The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, June 01, 2005  

The Whole Live 8 Thing

Your links to local coverage of “Live 8,” the great big hoo-haw concert in Philadelphia on July 2:

From “On the World’s Stage,” by Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer (hyperlinks added here and infra):

The Philadelphia show is a non-ticketed free daytime concert, with bands performing by the Art Museum steps. “We didn’t want to limit it” to a confined space such as Lincoln Financial Field, said concert promoter Larry Magid. “We didn’t want to have a lottery and say only 50,000 people can come. That doesn’t feel right.”

Bob Geldof, the Live Aid organizer and former Boomtown Rats singer who’s also the force behind Live 8, said the goal is to influence President Bush and other leaders to provide debt relief and aid to poor African nations.

“We don’t want people’s money, we want them,” Geldof said in a news conference simulcast from London to City Hall in Philadelphia, attended by [Dave] Matthews, Mayor [John] Street and former Philadelphia 76ers center Dikembe Mutombo. Matthews is from South Africa; Mutombo -- noting that U2’s global crusader Bono “is a good friend of mine” -- is from Zaire.

Other cities were considered for the U.S. portion of Live 8, but Philadelphia had the inside track, said event producer Tim Sexton.

“There’s the legacy of Live Aid. You can’t think about poverty without looking at the streets of Philadelphia, where that’s an issue. And there’s [Electric Factory Concerts chief] Larry Magid, who’s the preeminent concert promoter in America.”

“There was talk about other cities, but we really didn’t have a hard time selling Philadelphia,” which signed on about two weeks ago, Magid said.

Also in today’s Inquirer: “Trickiest Act: Logistics,” by Joseph A. Slobodzian and Michael Currie Schaffer.

And then there’s “Bloggers Doleful Over Live 8 Lineup,” by Daniel Rubin of Inquirer blog Blinq, an article most notable for its inclusion of, well, ME.

And in today’s Philadelphia Daily News we find: “‘Live 8’ Coming to the Parkway,” by David Gambacorta; “Things to Know About Live 8,” also by Gambacorta; and “Concert Poses Challenge for Parkway,” by Michael Hinkelman.

Not to be missed in the Daily News is today’s lead editorial, “Elton, Ruben, Will[,] and Some Cents,” from which these excerpts were pulled:

The musical confluence of Sunoco Welcome America! and Live 8 this summer is a great opportunity to sell Philadelphia as the place to be for the July Fourth holiday.

In fact, that was the theme Sunoco Welcome America! organizers had for this year's celebration. “Philly First on the Fourth,” they called it. But that was before yesterday's official announcement by Bob Geldof, the musician Midge Ure, and Dave Matthews that Philly would be a Live 8 concert site.

Now we’re really whistling a happy tune. […]

The Sunoco Welcome America! Festival, in its 13th year, runs June 26 to July 4. Its 30 free events include concerts by the Philadelphia Orchestra, gospel great Donnie McClurkin, “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard, singer Stephanie Mills, Salsa on the Parkway, Opera on the Square, and the Freedom Concert with Elton John, Patti LaBelle, Bryan Adams, and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. […]

Sounds like we're shamelessly plugging Welcome America! Well, we are. And in good conscience, for we believe the festival does wonders for the city's image, and instills pride in its inhabitants.

As a shameless and tireless promoter of all things Philadelphian, here, at TRR: The Lighter Side of Rittenhouse, and in going about my daily business, I couldn’t agree more. The stars truly are aligning for Philadelphia. God, please, let us not mess it up.

[Post-publication addendum (June 2): See also “They Really Should Call it ‘Why 8’,” by Will Bunch of Attytood]

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