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Rome ups concert fee after Rolling Stones row

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Rome ups concert fee after Rolling Stones row
File photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP
12:42 CEST+02:00
Event organizers wanting to hire out Rome's historic Circus Maximus will now have to pay as much as €200,000 for the pleasure, after the city council upped the fee from the much-criticized €8,000 payed by the Rolling Stones last month.

In a preliminary decision on the 2014 budget, Rome’s city council agreed to increase the original fee from €8,000 to a maximum of €200,000, Il Tempo reported.

The increase in rent will also apply to other squares and public spaces in the capital’s historic centre.

The complaint over the low price came despite the fact that the concert was one of the most profitable in Italian history, boosting the city’s coffers by €25 million in a single day.

Speaking after the event, Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino said: “Today Rome has almost 60,000 people on top of 10-20,000 Romans who came to this event.

“People who went to hotels, restaurants, who took taxis or had ice creams determined a profit for the city of €25 million in a day.”

The Rolling Stones performed at the ancient Roman chariot stadium on June 22nd where they delighted fans with classic hits including Jumpin’ Jack Flash, which opened the show, Streets of Love and Let’s Spend the Night Together.

Leader singer Mick Jagger even treated the audience to a few sentences in Italian, winning him praise from national media.

“Grazie. Ciao Roma, ciao Italia,” (Thank you, bye Rome, bye Italy) the rocker yelled at the crowd, according to news agency Ansa.

Their performance earned the band a glowing reviews from the Italian press, including Il Messaggero which wrote: “He [Mick Jagger] continues to jump, run, sing and spread charisma on a stage as big as a football field, demonstrating that he is one of the greatest performers in history.”

The positive reception came despite concerns raised among heritage groups in March who warned of "unpredictable consequences" and possible "acts of vandalism" in a "very fragile" area of the city.

READ MORE: Rolling Stones gig sparks heritage concerns

"The choice of the Circus Maximus for the Rolling Stones concert brings a measure of risk for the heritage of the area that is not only heightened but also hard to predict," the office of archaeological supervisors said in a statement at the time.

The concert was the Stones' first since March, when the band put their tour on hold following the suicide of Jagger's girlfriend, the designer L' Wren Scott.  

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