After weeks of leaks about ”Live 8,” the 20th anniversary follow-up to 1985’s Live Aid benefit concerts, Boomtown Rats rocker Bob Geldof and Ultravox singer Midge Ure, who organized the original event, confirmed the shows on Thursday. On Tuesday, Geldof unveiled the venues and all-star lineups and confirmed the date: July 2. As in 1985, there will be same-day shows in London and Philadelphia, but there will also be concerts that day in Paris, Berlin, and Rome. Also, all the shows will be free. ”Live 8” is meant to raise awareness, not cash; as Geldof put it at Tuesday’s press conference in London, ”We don’t want your money, we want you, because every few seconds a child dies needlessly of extreme poverty.”
The 20th anniversary concerts have been dubbed ”Live 8” because they’re set for the eve of the G8 economic summit in Scotland (July 6-8), where world leaders will discuss issues like third-world debt relief and African poverty, issues to which the concerts are meant to draw attention. The London show will take place in Hyde Park, while the Philadelphia musicians will emulate Rocky Balboa and perform on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Berlin show will take place at the Brandenberg Gate, the Rome show at Circus Maximus, and the Paris show at either the Eiffel Tower or the Place de la Concorde.
Musicians on the bill in Philly include Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, P. Diddy, Bon Jovi, and Will Smith. London listeners will hear Paul McCartney, U2, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Madonna, Elton John, Sting, Snoop Dogg, Annie Lennox, Dido, Keane, Muse, Scissor Sisters, Joss Stone, Stereophonics, Robbie Williams, and R.E.M. Booked for Berlin are Lauryn Hill, Brian Wilson, A-ha, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Planned Paris performers include Jamiroquai, Craig David, Yousso N’Dour, Placebo, and Yannick Noah, while Rome acts named so far are Duran Duran and Faith Hill.
AOL Music will simulcast the event for free, both live and later on-demand.