Philadelphia, Tuesday May 31 — Dave Matthews joined Bob Geldof from London to announce that today’s biggest names in music will be joining in a free, simultaneous concert series July 2 to allow citizens of the most powerful nations to call on President Bush and leaders of the other seven wealthiest countries to make poverty history at the historic G8 Summit July 6.
The concerts will be seen by more than a billion people over the Internet through AOL and on television, millions will come to all the shows, and hundreds of thousands of people will go to the G8 summit to reinforce the concerts message: 8 men can save millions of lives.
“We will not tolerate the further pain of the poor while we have the financial and moral means to prevent it. The boys and girls with guitars will finally get to turn the world on its axis. What we started 20 years ago is coming to a political point in a few weeks. What we do next is seriously, properly, historically and politically important, “said Geldof, the force behind Live Aid and a member of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Africa Commission, who joined with Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of America Online, Inc. and live events and technology veteran, Kevin Wall to announce Live8, at the Philadelphia event via satellite from London.
“The G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history. They will only have the will to do so if millions of people show them that enough is enough. We understand precisely what must be done to free the weak the hungry and the sick from the awful, needless, condition of their lives. Now is the time to do it. This isn’t about charity, it’s about justice,” Geldof continued.
Live 8 is a key moment in the growing global campaign to end extreme poverty. In the USA this campaign is called ONE, and is supported by Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Jamie Foxx, George Clooney and Penelope Cruz as well as Pat Robertson and others. Left and right, conservative and liberal, are coming together as ONE on the importance of this emergency. Over 750,000 Americans have joined the campaign in the last 6 weeks with thousands more joining everyday. Live 8 is asking Americans to join the campaign at live8live.com and one.org, and call on President Bush to do the right thing, and get themselves to a rally in Washington DC on July 1st hosted by George Clooney, and travel on to Philly on the 2nd and then on to the historic summit in Gleneagles. This series of events will form an important week called the “Long Walk to Justice” with campaigners from across Europe converging positively and persuasively on the G8 Summit.
Just as it was 20 years ago, the concert will originate in the US from Philadelphia and be broadcast globally. In Philadelphia fans will gather in the center of the city where the concert will be staged from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In London, fans will gather in historic Hyde Park; in Paris either at The Eiffel Tower or Place De La Concorde; in Berlin concert will be played at the Brandenberg Gate and in Rome the gig will be played at the Circus Maximus. The concerts will be FREE, because “we’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.” Details on how to obtain admission will be announced soon.
As Live 8’s exclusive online partner, America Online will bring together a worldwide audience for the only complete broadcast of all of the Live 8 concerts for free, live and on demand. Reaching hundreds of millions of people around the world online, AOL’s comprehensive Live8 programming will engage and activate fans as they watch the concerts, learn more about global poverty, connect with a community of fans and make their voices heard at www.aolmusic.com in the US and on free AOL portals in England France and Germany. AOL will also host special Live 8 blogs from each city where concerts take place providing on the ground reports from fans around the world. Up to the minute information leading up to the concerts will also be found at www.aolmusic.com.
According to America Online, Inc. Chairman and CEO Jon Miller, “We have seen the Internet emerge as an incredibly powerful force for good in the world…with Live 8, we have the chance to help eradicate global poverty, not by raising money, but by linking people from around the globe, so that their collective voices can be heard loud and clear. Nothing like this has ever been done on this scale before, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
Geldof was joined in London at the Press Announcement by Elton John, writer and co-founder of Comic relief, representing Make Poverty History, Live Aid board member Harvey Goldsmith and former French Minister Jack Lang. In Philadelphia musician Dave Matthews was joined by Chairman and CEO of America Online Jon Miller, Philadelphia’s Mayor John F. Street, Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA, Kevin Wall, executive producer of TV worldwide for Live 8, Tim Sexton Executive Producer of US Live 8 broadcast and Larry Magid, President of Electric Factory Concerts and US promoter for Live 8. WWW.AOLMUSIC.COM www.live8live.com WWW.ONE.ORG
Notes: On 6 July, 2005, the eight leaders of the most powerful countries will gather for a summit meeting in the town of Gleneagles in Scotland. Around the table will be George Bush (USA), Tony Blair (UK), Jacques Chirac (France), Gerhard Schroeder (Germany), Silvio Berlusconi (Italy) and Vladimir Putin (Russia).
Top of the agenda at this G8 Summit is a plan incorporating 100% debt cancellation for the poorest indebted countries, fair trade, doubling effective aid and fighting corruption. If enough people call for it, the leaders will agree this historic plan.
Bob Geldof, the driving force behind 1985’s Live Aid, has teamed up with Make Poverty History campaigner Richard Curtis and concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith to launch Live8 and ‘THE LONG WALK TO JUSTICE.’ These support different campaigns in each G8 country: such as ONE in the USA and “2005: Plus Di Excusesi” in France and weltweite aktion gegen armut in Germany.
Every day 6300 Africans die of AIDS and nearly 9000 more are infected. Every day 30,000 children die from extreme poverty globally. For the price of less than half a stick of chewing gum per American per day, our government can stop the dying and help African help themselves fight back against AIDS and extreme poverty.