- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2005

LONDON (AP) — Live Aid founders Bob Geldof and Midge Ure confirmed yesterday that they are planning a star-studded concert to fight poverty in Africa — but insisted it wouldn’t be Live Aid II.

Rumors have swirled for weeks that a Live Aid sequel featuring megastars such as Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney and a reunited Spice Girls will be held in London’s Hyde Park in early July, days before leaders of the world’s richest nations meet for a Group of Eight summit in Scotland.

“There’s never going to be a Live Aid II,” Mr. Geldof said yesterday at the Ivor Novello songwriting awards ceremony in London, “but there’s something brewing.”

“It’s big. And it’s as petrifying as the buildup to Live Aid, if not more so,” he said. “We’ll have all the biggest names we can find. But it’s not just about big names, it’s about making a point.”

Mr. Geldof and Mr. Ure raised millions for Ethiopian famine victims with the legendary 1985 Live Aid show. Mr. Geldof has continued to campaign against poverty in Africa, and Prime Minister Tony Blair has made aid to the continent a key theme for Britain’s leadership of the G-8 this year.

“Once more into the breach,” Mr. Geldof said. “What started 20 years ago is coming to a political point in a few weeks.”

Although details remain under wraps, one star confirmed his participation.

“Bob called me up and said I was doing it,” Sting said at the Novello awards. “He doesn’t ask you, he tells you.”

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