Music stars to perform for peace in Bali

By SONIA KOLESNIKOV, UPI Correspondent  |  May 20, 2003 at 2:59 PM
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SINGAPORE, May 20 (UPI) -- Major international music stars will gather in Bali on June 14 to perform in a first ever Annual World Peace Music Awards.

The three-hour concert, the brainchild of concert producer Matt Taylor, will be beamed -- for free -- around the world in a major volunteer effort to honor musicians who have made contributions to world peace

"This is an important event for a cause that will go on," said Andrew Farris, member of Australian band INXS, which will participate in the concert.

Speaking at a news conference, Taylor promised the event will be non-political and non-profit. "Whenever there have been disasters (like Sept. 11, 2001), musicians have proven they can be a powerful force to raise money... This time this is not about raising money, but about raising awareness," he said.

Despite multiple travel warnings, fears of terrorism and severe acute respiratory syndrome, several international artists have agreed to travel to Bali, a location that was chosen because the island's bombing originally inspired the award concert idea. However, the annual event will move around in years to come, Taylor said.

Among the musicians set to perform are Stewart Copeland (formerly of Police), Kinki (Latin America), opera singer Emma Shapplin (France), who will soon perform in St. Petersburg for the Group of Eight leaders' meeting, Jay Chou (Taiwan), Hakim (Egypt), Big Mountain (United States), Maxi Priest (United States), Baba-G (India) will gather in a volunteer effort to feature World Peace and acknowledge musicians' contributions to world peace with the "Life of Peace" Award.

The concert, to be held in Garuda Wishnu Kencana, will show several unique collaborations, said Miles Copeland, co-executive producer of the show and a long time manager of Sting and The Police. Stewart Copeland, drummer for The Police will reportedly play together with Love Pyscedelico, a Japanese band

"I think cross-cultural communication through music is a very important message ... by communicating through music it acts as a bridge between cultures and at a time when we have a lot of conflicts around the world this sort of event really brings people together," Copeland added.

The satellite broadcast will be beamed to a TV audience of 1.5 billion people globally. The feed will be sent up for free and the downlink available to all television networks will be completely free of charge. The broadcast will air in over 100 countries, making this the biggest musical event since "Live Aid," organizers said.

Because so many people are giving up their time and companies are also lending giving materials, a concert of this stature, which would cost at least $12 million, will only cost a "fraction" of that price, Taylor said.

Any revenues made in future years will be donated to victims of terrorism and their affected families.

Taylor acknowledged it had been "extremely difficult" to find artists willing to come to Bali given the current environment, although many were respective to the "concept."

However, he added that organizers have been given full cooperation from the Indonesian government, especially on the security side.

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