Entertainment & Arts

Pharrell and Al Gore announce new Live Earth concerts

Madonna at Live Earth Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pop star Madonna closed the London leg of Live Earth in 2007

Pharrell Williams and Al Gore are to stage a second round of Live Earth concerts in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.

The event come eight years after the original, which featured stars such as Madonna, The Police and Metallica.

The sequel will take place on 18 June in Paris, New York, Brazil, South Africa, China and Australia.

More than 100 artists will take part, including one band in Antarctica, but no names have been revealed yet.

Launching the event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Gore said the vision for Live Earth was to have "a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now".

Image copyright Michel Euler
Image caption TV producer Kevin Wall (left) joined Al Gore and Pharrell Williams to launch the Live Earth event

The former US vice president wants to ramp up pressure on world leaders to adopt an ambitious new climate accord at the Paris UN climate talks in December.

He was joined in Davos by TV producer Kevin Wall, who hopes to bring the concerts to a global television audience of two billion across 193 television networks.

Williams, who is the event's creative director, would not be drawn on the line-up, but said: "Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonise all at once."

'Different' approach

Although successful in raising awareness, the 2007 concerts were criticised by climate campaigners, who said it was hypocritical for performers who fly around the world on tour to promote the message of cutting carbon emissions.

Williams, who played the Rio de Janeiro leg of Live Earth in 2007, acknowledged that some of the criticism was valid.

"You would have pundits and comedians who didn't understand global warming and we were often ridiculed. We wanted to do something very different this time," he said.

No UK show has been announced for the 2015 event, despite Wembley Stadium being one of the major venues in 2007.

Wembley is free on 18 June, although US rock band The Foo Fighters begin a two-day residency there a day later, meaning the venue may be locked down while their stage is built.

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