Lou Reed, Paul Simon and Mos Def are among the acts confirmed to perform at the Freedom Concert, sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The event will be held Oct. 4 at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and will be produced by composer Philip Glass.
Also set to perform are Patti Smith, Nanci Griffith and Lila Downs. In addition, actor/comedian Robin Williams and actors Sean Penn and Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaall will offer spoken-word performances to illustrate landmark Supreme Court rulings in which the ACLU has played a major role.
“Our upcoming presidential elections will hammer away at the safest of issues: jobs, the economy and the war on terror,” says Glass, who also serves as the artistic director for New York’s annual Tibetan Freedom Concert. “But a much larger, more crucial discussion is not being addressed because it rests in a politically unsafe zone: our government believes that the threat of terrorism trumps everything — even our civil rights.”
The evening will also offer a tribute to late comic trailblazer Lenny Bruce, who battled censorship throughout his career. Produced by musical director Hal Wilner, the tribute will draw from archival film and TV clips, audio recordings and still photographs.
Tickets ranging from $100-250, plus patron tickets available at the $500 and $1000 level, go on-sale Aug. 28 via Ticketmaster.