston Penitentiary closed in 2013 after the federal government deemed it outdated and too expensive

The grounds of an infamous Ontario prison will be transformed into a rock music festival later this year.

Singer Tom Cochrane and members of the Tragically Hip are among those expected to perform at the former Kingston Penitentiary for a charity concert on Sept. 14.

The Headstones, fronted by singer, actor and Kingston native Hugh Dillon, will headline the show called “Rockin’ the Big House” that’s expected to draw 2,500 people.

The Trews, Pursuit of Happiness and Kasador are also on the bill, as well as the Hip’s Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker, who are special guests.

Tickets are $75 and go on sale through Ticketmaster on Saturday at 10 a.m., with proceeds supporting the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.

The Kingston Penitentiary was once home to some of Canada’s most dangerous criminals including killers Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo. It formally closed in 2013 after the federal government deemed it outdated and too expensive to run.

Now, curious visitors can book tours at the site through a program run by the City of Kingston, Correctional Service Canada and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

VIDEO: Tragically Hip singer-songwriter Gord Downie dies at 53

Bhavana Varma, president and CEO of the United Way of KFL&A, which is organizing the concert, said the organization used to run those tours and was familiar with the location.

They got the idea for the event when brainstorming a new way to approach their annual fundraiser, she said.

“It just seemed like, what’s unique in Kingston? And certainly the Pen is.”

The bands are performing without a fee and local breweries are donating beer to help raise money, she said.

READ MORE: ‘It only lacks your presence’: truth, art, words and the legacy of Gord Downie

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food bank doing well thanks to volunteers and donations

Chair applauds staff for stepping up in time of turmoil

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

Restaurants adjust to loosened restrictions

Gateway Grill in Clearwater is one of the establishments that’s reopened its doors to in-house guests

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Most Read