PHILADELPHIA – Twenty years after Philadelphia hosted one of two Live Aid concerts that dramatized the plight of starving Africans, a second big-name benefit is in the works.

It will be July 2, in the middle of the city’s jam-packed Fourth of July festivities, according to Deborah Bolling, Mayor John F. Street’s spokeswoman.

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning at City Hall to announce “Live 8,” which will coincide with a show in London, said Laura Perez, the publicist who is handling the news conference.

Perez declined to elaborate – other than to say that a simultaneous news conference would be held in London with promoters Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Geldof organized the 1985 Live Aid concert, which attracted 100,000 people to the old JFK Stadium.

Perez would not divulge the names of performers.

“We’ll have all the big names we can find,” Ure said at an Ivor Novello British music awards ceremony Thursday.

“Live 8” was so named to dovetail with the G-8 summit, an annual economic and political meeting of the world’s leading industrialized nations, to be held in Scotland in early July. Geldof, a longtime activist, has said he wants the nation’s wealthiest countries to contribute more to impoverished African nations.

For weeks, published reports have mentioned several U.S. cities, including New York and Washington, as hosts for the shows. But it was unknown yesterday how many cities, besides Philadelphia and London, would host Live 8 shows.

It is also unknown how the concerts would raise money – through ticket sales, sponsorships or other methods – for the African nations.

Philadelphia impresario Larry Magid, who organized the 1985 Live Aid with Geldof, is believed to be involved with the latest venture. A spokesman for Magid’s Electric Factory Concerts had no comment.

It was July 13, 1985, that about 100,000 people poured into JFK Stadium, which stood on what is now the site of the Wachovia Center, for Live Aid. A worldwide audience estimated at a billion people saw Mick Jagger, Joan Baez, Madonna and Tina Turner. A companion concert was held at Wembley Stadium in London.

The event raised at least $80 million for African famine relief.

“What started 20 years ago is coming to a political point in a few weeks,” Geldof, who has held details closely, told the BBC on Thursday. “There’s more than a chance that the boys and girls with guitars will finally get to turn the world on its axis.”

(c) 2005, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.


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AP-NY-05-29-05 1747EDT

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