Japan’s disaster fails to ignite charity concert

In an age when we seem to have charity concerts for almost everything, the biggest natural disaster in the history of Japan has failed to ignite enough interest among the global music elite

The global powerhouse of promoters Live Nation were behind the event, aimed at bringing a host of stars together to perform at Wembley Arena on 14 April.  TV deals with NBC and BBC were already finalised to broadcast the event live.  A spokesman for Live Nation said, “Unfortunately with now only 13 days to go to the proposed Concert for Japan, sadly we are in a position where we have been unable to secure the artists required to produce the worldwide TV broadcast that we had hoped for and have therefore very reluctantly decided to proceed no further.”

Live Nation had already drawn up a list of artists in conjunction with Sony and Universal to plunder their A-grade roster, so why is this such a shot in the foot for Live Nation?  And why are there no global superstars willing to perform?

Surely the appeal of playing in front of a massive TV audience should have been enough to tempt the most unwilling publicity seeker?  Everyone knows that charity is great for PR and increasing sales, so why did the two majors fail to persuade any of their career hungry artists?

Maybe the artists schedules are too busy?  Although perennial UK rockers, Liam Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft, Paul Weller, Graham Coxen, et al. are finding the time to play at Brixton tomorrow night? Maybe the world is suffering from disaster fatigue, after the recent major earthquakes in Haiti and Christchurch, Foo Fighters played a benefit gig in NZ last week, that artists feel there is no unique advantage to performing for yet another disaster fund?  Or maybe the approached artists just lacked the basic compassion and empathy to perform a couple of songs for a grief-stricken country?


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