Live Earth organizers announced yesterday at a press conference in Shanghai that nine acts would join hands to deliver a message about combating the global climate crisis, just as stars will do in other eight cities on July 7.
The Shanghai concert will be staged on the steps of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai from 7 PM to 11 PM and will feature artists including: Sarah Brightman, Eason Chan, Winnie Shin, Evonne Hsu, Huang Xiao Ming, Anthony Wong, Joey Yung, and 12 Girls Band.
But music fans and industry insiders alike are disappointed by the lineup because rumors initially suggested they might welcome the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Smashing Pumpkins.
Zhang Fan, the founder of China's most famous live music festival Midi, said to Beijing News after the lineup was revealed, "It is a huge letdown for me," pointing out that the biggest problem for Live Earth Shanghai was not about cultural censorship and funding, it was about the concept of how to run a show and what is the live music.
Li Hongjie, chief editor of the Rolling Stone Magazine Chinese edition, said he would not be there on July 7 and he believed that many Chinese rock fans are disappointed. "It was supposed to be an international music fest, but now, it just becomes a small local concert."
Accusations that the star cast may be too weak were also raised at the press conference. While the UK and US legs have many brilliant superstar lineups, Shanghai only has one international artist, Sarah Brightman, while others are just local stars from the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Wang Xin, the deputy general manager of the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Live Nation Sports and Entertainment Co. Ltd, responded by saying this is due to many megastars' schedule conflicts and he was convinced that the 9 acts' star power is enough to take over Shanghai.
Live Earth global coordinator Yusef K. Robb, previously interviewed by China.org.cn, said that he hopes China would become a leader on global warming and that Shanghai can be a guiding light in many different sectors. He said at a press conference Tuesday in Shanghai that the climate concerts would be "part of the solution" by showing how carbon emissions can be reduced.
Renaud Meyer, Deputy Country Director of the United Nations Development Program China, gives a speech at a press conference Tuesday in Shanghai.
The Shanghai concert is organized by the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Live Nation Sports and Entertainment Co. Ltd and is supported by the Shanghai Media Group, the United Nations Development Program China, the China Environmental Awareness program, United Nations Volunteers, the World Wildlife Fund China, the Climate Group China, the Global Village of Beijing, Friends of Nature, and Roots & Shoots of the Jane Goodall Institute.
"The issue of climate change is often viewed as a remote subject to the everyday person, a problem far removed from day to day life and a matter that should be handled by world leaders. It is time to change that perception," said Renaud Meyer, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China during the press conference, adding that the Live Earth concert provides an important platform to raise awareness on climate change at the individual, community, national, and international levels.
Since live concerts have produced huge amounts of garbage in the past, how to control it this time remains a question. Yusef K. Robb told China.org.cn that as the various elements of a live concert are being designed -- lighting, concessions, electricity -- sustainability engineers are working to make sure they are being designed to be as "green" as possible.
"For example, using compact florescent or LED lights; using biodegradable drinking cups and recycling; and using biofuels or renewable energy to power the shows. We want the systems we develop to become a 'Green Event Standard' similar to the green building standard (LEED) that exists. We want future live event organizers to be able to simply turn to the plans we develop and use them as a blueprint to ensure their events have as small a carbon footprint as possible."
Event organizers also encourage all concertgoers to use public transportation to get to the venue. Wang Xin hoped that people could do something for environmental protection while heading to the concert.
"The concert was scheduled to be held between 7 PM -- 11 PM. But, we will change the time by starting the concert half an hour earlier and expect it to end by 10 PM, so that most of the audience can take the subway home," he said, adding that this time the concert tickets are made of a special paper material which can be recycled, which will raise the cost 4 or 5 times, but the organizers insist on doing so for the sake of environmental protection.
The globe-spanning 24-hour Live Earth, created by Kevin Wall who promoted Live 8 and designed to launch a mass movement to respond to the climate crisis, strives to set a new global standard in coordinated action. With more than 100 acts performing live on all seven continents and being broadcast globally through television, radio, web, wireless, and other media, the concerts will inspire an audience of more than 2 billion people worldwide to make meaningful and enduring changes in their lives to turn the tide on global warming.
Live Earth's proceeds and the audience it engages will support a new campaign to combat the climate crisis that will be led by the Alliance for Climate Protection, which is chaired by Al Gore and international environmental NGOs.
The global concerts will also be held in New Jersey, the United States; London, United Kingdom; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Maropeng, South Africa; Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia; Hamburg, Germany; and Istanbul, Turkey. The UK leg has already sold out all the tickets since the stop is packed with supertars such as the Beastie Boys, Black Eyed Peas, James Blunt, John Legend, Keane, Madonna, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Live Earth Shanghai is being filmed and broadcast by the Shanghai Media Group. The show will be broadcast live on the Art & Entertainment channel and shown on Dragon TV one week later. Tickets go on sale today; additional information for Shanghai concert tickets is available at www.ticketpro.biz and the ticket hotline service, (8621) 5876 6666, is available Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui June 20, 2007)