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Bands told 'Thanks, but no thanks' by Live 8

Key points

• Meat Loaf, Mtley Cre and Status Quo among stars rejected by Live 8

• Concerts to take place in London, France, Germany, Italy and USA on 2 July

• Geldof rejects criticisms that Live 8 line-up is an all white affair

Key quote

"Three weeks ago Europe agreed, unbelievably, to double aid, throwing the ball back to the Yanks, the Japanese and the Canadians. So that forced me to do, which I didn't want to do, concerts in Tokyo and Toronto, which we are announcing tomorrow" - Sir Bob Geldof, Live 8 organiser

Story in full HUNDREDS of top musicians are facing disappointment after the Live 8 organisers reportedly turned down 65 bands that wanted to play the flagship concert in London next month.

Major acts such as Meat Loaf, Motley Crue and Status Quo, who opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium 20 years ago, are among those who have been rejected by Harvey Goldsmith, the promoter. He said: "We simply don't have room for them."

While acts such as Travis and Snow Patrol will play Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on 6 June - the first day of the G8 summit at Gleneagles - the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and the Spice Girls are unlikely to appear.

The Hyde Park line-up, which includes U2, Madonna and Pink Floyd, who have reformed for the first time in 20 years, has been criticised by Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Blur, for failing to include any acts from Africa. Sir Bob Geldof, however, has insisted it is a political event, not a cultural event and that the biggest acts will attract the largest global audience.

Among those who have turned down invitations to appear are the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.

Status Quo famously opened the original Live Aid concert in 1985 with their hit Rockin' All Over The World. Yesterday their lead singer, Francis Rossi, said they were "desperate" to play at Hyde Park. "We're going to be there if they want us to," he said. "We want to make it clear we are desperate for this gig."

A further three concerts are to be held in Tokyo, Toronto and Johannesburg, taking the total number to be held on Saturday, 2 July, to eight. Geldof said: "Three weeks ago Europe agreed, unbelievably, to double aid, throwing the ball back to the Yanks, the Japanese and the Canadians. So that forced me to do, which I didn't want to do, concerts in Tokyo and Toronto, which we are announcing tomorrow. We will also announce Johannesburg tomorrow, which will be Live 8 Africa, which Mandela, if he is well enough, will bring to the world."

Speaking in Dublin, however, he denied rumours that Michael Jackson, who was this week found not guilty of child sex abuse, might attempt to rehabilitate his career by performing at Live 8.

Geldof said the singer had not approached the organisers and, if he did, "I'd say 'Dude, there's plenty of time. I don't think you should really put yourself through something as strenuous as Live 8 at such a fragile stage in your life'."

While 150,000 people will squeeze into a fenced-off area for the London concert, giant screens are to be set up in different parts of 350-acre Hyde Park, which will mean more than half a million people will be able to see the show. Screens will also be erected in Birmingham, Manchester and at other locations, including Inverness Caledonian Thistle's stadium.

Geldof again urged people to head to Scotland for the G8 summit and said he was not concerned about security in Edinburgh, with hundreds of thousands of campaigners set to descend on the city.

 
 
 

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