Twenty years after Live Aid, Bob Geldof’s Live 8 comes this weekend, July 2, in an effort to “make poverty history.” Live 8 will feature concerts in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Cornwall, Toronto, South Africa, Tokyo and Moscow (just added today) to raise awareness about poverty in Africa and encourage the leaders of the G8 nations to eliminate third world debt, increase aid to Africa and adopt fair trade practices.
“20 years on, it strikes me as morally repulsive that people die of want in a world of surplus,” Geldof said.
The timing of the events is just days before G8 leaders meet July 6-8 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Geldof said the G8 meeting provided a “unique opportunity for Britain to do something unparalleled in the world. There is more than a chance that the boys and girls with guitars finally get to tilt the world on its axis in favor of the poor.”
You can sign the Live 8 petition here.
Here is the most recent, highly impressive, announced lineup of artists participating around the world:
Philadelphia – Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Destiny’s Child, Jars of Clay, Jay-Z, Kaiser Chiefs, Josh Groban, Keith Urban, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Rob Thomas, Sarah McLachlan, Stevie Wonder, Toby Keith, Will Smith
London – Annie Lennox, Coldplay, Dido, Elton John, Joss Stone, Keane, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Ms. Dynamite, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Razorlight, REM, Robbie Williams, Scissor Sisters, Snoop Dogg, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, Sting, Travis, U2, UB40, Velvet Revolver, The Who, Youssou N’Dour
Paris – Andrea Bocelli, Axelle Red, Calogero, Cerrone, Craig David, The Cure, Diam’s Dido, Disiz Lapeste, Faudel, Florent Pagny, James Brown, Jamiroquai, Johnny Hallyday, Kool Shen, Kyo, Louise Bertignac, Manu Chao, Muse, Nile Rodgers, Pascal Obispo, Placebo, Raphael, Renaud, Youssou N’Dour, Yannick Noah, Shakira, Sheryl Crowe, Tina Arena, Zucchero
Berlin – A-ha, Audioslave, Bap, Brian Wilson, Chris De Burgh, Die Toten, Hosen, Green Day, Herbert Gronemeyer, Joana Zimmer, Juan Diego Florez, Juli, Katherine Jenkins, Renee Olstead, Sasha, Silbermond, Sohne Mannheims, Wir Sind Helden, Reamonn, Roxy Music
Rome – Claudio Baglioni, Faith Hill, Irene Grandi, Jovanotti, Laura Pausini, Nek, Tim McGraw, Articolo 31, Gemelli Diversi, Le Vibrazioni, Max Pezzali, Negramaro, Tiromancino, Negrita, Libague
Tokyo – Bjork, Def Tech, Dreams Come True, McFly, Good Charlotte, Rize
Cornwall/England – Ayub Ogada (Kenya), Shikisha (South Africa), Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited (Zimbabwe), Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Tinariwen (Mali), Daara J (Senegal), Modou Diouf & O Fogum (Senegal), Marian Mursal (Somalia), Akim El Sikameya (Algeria), Chartwell Dutiro (Zimbabwe), Geoffrey Oryema (Uganda), Siyaya (Zimbabwe), Coco Mbassi (Cameroon)
Toronto – African Guitar Summit, Barenaked Ladies, blue Rodeo, bruce Cockburn, Bryan Adams, The Bachman Cummings Band, Celine Dion, Deep Purple, Doba Caracol Featuring Kna’an, Gordon Lightfoot, Great Big Sea, Jann Arden, Jet, Les Trois Accords, Motley Crue, Our Lady Peace, Sam Roberts, Simple Plan, Tom Cochrane, The Tragically Hip;
Johannesburg – 4Peace Ensemble, Jabu Khanyile and Bayete, Lindiwe, Lucky Dube, Mahotella Queens, Malaika, Orchestre Baobab, Oumou Sangare and Zola.
Moscow – Pet Shop Boys, Bravo, B-2, Spleen
Which show would you choose? I’d have to go with London between the Pink Floyd reunion and all that star power — that Roxy Music reunion in Berlin looks pretty sweet as well — but I wouldn’t turn down any of them and fortunately I don’t really have to with America Online broadcasting six of the Live 8 concerts live from start to finish. AOL will also make the performances available on demand for six weeks following the event. AOL will provide on-site reports from bloggers at the concert cities and links to news and information about Africa, as well as to relief organizations and charities.
“This unprecedented line-up of star performers testifies to the importance of this international emergency. Live 8 is sure to be one of the greatest musical events in history and we are thrilled to make it available to people around the world online,” said Jim Bankoff, AOL executive vice president.
It will be quite a day.