AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (May 12, 2007) — Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid and Live 8 benefit concerts, criticized the Live Earth music events Al Gore is putting together this summer, saying they lack a specific goal, according to a Dutch newspaper report Saturday.
The Live Earth concerts will be held in cities around the world on July 7, with proceeds funding a yet-to-be-named foundation to combat climate change, under Gore’s direction.
The shows will take place in London; New York; Tokyo; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sydney, Australia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Organizers have also promised an event in Antarctica.
“I hope they’re a success,” De Volkskrant newspaper quoted Geldof as saying in an interview.
“But why is (Gore) actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody’s known about that problem for years. We are all (expletive) conscious of global warming,” he said.
Geldof, former front-man of The Boomtown Rats, organized the mammoth Live Aid concerts in 1985 to benefit victims of famine in Ethiopia and the Live 8 concerts in 2005 for African debt relief. He has dedicated much of his career to advocating on behalf of humanitarian causes.
“I would only organize (Live Earth) if I could go on stage and announce concrete environmental measures from the American presidential candidates, Congress or major corporations,” he told the newspaper.
“They haven’t got those guarantees, so it’s just an enormous pop concert or the umpteenth time that, say, Madonna or Coldplay get up on stage.”
Geldof also criticized the former vice president’s choice of the name Live Earth.
“It sounds like Live 8,” he told the paper. “We’re getting lots of responses from people who think we are organizing it.”
Gore could not immediately be reached Saturday for comment on the newspaper report. He was in Rio de Janeiro, where he implored people to attend that city’s Live Earth show.
“An estimated 2 billion people will be watching around the world, but the single largest event anywhere in the world will be here in Rio. I want to invite every person who cares about the environment in Brazil to come to the event here in Rio,” Gore said.
Gore said the concerts would mark the beginning of multiyear campaign to fight global warming. He said the concert was a fitting way to kick off such a campaign because “the task of saving the global environment is a task we should all approach with a sense of joy.”
Geldof also could not be reached to confirm the remarks, made at a conference in Budapest, Hungary. The Volkskrant is one of the largest national papers in the Netherlands.
The headliners of the London Live Earth show at Wembley stadium are expected to be Madonna, the Beastie Boys, the Black Eyed Peas, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keane and Foo Fighters. At the U.S. concert, to be held at Giants Stadium outside New York, Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band, Kanye West, Rihanna,
John Mayer, the Smashing Pumpkins and Fall Out Boy are slated to perform.
The concerts will be broadcast in the U.S. by General Electric Co.’s NBC network and on more than 120 networks around the world, and streamed live online.
Gore wrote the best-seller “An Inconvenient Truth,” and later starred in a documentary film of the same name that popularized the science showing a link between human carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.
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