EMI Music is preparing for the launch of what is expected to become the biggest selling music DVD of all time. The 4-DVD Live 8 box-set is to be released on Nov. 7 in the world, except for the U.S. wh
EMI Music is preparing for the launch of what is expected to become the biggest selling music DVD of all time. The 4-DVD Live 8 box-set is to be released on Nov. 7 in the world, except for the U.S. where it comes a day later.
The box-set contains 10 hours of concerts taken from the July 2 performances at London's Hyde Park and in Philadelphia, plus highlights from the other shows.
In addition, there are localized specific DVDs for the concerts in Paris, Rome, Berlin and Toronto. These DVDs will also be available globally.
The DVD features performances from Paul McCartney, Elton John, Coldplay, Richard Ashcroft, R.E.M., Sting, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, The Who, Robbie Williams, U2, and Annie Lennox, among others.
EMI Music secured in June the global right sto the DVDs of the shows, for which the British company paid a $6 million-advance. Artists performed for free and waived the DVD rights for the performances.
EMI's advance was crucial in providing Live 8 with much needed cash flow, says John Kennedy, one of the three trustees of Band Aid Trust, the non-profit charity set up 20 years ago in the wake of the Band Aid project. "There was a time when we had no income and large expenses," recalls Kennedy. The other two trustees are musician/activist Bob Geldof and concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith.
Kennedy is confident that EMI's advance will be recouped just through the initial shipment. Then, EMI will pay the Trust what Kennedy describes as "a hefty royalty rate," which will contribute to fun the trust.
Stefan Demetriou, head of DVD and audio-visual at EMI U.K., declined to be specific on shipment figures. "We're very optimistic about the potential [of the DVD]," he says. "It is a global priority for EMI and everyone here is fully committed. Like Bob Geldof, we hope it is going to be the biggest music DVd of all time."
Demetriou says the DVDs is are a musical statement as much as they are a testimony of the concerts' achievements. The Live 8 concerts were set up to raise awareness about debt relief in Africa.
"It is important to see what has been achieved," he says. "And I don't think that in our lifetime we'll see a line-up like this one."
Demetriou adds that even three months after the event it is possible to appreciate the impact of the awareness campaign from the postings on the specific web site EMI set up for the DVD launch. "We have messages from all around the world and it shows that people have a very high consciousness of what the event was about and what has been achieved," he says.
Kennedy says he has "no doubt that the concerts achieved what we wanted in terms of raising awareness." He considers that following the announcement of the Live 8 concert, the lead up to the concerts and the concerts themselves "there were very few people who did not know that the G8 were meeting in Scotland and that Africa and poverty were high on their agenda."