Live Earth: Rock and roll saving the planet
6 July 2007, San Francisco (dpa) - Ever since rock music emerged as a popular art form in the 1960s its visionaries have dreamed about it changing the world. Now comes its chance to save the planet. On Saturday, hundreds of performers and politicians, thousands of fans and billions of viewers around the world will join forces in support of Live Earth. This precedent-setting event, subtitled Concerts for a Climate in Crisis, hopes to raise consciousness about the threat of global warming by holding round th
6 July 2007
San Francisco (dpa) - Ever since rock music emerged as a popular art form in the 1960s its visionaries have dreamed about it changing the world. Now comes its chance to save the planet.
On Saturday, hundreds of performers and politicians, thousands of fans and billions of viewers around the world will join forces in support of Live Earth. This precedent-setting event, subtitled Concerts for a Climate in Crisis, hopes to raise consciousness about the threat of global warming by holding round the clock concerts on every continent - including Antarctica, where Nunatak, a band made up of five British scientists stationed at a research station will perform for a small audience of their colleagues.
Most of the other concerts will be a little larger and feature stars who are slightly more famous in what the Hollywood Reporter called "one of the most ambitious global media events of all time."
The event was organized by former US Vice President Al Gore and producer Kevin Wall, who pulled together the huge Live 8 benefit with Bono in 2005.
The concerts will take place at Giants Stadium just outside New York, in London's Wembley Stadium, Shangai's Oriental Pearl Tower, Sydney's Aussie Stadium, the Nordbank Arena in Hamburg, the Makahuri Messe in Tokyo, Johannesburg's Coca-Cola Dome and on the Copacabana Beach in Brazil. There are also more than 7,100 registered local events for those who cannot attend the main concerts.
The artist lineup read like a who's who of rock 'n' roll stars from AFI to UB40, and is designed to appeal to everyone from 11-year- old teeny-boppers to former hippie grandparents, who can still remember the heady days when they really believed that rock would change the world.
But even if billions of fans do tune it to watch, it seems that the concerts might fall short of their spectacular goals. With less than a week to go before the first notes are struck, the only concert that is sold out is in London, where fans will be able to cavort to the sounds of Madonna, the Black Eyed Peas, James Blunt and many others.
But advance sales have been disappointing elsewhere. In Hamburg, where hip-shaking Colombian sensation Shakira, British songstress Katie Melua and US rapper Snoop Dogg are among the 20 acts, barely more than half the 40,000 tickets had been sold as of the start of July. Insiders blamed the low ticket sales on the absence of a major crowd-pulling German act after Herbert Groenemeyer pulled out. Even the last minute addition of Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens is unlikely to improve things much.
A concert scheduled for Turkey had to be cancelled altogether when commercial sponsors failed to step up, while in Sydney, a cold- weather snap, minimal promotion and a less than compelling line-up are blamed for low ticket sales.
Proceeds from the concerts will go to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a group chaired by Gore.
But the concerts aim at more than just raising money - and consciousness - to combat what is billed by many scientists as the most severe threat facing the planet in recorded history.
The concerts will encourage people to sign their support to goals that include a 90 per cent decrease in carbon emissions output by 2050 and a new global treaty on climate change by 2009.
Supporters will also be encouraged to sign a seven-point personal pledge that includes backing environmental policies and adopting personal lifestyle changes to minimize the impact on the environment.
The pledge symbolizes Live Earth's ambition to be much more than just a one-off event, learning the lessons of the Live 8 project two years ago that had a general aim of raising awareness about the crisis facing Africa, only to peter out with little lasting legacy.
"Live Earth will jump-start an ongoing, global effort that will drive a critical mass of people to stand up and make challenging global warming a priority in their lives," Wall said.
"Live Earth will be a launch event that no movement has ever seen before. This massive multimedia platform will be the foundation for a movement that drives us to the tipping point. If enough people come together to fight against the climate crisis, corporations and governments will have no choice but to act as well."
Subject: German news