Corporate circus to take front row for best Live 8 views
By Adam Sherwin, The Times
WHEN the Wembley turnstiles swung open for Live Aid, 72,000 fans dashed for the plum stage-front positions. But at Live 8, a band of gold ticket holders will have the best view as corporate hospitality invades the world’s biggest charity event.
VIP tickets for the Hyde Park Africa awareness concert are already being sold for up to £400 through official corporate hospitality packages.
The Gold Circle tickets guarantee access to food, drink and entry to an exclusive reserved area in front of the stage, offering a close-up view.
More than two million people have entered the text message lottery to win tickets for the July 2 event starring Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, U2 and Madonna.
But barriers will divide the 133,000 ticket winners chosen by computer next Monday from the Gold Circle reserved for 15,000 special guests standing directly in front of the stage.The Gold Circle tickets were yesterday advertised as part of an accommodation package including two nights at the Royal Lancaster or Marriot Maida Vale London hotels.
Guests of the concert sponsors, such as O2, operators of the text lottery and AOL, in charge of the internet concert relay, will also be among the Gold Circle guests. Money raised from corporate packages will fund the staging of the London concert and the simultaneous shows for Africa held across the world.
Clear Channel, the company staging the Hyde Park concert, has offered the packages to block hospitality companies profiting from the event through corporate deals involving touted tickets. It is taking no profit from the deals.
On last night's Radio 4 News Quiz (listen here) someone made the joke that the only Black faces to be seen at Live 8 will be the setup and takedown crews. Later on that evening Saint Bob, dressed in holy white, in what was one of the most hagiographic interviews I've ever seen ( funny as Jonafon Woss is, he's no Paxo) hurried to add that Jay Z, Alicia Keys and IIRC, Snoop Dogg were also appearing in his hideously pallid concert lineup. Woohoo, a few more multimillionaires on stage! Yeah,really inclusive, Bob.
What's enraging me about this whole Geldof publicity stunt for out-of-the-public-eye-currently white musicians is that there were already huge protests planned for the G8 by Globalise Resistance and other anticapitalist and left groups. It was to have been the Genoa of the North - remember Galloway calling for a mass mobilisation to Edinburgh on Question Time?
No wonder Blair is so in favour of Live 8. It deflects public attention away from the politics and onto the pretty singers and poor ikkle photogenic starving brown babies - a classic Roveian bait & switch operation. Mad conspiracy theorists might think that with Geldof's recent knighthood and his closeness to members of the current British government, that the timing is, shall we say, a little convenient for Mr Blair. I, of course, would be utterly horrified should someone suggest such a thing might have happened.
Everyone will dance a bit and have a little self-indulgent weep whilst watching the videos of war and carnage, and give a little money (and we know it's the poorest that give most, not rich people like rock stars or politicians), and then go home with nice phone-camera pics and forget all about pushing for real political change. And the corporate rich fuckers, those cunts responsible for the current condition of Africa and many other nations, the ones who don't actually give to charity much, they can sit smug in their VIP areas thinking what wonderful people they are.
Either Saint Bob is Saint Stupid Fuckwit, for not having noticed he's played right into the hands of Blair and the G8, or he's Saint Devious Bastard for colluding with big money.
But then Bob is big money isn't he? From 2001:
With last week's sale of deckchair.com, Bob Geldof earned himself half a million and a 3-year contract at 100,000 pounds a year to stay involved. Two years ago, when he sold his production company, Planet 24, to Carlton, he bagged a cool five million. He has been transmogrified from Bob of Boomtown Rats, to Sir Bob of Bandaid, to Bob the Businessman.
Draw your own conclusions.
Deckchair.com is just one of Saint Bob's businesses and it would not be exaggerating to call him a plutocrat. Recently he suggested that we all give all our excess personal wealth to charity.
Haha. Ahaha. Listen to the hollow laughing.