Music News

The Rolling Stones Got What They Wanted: Cuban Gig Attracts 500,000 People

There are a little more than 11 million people in Cuba. The equivalent of 4.5% of them saw the Rolling Stones play in Havana Friday night. The free show at Ciudad Deportiva–the biggest musical event the country has seen by far–marks another historic thaw in the attitudes of one of the last communist strongholds on the planet.

Despite a letter from Pope Francis asking that the band wait until midnight to start the set–he didn’t want the group to play on Good Friday–the Stones went ahead on schedule at 8:30pm, starting with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and playing for two hours. The setlist went like this:

  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  • It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It)
  • Tumbling Dice
  • Out of Control
  • All Down the Line (a request)
  • Angie
  • Paint It Black
  • You Got the Silver (with Keef on lead vocals)
  • Midnight Rambler
  • Gimme Shelter
  • Start Me Up
  • Sympathy for the Devil
  • Brown Sugar


  • You Can’t Always Get What You Want
  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Rolling Stones setlist Cuba 25 March 2016
Via Rolling


Additional reporting:


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37868 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.