Live Aid: The sequel

Well obviously the first Live Aid worked so well, twenty years later Bob Geldof needs to foist his naïve view of global politics upon us again. The former Boomtown Rat—who was knighted as a result of the 1985 concert to raise funds for African famine relief—is more known for his rants of ‘Give us your f—money’ at the original event than his music. (I’m betting you didn’t run out last year to buy the third version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? written by Geldof.)  Not to be outshone by fellow musician/armchair activist Bono, Geldof has just unveiled plans to stage a new concert on July 2, with venues in five countries which is expected to last at least 16 hours. The event, intended to raise awareness rather than money, is timed to put pressure on world leaders gathering at the G8 summit in Scotland July 6-8. Geldof has signed up some of music’s biggest names, including Paul McCartney, Madonna, U2, Coldplay, Sting and Elton John. Call me a cynic but it’s a bit hard to believe that Elton John—who admitted to spending $182,000 on flowers in one 20-month period—loses sleep worrying about Third World debt and hunger. That’s the problem with Geldof’s grandstanding: While AdFreak fully shares his concerns, these events—however well-intended—come across as a triumph of hype and celebrity over substance. About the only good thing I can say is that Sir Bob has nixed plans to feature a Spice Girls reunion, because he’s just realized the group doesn’t have the gravitas to appear at such an oh-so-important event.

—Posted by Noreen O’Leary