- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2005


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 1984 Band Aid and 1985 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,” Mr. Geldof said yesterday at a news conference. Negotiations for the Paris venue were continuing, he added.

Performers will include Elton John, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Madonna, Mr. McCartney, R.E.M., Sting and U2 in London; Will Smith, Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and P. Diddy in Philadelphia; Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lauryn Hill and Mr. 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 Group of Eight leaders meet in Britain.

Mr. Geldof said the G-8 meeting provides 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.”

He also noted that in the two decades since the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia, Africa has 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,” Mr. Geldof said, and is “not for charity, but for political justice.”

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

The July 13, 1985, concert in London took place at Wembley Stadium, which also has been demolished to make way for a new sports stadium. Fans will enter a lottery by cell-phone text message to obtain a ticket.

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