The legendary British rock band delighted hundreds of thousands Cubans at the free open-air concert in Havana on Friday night.

Rolling Stones Concert in Havana, Photo: YouTube
Rolling Stones Concert in Havana, Photo: YouTube

( — March 26, 2016) —First, the U.S. embassy in Havana was reopened in August last year. Then, president Barack Obama visited Havana and talked with Cuban President Raul Castro last week, and now, on Friday March 25th, The Rolling Stones held a concert in Havana.

With their first concert in Havana, the legendary British band topped of a week of rapprochement between the West and communist island Cuba, a country where the government had forbid rock music for decades, even the songs of the well-known rock band, The Rolling Stones.

The concert was held at the Ciudad Deportiva, a huge sports complex in the Cuban capital, with 450,000 attendees, with many of the fans standing on the rooftops of surrounding buildings. It is estimated that The Rolling Stones were greeted by about half a million fans on Friday night.

Before the concert, Mick Jagger greeted viewers in Spanish, which was followed by a burst of applause and approving cheers.

“We know that years ago it was difficult to hear our music in Cuba, but here we are playing,” Jagger said in Spanish, reports the AFP. “I think that truly the times are changing,” he said. “That’s true, isn’t it?”

The British superstars started their show with a song from 1968 – Jumpin Jack Flash, recorded at a time when Cuban rock music lovers secretly exchanged records and risked being sent to the rural work brigades where they were treated for “ideological deviation”.

The historic concert lasted more than two hours, with The Rolling Stones performing 18 songs: “Sympathy for the Devil”, “Angie”, “Paint it Black”, “Out of Control” and more. At the end, they came out for an encore with the song “Satisfaction”.

People of all ages, from teenagers to pensioners, sang famous hits with Jagger, jumping around in T-shirts with The Rolling Stones logo – the famous lips and tongue.

The fans began to gather up to 18 hours before the start of the concert on the football and baseball courts of the Havana sports center. People from all parts of the largest islands in the Caribbean Sea gathered for the concert, as well as foreigners from various parts of the world.

The concert was secured by a large number of Cuban police officers although they discreetly stood aside while many fans ignored the alcohol ban, bringing with them bottles of rum and Cuban cigars.