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Archive for Thursday, June 2, 2005

Live Aid organizers prepare to revive world concert event

June 2, 2005

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— London's Hyde Park, Circus Maximus in Rome and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are among the venues for Live 8, a series of concerts being organized by Bob Geldof, the driving force behind the 1985 Band Aid and Live Aid campaigns for African famine relief.

The July 2 concerts, which will be free, also will be held near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and in Paris. Performers will include Madonna, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Duran Duran and Brian Wilson.

"We don't want people's money. We want them," Geldof told a news conference Tuesday. He said negotiations for the Paris venue were continuing.

Performers will include Elton John, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Madonna, McCartney, R.E.M., Sting and U2 in London; Will Smith, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Wonder, Jay-Z and P. Diddy in Philadelphia; Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lauryn Hill and Wilson in Berlin; Jamiroquai, Youssou N'Dour, Yannick Noah and Craig David in Paris; and Faith Hill and Duran Duran in Rome.

The concerts are aimed at raising world awareness of poverty in Africa just days before G8 leaders meet in Britain.

Geldof said the G8 meeting provided a "unique opportunity for Britain to do something unparalleled in the world ... to tilt the world a little bit on its axis in favor of the poor."

John said he was "very proud to be involved."

"Now I'm fully aware of what's going on and seeing the injustices going on," John said.

The 58-year-old pop star said he hadn't been mature enough to appreciate the last concert 20 years ago and its ramifications.


Philadelphia Mayor John Street speaks via satellite to Bob Geldof during a press conference where it was announced that Philadelphia would be one of five locations around the world to play host to a Live 8 concert.

Philadelphia Mayor John Street speaks via satellite to Bob Geldof during a press conference where it was announced that Philadelphia would be one of five locations around the world to play host to a Live 8 concert.

Geldof said that in the two decades since the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia, Africa had gone into economic decline.

"The result of that is we see people dying on TV screens every night," he said. "This is to finally, as much as we can, put a stop to that."

Live 8 is not going to be "gloomy and doomy," Geldof said, and is "not for charity but for political justice."

The concert in Philadelphia will be on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. John is set to headline an AIDS-relief concert for July 4 on the parkway. The site of the 1985 concert, JFK Stadium, was torn down to make way for an arena.

The June 13, 1985, concert in London took place at Wembley Stadium, which also has been demolished to make way for a new sports stadium.

Fans enter a lottery by cell phone text message to obtain a ticket.

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