Bob Geldof’s vision of a poverty-awareness music event on a grander scale than 1985’s historic Live Aid was unveiled today (May 31). On July 2, London, Philadelphia, Paris, Berlin and Rome will simultaneously host the free Live 8 concerts, which Geldof says will “tilt the world” like Live Aid did 20 years earlier.
Performers include Paul McCartney, R.E.M. and U2 at London’s Hyde Park; Will Smith, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band and Stevie Wonder at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Crosby, Stills & Nash, Lauryn Hill and Brian Wilson at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate; Jamiroquai, Youssou N’Dour, Yannick Noah and Placebo at a Paris venue to be announced; and Duran Duran, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Rome’s Circus Maximum.
Speaking at a media gathering in London to launch the project, Geldof clarified that the concerts were not intended to raise funds but as an initiative to rally attention to the “debt, aid and trade” issues currently blighting Africa.
“Here we are again,” Geldof said. “[Live 8] is a unique opportunity for Britain to do something unparalleled in the world and at the beginning of the 21th century, and that is to tilt the world a little bit on its axis in favor of the poor.”
He added, “What Live Aid did joyously, and enthusiastically, was open up the avenues of possibility. Live 8 invites you to walk down them.”
Geldof was flanked today by collaborators from Live Aid, including artists Elton John and Midge Ure, current IFPI chairman/CEO John Kennedy and British promoter Harvey Goldsmith. John told attendees, “I would go on a dangerous mission with Bob. I trust him with my life. He is an honorable, honorable man and I admire him so much for what he’s doing here.”
Live 8 is timed to coincide with the arrival of world leaders for the G8 summit to be held July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland.
The BBC will host the worldwide telecast and co-ordinate feeds to local operators in various countries. AOL will also broadcast the shows live on the Internet. Tickets will be allocated through competitions via various media points.
Geldof urged people to travel to Edinburgh during the summit to show solidarity to the ongoing humanitarian crisis throughout the African continent.
The lineup at present will feature:
Dave Matthews Band
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Die Toten Hosen