Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Live Earth 2015: Can Concerts for a Cause Make a Difference?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Live Earth 2015: Can Concerts for a Cause Make a Difference?

Article excerpt

This June, musicians around the world will stand together with one voice and call for the governments of the world to address climate change.

Singer and producer Pharrell Williams, former Vice President Al Gore, and CEO and concert promoter Kevin Wall, will join forces to put on Live Earth 2015, a series of giant concerts on seven continents. The motivation behind the spectacle is to garner support for a binding agreement at the 2015 UN Climate Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year. Williams described the concerts' purpose, saying, "we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once."

Large scale concerts-for-a-cause have captured the public's attention before, beginning with singer George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, and again with 1985's Live Aid. Musicians Bob Geldof and Mige Ure put together Live Aid as simultaneous concerts that took place in London's Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium to raise money for the ongoing Ethiopian famine. The concert also featured video feeds from other smaller concerts taking place in seven other cities

The concerts, which were broadcast via satellite link, were able to bring the event to an estimated 1.9 billion people worldwide across 150 countries, according to the New York Times. One of the event's organizers claimed in 2001 that the concert raised over $140 million for charity, according to CNN.

Twenty years later the world reunited for an even bigger international concert: Live 8. Geldof and Ure organized an eleven- city simultaneous concert with shows in Philadelphia; London; Johannesburg; Berlin; Paris; Toronto; Chiba, Japan; Edinburgh; Moscow; and Cronwell, England. Among the highlights from the concert was the reunion of Pink Floyd with former frontman Roger Waters for the first time since 1981 and Paul McCartney and Bono opening the Hyde Park concert with "Sgt. …

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