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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 18:01 GMT
Stones rock Hong Kong Sars event
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger on stage in Hong Kong
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger on stage in Hong Kong on Friday
The Rolling Stones played the first of two long-awaited on-off Hong Kong gigs on Friday before closing a three-week Sars benefit season on Sunday.

It was the rock group's first concert in the territory - but their appearance had been in doubt last month because of a contract delay.

They are headlining the three-week Harbourfest festival, which has aroused local anger because of its cost.

Singer Mick Jagger told the crowd: "It's taken us a long time to get here."

"And now we're finally here, and we're glad we made it," he said.

Rolling Stones fans in Hong Kong

The Stones' shows come at the end of their epic 14-month Forty Licks world tour to mark the band's 40th anniversary.

The veteran rockers played a two-hour set including favourites Brown Sugar, Paint It Black and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

They were watched from the wings by former United States president Bill Clinton, who was in Hong Kong for a conference.

The Stones cancelled a Hong Kong gig earlier in the year at the height of the Sars outbreak in Asia.

And it seemed that they would not make it to Harbourfest when reports surfaced of a contract wrangle - but that was straightened out.

Other artists who have performed during Harbourfest were Charlotte Church, Jose Carreras and Neil Young.

But it has attracted controversy in Hong Kong for poor ticket sales for some concerts and a HK$100m (7.8m) bill to be footed by taxpayers.

Harbourfest was staged to raise morale and tourism after the Sars outbreak, which killed 299 people in Hong Kong.


SEE ALSO:
Stones sorry for 'no-show'
04 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Stones give up on China concerts
28 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Stones HK Sars show row resolved
13 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Fury over HK Sars concert 'fiasco'
12 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Stones pulled from Sars concert
10 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Canadian stores boycott Stones
30 Oct 03  |  Entertainment


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