WORLD: "Bringing together from people around the world to combat the climate crisis" is the objective of this summer's Live Earth concert series, preliminary details of which were released last week. Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roger Waters and Genesis are among the artists scheduled to perform during the 7th July, seven-continent extravaganza that is intended to raise awareness of climate change and establish a new environmental benchmark for live events, reports David Davies.
As yet, only details of the UK and US events have been announced. The former will take place at the new Wembley Stadium and feature acts including the Beastie Boys, Genesis, Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna and Keane. The American leg will see the Dave Matthews Band, Alicia Keys, Smashing Pumpkins, Roger Waters and The Police, among others, take to the stage at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
The 24-hour Live Earth event will begin with a concert at Sydney's Aussie Stadium and also incorporate shows at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, Johannesburg's Cradle of Human Kind, and Tokyo Stadium. The concert series is being produced by Control Room and promoted by Live Nation, with all proceeds to benefit the Alliance for Climate Protection and other international non-govermental organisations. Details of Live Earth's audio-visual suppliers and contractors have yet to emerge.
The vast and energy-intensive nature of these shows has inevitably attracted concern and column inches about their own potential impact on the environment. However, SOS - The Campaign For A Climate In Crisis (working in partnership with the US Green Building Commission) is intending to implement a new Green Event Standard that it hopes will become the model for carbon neutral concerts and other live productions in the future. The result of the July 7 events, says SOS, will be "an eco-friendly legacy [for] the live entertainment industry" that encompasses everything from power generation to concertgoers' litter.
Measures to be implemented at the shows include the drawing of electricity from renewable sources, the retrofitting of compact flourescent light bulbs in all venue offices and walkways where possible, and the pursuit of sustainable lighting design principles in the shows' production designs. The thorny issue of air travel for SOS staff and the artists performing, meanwhile, is to be addressed by offsetting through carbon credits.
"Live Earth will be a monumental event both in terms of entertainment and in turning the tide against global warming," commented Live Earth founder and executive producer Kevin Wall.
"By attracting an audience of billions, we hope Live Earth will launch a global campaign giving a critical mass of people around the world the tools they need to help solve the climate crisis," added Live Earth's co-chair/vice-president, Al Gore. "But ultimately corporations and governments must become global leaders taking decisive action to stop global warming."
The concerts are set to be broadcast on the BBC in the UK and on more than 120 networks around the world.