Pope John Paul II, the Eurythmics, Lou Reed, and Andrea Bocelli are not the usual co-starring lineup. However, they will share the bill for the Great Jubilee Concert for a Debt-Free World May 1 at Rome University.

The pope will welcome and address the audience at the free open-air concert. His speech, which will be broadcast worldwide on TV, will focus on reducing debt in the world’s poorest nations. Following the pope’s address, Bocelli will sing a musical tribute to him.

Event organiser Network hopes the Vatican’s participation will bring global exposure to the issue of Third World debt. The Labour Day concert is traditionally held every year in Rome, and has always been sponsored by the three national unions in collaboration with the city of Rome and national TV station RAI.

Last year, more than 600,000 people attended the 10th anniversary concert.


MCD has confirmed the lineup for the first major Witnness Festival August 5-6, sponsored by Guinness.

Performing artists include David Gray, Travis, Beck, Ocean Colour Scene, Happy Mondays, Death in Vegas, Groove Armada, Asian Dub Foundation, Roni Size, Reprazent, Super Furry Animals, Nightmares on Wax, Blew, and Relish. In total, 50 acts will appear on five stages over the weekend at the Fairyhouse Racecourse outside Dublin.

The first Witnness gig brought together David Bowie, Placebo, and Talvin Singh for an exclusive one-off at the 500-capacity HQ club last year.


The busy Swiss festival season is shaping up with Open Air St. Gallen (June 30 – July 2) announcing a lineup that includes Moby, Counting Crows, Live, and Ziggy Marley.

Marc Lambelet at Black Lamb is working on the bill for the remodeled Out in the Green Festival (July 7-9). To date, confirmed artists include The Cranberries, Bloodhound Gang, and Die Fantastischen Vier. This year, the festival will return to its roots with a smaller capacity and a more diverse bill.

In the past, the festival attracted crowds of up to 80,000 to see major name headliners such as The Rolling Stones. However, financial losses in recent years, despite the big acts and crowds, led the new management team, headed by Gerd Hubatka, to keep the festival name but rethink the approach.

“We are looking at an average capacity of 15,000 per day,” explained Lambelet, adding that it’s the first year Black Lamb has been involved with the event. The company handles bookings for a number of summer festivals, including Rock Kingdom Bellinzona, the B Rock Festival, Open Air Gampel and Emmen.