Barrie wins Canadian Live 8 concert
After several weeks of rumours and speculation, organizers have announced Barrie, Ont., as the location of the upcoming Canadian Live 8 concert.
Concert promoter Michael Cohl, who was recently inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, made the announcement at a news conference in downtown Toronto Tuesday morning. Cohl, who helped organize the Rolling Stones SARS benefit concert in 2003, announced that the free concert will take place on July 2 at Barrie’s outdoor Park Place concert venue, formerly known as Molson Park.
Performers will range from Canadian icons like Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings to bands like the Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Our Lady Peace, the Tragically Hip and Great Big Sea.
Set to begin at 11am and end at 8pm, the July 2 concert will be hosted by Dan Ackroyd and Tom Green.
Free tickets, limited to two per person, will be distributed beginning Thursday via the Ticketmaster website.
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the main proponents of 1985’s Live Aid campaign to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief, reunited to organize the upcoming star-studded concerts. Their aim is to raise awareness about the poverty facing nations in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Also they want to pressure the Group of Eight leaders √± meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, from July 6-8 √± to increase their foreign aid budgets and cancel debts owed by poor countries.
Geldof originally announced five free Live 8 concerts to be staged on July 2: in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Rome and Berlin. Last week, the former Boomtown Rat singer revealed four more venues: Toronto, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Cornwall, England.
Geldof and Ure also added a subsequent concert and protest rally in Edinburgh on the first day of the G8 summit.
There has been a huge appetite for the Live 8 concerts. For instance, more than two million people applied by text message for the 150,000 available tickets for the highly anticipated London show in Hyde Park. When the free tickets were distributed by lottery, some immediately turned up for sale on online auction site eBay. The tickets drew rapidly rising bids topping more than $1,000 and vocal criticism from Geldof, who urged people to enter bogus bids to inflate the prices to astronomical levels.
Though they specified that auctioning charity tickets is not illegal in the U.K., eBay officials eventually removed the Live 8 tickets from sale less than a day after they first appeared.