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The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon

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Havana Moon
Official cover of the film in all formats
Official cover
Directed byPaul Dugdale
Produced bySimon Fisher
Music byThe Rolling Stones
CinematographyBrett Turnbull
Edited bySimon Bryant
Tom Watson
JA Digital
Distributed byEagle Rock Entertainment
Release date
  • 23 September 2016 (2016-09-23)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States

Havana Moon is a concert film by the Rolling Stones, directed by Paul Dugdale. Havana Moon was filmed on 25 March 2016 in Havana, Cuba. The film is a recording of a free outdoor concert put on by the band at the Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana sports complex, which was attended by an estimated 500,000 concert-goers. The concert marked the first time a rock band had performed in Cuba to such a large crowd, breaking the previous record of the Italian singer Zucchero Fornaciari who performed to a crowd of nearly 70,000 goers in 2012.[1][2] On 11 November 2016 the film was released in multiple formats.

When the news that sitting United States president, Barack Obama was to visit Cuba was released—marking the first time a sitting president had visited the island nation in 88 years—the concert was rescheduled from 20 March 2016 to 25 March 2016.



The concert was suggested by lawyer Gregory Elias to Rolling Stones manager Joyce Smyth during a phone call on 13 November 2015. Elias suggested that the Stones play a free concert in Cuba, which he would cover the costs of – to which Smyth responded "Well, that’s certainly a unique proposal".[3] The concert was bankrolled by Elias' charitable organization, Fundashon Bon Intenshon.[4] There was some speculation that the move on Elias' part was politically motivated, to which he responded in a statement that he only wanted to do something good for the Cuban people and did not have any business relations in the country.[3]

The concert was planned for several months prior to its public announcement while the band was on their 2016 tour of South America, titled América Latina Olé Tour 2016.[5] The bands' manager, Joyce Smyth, and Concerts West worked extensively with the Cuban government in order for the show to be approved, due to the Cuban government still having control over what its citizens listen to.[6][7] The embargo on Cuba proved to be a technical challenge for the band and stage crews since they had to ship all of their equipment from Belgium and could not rely on local infrastructure to assist to the degree that they are used to in more developed areas.[6]


The concert took place 5 days[8] after President Barack Obama visited Cuba,[9] marking the first time a sitting United States president has visited the island nation since the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, visited the nation 88 years earlier, in 1928.[10][11]

The show was originally scheduled to take place 20 March 2016. However, after it was announced that President Barack Obama was scheduled to arrive on the same day, concerns were raised and the decision was made to reschedule the concert to 25 March 2016.[6][7] Shortly before the rescheduled concert date, Pope Francis attempted to delay it, asking that the band play on a later date as the concert was scheduled for 25 March 2016, which was Good Friday, a major and solemn Christian holiday. The Vatican also suggested that the band delay the start of their concert until midnight to avoid the holy day.[12] However, the Stones opted to play the concert at the originally scheduled date and time.[12]


Prior to the show, the band were guests of honour at the British embassy in Cuba, which held a meet and greet on 24 March 2016 for approximately 200 people, many being Cuban musicians.[7] The Rolling Stones also started a "musician-to-musician" charity initiative in which musical instruments were donated by major instrument suppliers to Cuban musicians of all genres.[7][13][4]

Release of film and soundtrack[edit]

Havana Moon had a limited one night premiere in over one thousand theatres internationally 23 September 2016.[14][15] The film made its United States television premiere on the premium cable television service Starz 22 January 2017, but could be downloaded on the Starz app 15 January 2017.[16][17] The sound track of the film was released on the iTunes Store[18] and the music streaming service Spotify[19] 11 November 2016.[20] The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, DVD+2CD, DVD+3LP, Digital Video, and Digital Audio.[18][21]


The concert itself was attended by a crowd estimated to have consisted of over 500,000 concert-goers[18][22] and marked the first time a foreign rock band had performed an open-air concert in Cuba to a crowd of that size,[9][23][24] breaking the previous record of the Italian singer Zucchero Fornaciari who performed to a crowd of nearly 70,000 goers in 2012.[1][2]

The film received critical acclaim from multiple publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and The Daily Telegraph.[18] The New York Times stated that "The Rolling Stones gave a stunning performance".[9] The Guardian remarked that the show was "spectacular and historic,"[25] with the Daily Express sharing a similar viewpoint, calling it a "historic" show.[26] Rolling Stone magazine praised the concert, stating that it was "no ordinary concert" and had a significant impact for music in Cuba.[21]

"This was no ordinary concert. People hugged and shared looks of disbelief. Coming at the end of a run of shows in South America and Mexico, last night might have marked at least a temporary pause for the legendary group, but it had all the markings of a new chapter for music in Cuba."

