Sunday, June 19, 2005

What's the fuss about, anyway?

I dont understand why the Live 8 concert organised by Sir Bob Geldof is getting so much negative attention from musicians. A bunch of African (and a few Western) musicians are complaining that there are very few bands and musicians from Africa who will be playing at the Live 8 concert. They feel that this is because the organisers are being condescending - that is, they are playing the "white man is the benefactor" role.

Another of their grumbles is that African music and musicians are not getting enough exposure in the West and therefore they're not as popular as non-African bands and artistes. They want the lesser known African musicians to be featured at the Live 8 concerts.

I think they're losing sight of two important things: One, that the concert is being held to raise money to help the poorest people in Africa. (And African music bands do not feature among them, methinks). Two, the concerts are going to feature musicians and bands that are ALREADY well-known and recognised. I doubt the concerts are being used as an opportunity to promote complete unknowns.

The reason? Well, Live 8 is being organised to raise money for the poverty-stricken people of Africa. So what does it matter WHO raises the money? What does it matter if it’s white musicians or black who feature at the event? The point is to make money – and I’m pretty damn sure that the starving children and disease-racked adults who are going to benefit from the aid that this money will bring them, will not waste even one second wondering who enabled the aid!

And another thing: Who is likelier to raise more money – well-known and well-loved bands, or complete unknowns? Whom will people want to watch – unknowns or greats? Given the chance to watch Pink Floyd play live – the original band, including David Gilmore AND Roger Waters – would anybody say “no thanks, I'd prefer to see total strangers from Africa whose music I’ve never heard before and am totally unfamiliar with”? Especially considering that the concerts are being held not in Africa, but in the UK.

I really wish that these self-serving people, who raise objections even when the motive is good, would shut up and allow a beneficial thing to happen. There is a place and a time for self-promotion and publicity tours/shows, but a fund-raising concert is not it!

1 comment:

Markiesoft said...

stumbled on here by accident! just wanted to add LIVE 8 was not about raising money it was about raising awareness and making politicians talk about third world debt!

Though i guess its pretty much the same thing!