The Police Picnic 1983

One fest to rule them all
BY LIISA LADOUCEUR July 26, 2007 09:07

[RISKY PROGRAMMING
Time was, Toronto did have a summer concert of international import. It was the early '80s when local promoter Gary Topp brought together lineups of new wave when it was still new, attracting up to 30,000 for The Police Picnics, which featured such diverse programming as The Fixx, King Sunny Ade and locals Blue Peter alongside The Police. He's doubtful such a gig can happen in 2007. “Creativity is the prime ingredient of a great rock festival,” says Topp. “James Brown was booed at Police Picnic. The kids didn't like him but we put together shows that we thought were killer, that we thought would be a great day out. Now an agent puts it together. I think all of the festivals today are like travelling road shows; people grab whoever is on tour. It's the same every year.”]