— Richard L. Dewey, Rolling Stone, 26 March 2016[21]

“We have performed in many special places during our long career but this show in Havana is going to be a landmark event for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba too.”

— The Rolling Stones official statement, 1 March 2016[4]

Set list[edit]

1."Jumpin' Jack Flash"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
2."It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
3."Tumbling Dice"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
4."Out of Control"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
5."All Down The Line"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
6."Angie"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
7."Paint It Black"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
8."Honky Tonk Women"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
9."You Got the Silver"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
10."Before They Make Me Run"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
11."Midnight Rambler"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
12."Miss You"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
13."Gimme Shelter"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
14."Start Me Up"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
15."Sympathy for the Devil"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
16."Brown Sugar"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
17."You Can't Always Get What You Want"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 
18."(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 


  1. ^ a b "Concerto di Zucchero a L'Avana" (in Italian). Foto Image. 10 January 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Greta C (10 December 2012). "Zucchero, un italiano a Cuba che fa ballare e divertire L'Avana". Melodicamente (in Italian). Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Meet the lawyer who paid for the Rolling Stones concert in Havana". miamiherald. Archived from the original on 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  4. ^ a b c "The Rolling Stones announce free concert in Cuba! | The Rolling Stones". Archived from the original on 2017-07-06. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  5. ^ "The Rolling Stones are playing a free open air concert in Cuba". The Independent. 2016-03-01. Archived from the original on 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  6. ^ a b c Jagger, M. & Richards, K. & Watts, C. & Wood, R. & Jakobek, J. & Smyth, J. & Worsley, P. (Producers), & Dugdale, P. (Director). (2016). Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America [Motion Picture]. World-wide: Eagle Rock Entertainment.
  7. ^ a b c d "Inside The Rolling Stones' Historic Free Concert in Cuba". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  8. ^ "Obama's schedule for historic trip to Havana, Cuba". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2016-07-23. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  9. ^ a b c Robles, Frances (2016-03-26). "Another First for Cuba: A Concert by the Rolling Stones". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  10. ^ "Obama Visits Cuba". Archived from the original on 2017-06-01. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  11. ^ News, A. B. C. (2016-03-22). "The Last Time an American President Visited Cuba". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  12. ^ a b Bryant, Tom (2016-03-25). "Pope Francis makes last-ditch bid to stop Rolling Stones from playing in Cuba". mirror. Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  13. ^ "The Rolling Stones are going to play Cuba for the first time — and it'll make history". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  14. ^ "Havana Moon in cinemas for one night only | The Rolling Stones". Archived from the original on 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  15. ^ "Rolling Stones Cuba Concert Film 'Havana Moon' to Play in Theaters". Ultimate Classic Rock. Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (2016-12-21). "'The Rolling Stones Olé' & 'Havana Moon' Docus Get Premiere Dates On Starz". Deadline. Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  17. ^ "U.S. TELEVISION PREMIERE OF ¡OLÉ, OLÉ, OLÉ! & HAVANA MOON | The Rolling Stones". Archived from the original on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  18. ^ a b c d "Havana Moon | The Rolling Stones". Archived from the original on 2017-08-03. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  19. ^ Havana Moon (Live), 2016-11-11, archived from the original on 2017-07-07, retrieved 2017-08-07
  20. ^ "Havana Moon (Live) by The Rolling Stones on Apple Music". iTunes. Archived from the original on 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  21. ^ a b c "Rolling Stones Prep Release of Historic Cuba Show". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  22. ^ "Rolling Stones Thrill Huge Crowd at Historic Havana Show". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  23. ^ Barker, Andrew (2016-09-12). "Toronto Film Review: 'The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America'". Variety. Archived from the original on 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  24. ^ "Rolling Stones announce historic free concert in Havana". Reuters. 2016-03-01. Archived from the original on 2016-04-17. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  25. ^ Watts, Jonathan (2016-03-26). "Pleased to meet you: Rolling Stones treat Cuba to spectacular and historic gig". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  26. ^ Kuttner, Julia (2016-03-25). "Rolling Stones rock up in Havana for 'historic' free concert". Retrieved 2017-06-13.

External links[edit]