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Molson Ice Plans Cold Beach Party

May 9, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ The imported beer from the ``land where ice was born″ plans to airlift 500 people to a tiny seaside village north of the Arctic Circle this Labor Day weekend for a private rock concert.

Molson Breweries USA is holding a sweepstakes for tickets and travel to the concert featuring Metallica and three alternative rock bands. It will be the focal point of a $10 million plus Molson Ice advertising campaign this summer.

The beer importer has recruited an environmental group’s support for the event set in the northernmost reaches of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The Center for Marine Conservation lent its name to the promotion after Molson assured it the event would be conducted responsibly and the site would be left undamaged. Molson also has pledged at least $50,000 to the group.

``I know on the surface it sounds risky,″ said David Knight, an executive for the Washington, D.C.-based group. ``But I feel certain the last thing Molson would have an interest in is to have people behave irresponsibly.″

The invitation-only concert will be held Sept. 3 in Tuktoyaktuk, a village with about 1,000 residents and a five-member police force on the Beaufort Sea.

The Reston, Va.-based importer said it would provide security commensurate with other concerts in North America and clean up before leaving.

Molson Ice is advertised with the theme ``From the land where ice is born″ and brand managers dramatized it by picking a concert site 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Mayor Eddie Dillon said Molson proposed last fall to hold the event in Tuktoyaktuk. ``My reaction was that I feel privileged for somebody to use this place as an attraction to bring visitors in,″ he said Tuesday by telephone.

The community gets about 3,000 tourists each summer. It hosted an international conference of polar countries three years ago.

But the town was an unusual choice for what Molson is calling an Ice Polar Beach Party, because it forbids sale of alcoholic beverages. Residents can bring such beverages in from outside, however.

Dillon said the community proposed an agreement that requires Molson to make use of local labor, leave materials built for the concert like stages for use by the community youth center and pay the town $30,000.

He said security wasn’t a major concern because concertgoers will generally move only between the open air concert site and nearby buildings.

Molson hasn’t yet returned a signed contract, Dillon said. But Molson spokesman Dan Tearno said a final agreement will soon be completed.

In the meantime, Molson will move ahead with the three-month process of selecting 100 U.S. winners in a sweepstakes. Another 100 winners will be selected in a separate sweepstakes this summer in Canada where the brewer of Molson Ice is based. The 200 winners can each bring a guest.

Another 100 people associated with Molson will also attend.

Molson Ice is the best-selling imported ice beer in the U.S. and second only to Heinken among all imported beers. Its target customers are adults aged 21 to 30. These people are also big fans of alternative rock music.

Besides Metallica, the featured bands will be Hole with Courtney Love, Veruca Salt and Canada’s Moist.

Knight said the Center for Marine Conservation feels its association with the concert, which will be carried on the Internet computer network, will give it a chance to address this audience on ocean preservation.

The sweepstakes will be advertised starting next week on cable TV networks like ESPN and MTV and in magazines like Rolling Stone, Spin and Details.

Concert-goers will actually spend only six to eight hours in Tuktoyaktuk. The village has only two hotels.

Partygoers will spend nights during the four-day weekend 100 miles south in Inuvik which has more hotel rooms. Molson will ferry them by air.

If the weather turns bad, Dillon said the concertgoers can stay in Tuktoyaktuk’s school or a hall. But he said the weather is generally good then with daytime temperatures in the 40s or 50s and in the 30s at night.

``We’ll be good hosts and hopefully they will go back and say how nice a trip they had,″ Dillon said.

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