Queen To Reactivate At African AIDS Benefit
A second concert aimed at strengthening the 46664 campaign to fight the African HIV/AIDS epidemic will be staged March 19 at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in George, a seaside town on theA second concert aimed at strengthening the 46664 campaign to fight the African HIV/AIDS epidemic will be staged March 19 at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in George, a seaside town on the Cape Garden Route.
The first 46664 concert was held Nov. 29, 2003, in Cape Town, and featured performances by surviving members of Queen, Bob Geldof, Peter Gabriel, Jimmy Cliff, Paul Oakenfold and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, among others.
Billed as 46664 South Africa, the upcoming show will again find Queen spearheading the musical action, this time accompanied by Paul Rodgers. Queen and Rodgers last week announced plans for a 2005 world tour.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela said a host of high-profile international artists (including several big-name female stars) will be joined by a line-up of South African artists at the concert. The full list will be revealed in the New Year. The event will also be filmed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation for transmission across the entire African sub-continent.
Playing a key role in the staging of the event is philanthropist Prof. Dr. Hasso Plattner (the owner of Fancourt), who has pledged to underwrite all costs so all profits can be donated directly to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in the names of the performing artists.
According to the organizers, "the focus of the 2005 concert will be to promote recognition that women are now bearing the brunt of the HIV/AIDS pandemic with the fastest increase in infections now showing among women and girls. According to reports, they account for 57 per cent of all those infected in sub-Saharan Africa, and for 75% of those aged 15 to 24."
"This is a great occasion for Queen to fulfill our continuing commitment to Nelson Mandela's AIDS cause," Queen's Brian May said in a statement. "It is particularly exciting because this will be the first opportunity for [drummer] Roger [Taylor] and myself to play a full set on stage with Paul Rodgers. We will be [practicing] together especially for this concert in the weeks leading up to this date. It will be an international 'first.'"