Is Geldof Planning ‘Live Eight?’

Bob Geldof is believed to be planning an entertainment spectacular in London’s Hyde Park to raise awareness of Third World poverty around the time the major financial powers are attending the G8 Summit.

Industry rumours suggest both The Rolling Stones and U2 could play July 3rd shows in the park under the banner of “Live Eight,” the name being an amalgamation of Live Aid and G8.

It would be almost 20 years to the day (July 13th, 1985) that Geldof inspired U.S. and U.K. promoters to stage the Live Aid shows in London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium.

It’s believed the preferred show date for “Live Eight” was July 8th, while the G8 summit (July 6-8) is taking place at Scotland’s Gleneagles Hotel, but Queen + Paul Rodgers plays Hyde Park that day and U2 will be between sold-out shows at Berlin Olympic Stadium July 7th and Paris Stade de France July 9th.

The only problem with July 3rd would seem to be that The Prince’s Trust’s Party In The Park was originally slotted for that day. Moving it to July 10th would mean it clashed with the VE Day parade that will be happening in the neighbouring Horse Guards’ Parade.

At press time, it wasn’t possible to get clarification from Clear Channel, whose U.K. wing has a contract to present shows in the park and representation of both the acts named.

However, Des Shaw from Geldof’s company, Ten Alps, told Pollstar, “I believe there’s going to be a meeting about this next week. I know Bob is trying to do something and is talking to John Kennedy [now chairman and chief exec of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry], Harvey Goldsmith [promoter], Bernard Doherty [LD Publicity] and others who were involved with the original Live Aid.”

At press time, it wasn’t possible to get comments from Doherty, Goldsmith or Kennedy. The press offices for The Prince’s Trust and Capital Radio, which is Party In The Park’s media partner, are both saying no date has been fixed for that event.

Hyde Park has hosted a number of groundbreaking open-air concerts, including a free Rolling Stones show in ’69 that drew around 500,000 people.

John Gammon