Quebec's Plains of Abraham, a former battlefield and Canada's oldest historic site, has played host to a number of concerts over the years. Paul McCartney, Elton John, Metallica, Van Halen and Celine Dion have all played concerts at the park. Now international superstar Madonna is getting in on the action, but she's drawing the ire of a lot of people in the process.
"(Madonna) really wants to have a big dance party. It's a big party for fans," said one promoter.
Fresh off her recent Superbowl performance, Madonna is currently in the midst of a whirlwind tour in support of her latest album, "MDNA." The difference between Madonna's upcoming show and the others is simple: she's charging admission. It's never been done before. Some say it would set the wrong precedent.
"Generally, we don't accept any commercial activity, but in this case it's really exceptional," said spokeswoman Joanne Laurin. "People shouldn't presume anything regarding future requests we might get. We accepted it because we presume there will be major economic benefits for Quebec City."
Those "economic benefits", opponents say, will only serve to line Madonna's pockets. Tickets are being sold at prices ranging from $50 to $250, with no proceeds going to the Plains of Abraham.
"It isn't right," said a former Battlefield Commission head. "I would never have agreed to do it for free. You can make an exception for one case, but then they should have to pay. Otherwise, you open the door to anyone who wants to organize something commercial on the Plains.
"If we had ever received a request like this, we would have taken advantage of it so there were benefits for the park," said former We don't want commercial activities. … We could have a McDonald's any time, we'd just have to ask them."
"They always told us the Plains were reserved for non-profit organizations or exceptional events like the 400th anniversary [of Quebec City]," said Luci Tremblay.
Madonna has so far declined to comment on the controversy.