Live 8 Looks A Goer

Despite LD Publicity chief Bernard Doherty saying, “I can’t possibly comment, we’re in limbo on this,” and The Times quoting Bob Geldof as saying another Live Aid would happen “over my fucking dead body,” it seems both are working on an event to draw attention to Third World debt.

As reported, it appears this event will be called Live 8, an amalgamation of “Live Aid” and G8. It looks likely to happen just days before world leaders meet for the G8 Summit at Gleneagles, Scotland (July 6-8), and will replace this year’s Prince’s Trust’s Party In The Park.

A May 9 press release from The Prince’s Trust, which says it’s asked The Times to retract the part of its story that says this year’s Party In The Park had already been scrapped due to poor ticket sales, has the charitable trust’s chief exec Martina Milburn saying, “The Prince’s Trust is delighted to support Live 8 and we look forward to Party in the Park next year.”

The same press release also says Capital FM (which partners The Prince’s Trust on Party In The Park), will play a key role in the event from the outset, providing services at no cost, including the ticketing of the event and broadcasting live from backstage for commercial radio across the U.K.

Capital FM MD Keith Pringle reportedly said, “London loves Party In The Park, but sometimes you have to do the right thing and step aside for the greater good.”

Following the May 5 Pollstar report suggesting July 3 had been pencilled for a major outdoor show to draw attention to Third World debt, The Sun and BBC News (May 7) ran stories on the likelihood of the event happening.

Although BBC News reported Geldof describing stories about the event as “kite flying” and saying, “It is just talk,” the news service also quoted his spokeswoman as saying the Live Aid Trust had been “discussing the plans to hold an event around the time of the G8 summit.”

U2 and The Rolling Stones have been rumoured to be on the bill but Clear Channel-Solo chief John Giddings, who is agent for both, couldn’t be contacted for comment at press time.

Doherty and other Live Aid trustees including original U.K. promoter Harvey Goldsmith and (then) music biz lawyer John Kennedy (now chairman and chief exec of the International Federation Of Phonographic Industries) are expected to discuss the project further during the next few days.

It’s believed the original preferred show date for Live 8 was July 8, while the G8 Summit is still taking place, but Queen and Paul Rodgers play Hyde Park on that day and U2 will be between sold-out shows at Berlin Olympic Stadium (7) and Paris Stade de France (9).

It would have been difficult to shift either Live 8 or Party In The Park to a week later (July 10) as a V-E 60th anniversary commemorative event is slotted for the neighbouring Horse Guards’ Parade.

— John Gammon