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House on Fire

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Live8 line-up 'patronising' to Africans
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Live8 line-up 'patronising' to Africans

Robin Denselow
Thursday June 2, 2005
The Guardian

Link to article
Bob Geldof has been accused of being "deeply patronising" and "missing a golden opportunity" by leaving African musicians out of the predominantly white bill for his series of Live 8 concerts on July 2.

There are no complaints about his aim, which is to put pressure on the G8 leaders to tackle the problems of Africa by taking action on the key issues of debt, trade and aid. But in all of the line-ups for the concerts in London, Philadelphia, Berlin, Paris and Rome, there is only one African included: the Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, who will be appearing in Paris.

Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, has written to the concert promoter, Harvey Goldsmith, asking for a change. "Why wasn't Baaba Maal included?" he says. "After all, he is very articulate, he will be in the country at the time, and he is emerging as one of the spokesmen of Africa."

The concerts will include such western stars as Coldplay, U2, Elton John, Madonna and Stevie Wonder, but no invitations were issued to such major African stars as Salif Keita, Femi Kuti or Ladysmith Black Mambazo - nor to north African celebrities such as Khaled, Rachid Taha or Souad Massi.

Ian Ashbridge of Wrasse Records accused Geldof of being "deeply patronising in organising a concert for Africa and then not including African artists". He argues that Geldof "talks about fair trade for Africa, but he's acting just like the west when it comes to choosing who will appear. He said that he wanted to tilt the world a bit in favour of the poor and Africa, and he's missed a golden opportunity to do just that."

Andy Kershaw, the DJ who helped with the TV presentation of Live Aid, said: "This is outrageous and deeply smug. They are saying, 'Don't neglect Africa' - but that's just what they are doing here".

Geldof's spokesman for the event said yesterday: "Bob had just three weeks to put it all together, and he went to his address book and rang the people that he knew. He wanted a major line-up of rock and pop stars and he should be commended for the line-up that he's got."


Also: Anarchist groups plan takeover of Geldof's march as DJ attacks Live8 line-up as 'too white'
... With police fears mounting over Geldof's call for one million people to protest at the summit, Kershaw last night condemned the almost exclusively white line-up for the pop concerts to coincide with the summit. "If we are going to change the West's perception of Africa, events like this are the perfect opportunity to do something for Africa's self-esteem," he said. "But the choice of artists for the Live8 concerts will simply reinforce the global perception of Africa's inferiority." ...


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Tonight

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Maybe Chris Blackwell will have some influence. Absolutely agree with the posting. I hope there will be some changes as organizers realize missteps.

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Tonight

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What is wrong with you people?


Not only is this issue completely trivial, but some of you somehow manage to make every other subject turn into the same issue.


Why is it that every one of these subjects somehow gets turned into the lack of African American artists?


How many people around the world honestly know all of the African bands you all mention?


How many people will care if they play or not?


How many people honestly feel that there is a true injustice by Bob Geldof not letting the true Africans play in something that will help them?


Only you people.


And if you didn't already know, Bob Geldof never reads these posts. So your insignificant matter will never reach the head hancho in charge. Quit complaining and watch the show. For cryin' out loud...



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Never In A Million Years

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and once more...

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