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Live music community rallies for Covid-19 relief

High-profile acts from around the world are taking part in a number of upcoming virtual events to raise money and awareness for Covid-19 relief funds, as the live music community continues to pull its weight in the fight against the disease.

Virtual benefit events have been a feature of lockdown from the very beginning, with the Lady Gaga-curated, Global Citizen-organised One World: Together at Home an early pioneer of the space. The mammoth livestreamed benefit event raised almost US$128 million for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 solidarity response fund, setting a new a record for the most money generated by a remote music festival.

Now Global Citizen is teaming up with the European Commission for Global Goal: Unite for our Future, a campaign seeking to raise funds for the development and distribution of Covid-19 testing, treatments and vaccines.

On 27 June, high-profile artists including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Coldplay and J Balvin will join philanthropists and world leaders in an international pledging summit to call on governments to commit to the funding needed to ensure fair access to Covid-19 treatment.

Music industry giants including Live Nation, Scooter Braun and SB Projects, Adam Leber (Maverick), Jay Brown (Roc Nation) and Michele Anthony (Universal Music Group) are involved in producing the event.

Exclusive experiences, including a virtual happy hour with Adam Lambert and virtual concerts from Chloe X Halle and Fher Olvera, lead singer of Mexican rock band Maná, also form part of the campaign.

Global Citizen is teaming up with the European Commission for Global Goal: Unite for our Future

Independent LA-based electronic music companies Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity yesterday (28 May) announced the second edition of their Digital Mirage festival, set to take place from 5 to 7 June.

The first outing of the event, which saw performances from Alsion Wonderland, Tokimonsta and Sofi Tukker, raised over $300,000 for the Sweet Musicians Relief Fund. Digital Mirage 2 will feature acts including A Trak, Baauer, Boys Noize and Hot Chip, with all proceeds going to Plus1’s fund for Covid-19 relief.

Fans can register for the event here.

Eschewing the virtual world for the real thing, French DJ David Guetta is set to make his second rooftop performance in New York on Saturday, following on from a similarly distanced performance in Miami last month. The Miami show raised $750,000 for Feeding South Florida, Feeding America, World Health Organisation and Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris.

The New York concert will raise money for the Mayor’s fund to advance New York city, as well as the international organisations that benefited from Guetta’s first show.

Elsewhere in the US, acts including Pearl Jam, Macklemore and Dave Matthews are participating in the virtual All in WA event on 10 June to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts across Washington state. The concert, which will air on the local NBC affiliates, can be streamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel, and will be available on Amazon Prime after it airs.

Photo: Photo © Raph_PH on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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Cyrus cancels bushfire benefit, but Aus GP to go ahead

Miley Cyrus has cancelled her headline performance at the World Tour Bushfire Relief show in Melbourne this Friday (13 March) owing to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

The show – part of Apollo World Touring and Westbrook Inc.’s new World Tour concert series – was due to take place at Lakeside Stadium on the eve of this weekend’s Australian grand prix, with Lil Nas X and the Veronicas also due to perform.

“Due to the recommendations of local, state, federal and international government authorities, including the [US] Center for Disease Control, to reduce potential health risks in response to the current global health crisis we are no longer traveling to Aus for the show,” Cyrus announced on Twitter yesterday.

Following Cyrus’s cancellation, promoter TEG Dainty said the whole show had been cancelled and that fans would receive a refund via ticket agency Ticketek.

“World Tour’s Saturday night show with Robbie Williams will still be going ahead, and we look forward to bringing Melbourne a fantastic night of entertainment,” reads a statement from TEG Dainty. “Robbie is already on his way to Australia.”

The Australian grand prix – the opening race of the 2020 Formula 1 season – will still go ahead as planned this Sunday (15 March), say organisers.

Andrew Westacott, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, says – unlike 20 March’s Bahrain grand prix, which will be spectator-less – the race will go ahead with fans in attendance. “We’ve got to go around things sensibly,” he says “We have to keep moving on through life while taking precautions.”

Professor Brendan Murphy, the chief medical officer for the Australian government, said that holding Sunday’s race would not pose a risk to public health, reports the BBC.

“I’m not feeling at all concerned going to mass gatherings or walking down the streets in Victoria,” he said. “So I don’t think that there’s a risk at the grand prix.”

“We have to keep moving on through life while taking precautions”

Other high-profile Covid-19-related cancellations over the last 24 hours include Madonna’s Madame X world tour, which has lost its final two shows in France, and Pearl Jam, who have been forced to call off a 17-date North American tour.

The Queen of Pop was due to play the 2,800-capacity Grand Rex in Paris tonight and tomorrow (10–11 March). However, as of Sunday (8 March), the French government has outlawed gatherings of more than 1,000 people (down from a previous ban of shows over 5,000 fans), meaning that (“with profound regret” on Madonna’s part) the concerts cannot go ahead.

Meanwhile, Pearl Jam have postponed a North American trek due to begin in Toronto on 18 March.

“We are being told that being part of large gatherings is high on the list of things to avoid, as this global health crisis is now beginning to affect all of our lives,” reads a statement from the grunge veterans.

“So it is with deep frustration and regret that we are forced to make this most unfortunate of announcements.” A European tour is due to begin in June.

Photo © Raph_PH on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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Pearl Jam line up 13-date European summer

Pearl Jam are embarking on a European tour this summer, with nine arena dates scheduled around the continent and four headline festival shows.

The band’s summer tour kicks off on 23 June 2020 at Frankfurt’s Festhalle (13,500-cap.) – the group’s first show in the German city since 1992 – ending a month later at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam (17,000-cap.).

The tour includes four festival headline appearances at Lollapalooza Stockholm (27 June) and Paris (19 July), Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium (2 July) and British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park in the UK (10 July).

Pearl Jam are also visiting arenas in Berlin (Waldbuhne, 22,290-cap.), Copenhagen (Royal Arena, 13,000-cap.), Vienna (Wiener Stadhalle, 16,000-cap.), Krakow (Tauron Arena, 18,000-cap.), Budapest (Budapest Arena, 12,500-cap.) and Zurich (Hallenstadion, 15,000-cap.).

Pearl Jam are embarking on a European tour this summer, with nine arena dates and four headline festival shows

The band is also playing at the 60,000-capacity Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari race track in Imola, Italy.

Support acts for the arena and race track shows are Pixies, Idles and White Reaper.

Tickets go on sale for all concert dates and the BST Hyde Park show on Saturday 7 December at 10 a.m. GMT. As of yesterday (1 December), Pearl Jam Ten club members can access a pre-sale on all non-festival tickets.

Lollapalooza Stockholm tickets are on sale now at the early-bird price of SEK 2,295 (£186), with tickets for the Paris edition becoming available on 4 December at 10 a.m. CET. Rock Werchter tickets go on sale on 6 December at 10 a.m. CET.

A full list of tour dates and support acts can be found here.


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