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U2, Coldplay and Darkness tipped for tsunami gig

Story: Jack Foley

BANDS such as U2, Coldplay and The Darkness are rumoured to be considering playing at a special Millennium Stadium gig in aid of the victims of the South Asian Boxing Day tsunami disaster.

Chiefs at the prestigious venue in Cardiff, which is serving as a temporary replacement to Wembley, are hoping to stage an event on January 22, 2005, in the hope of getting urgent financial support to the relief effort.

However, with only three weeks to go before the deadline, organisers are frantically hoping that bands will be able to make the date - even though the musical community has pulled together to stage a number of smaller events.

The Millennium Stadium, however, could sell tickets for 60,000 people and raise a possible £1 million towards the relief effort.

Music-based website, Xfm, quotes Millennium Stadium manager, Paul Sergeant, as saying: "It's going to be tigh. The pitch comes back into the stadium on January 24. We won't be able to stage anything after that until the Summer."

Sergeant refused to confirm any bands as yet, but hoped that any event would be 'of international proportions', on a scale not witnessed since Live Aid.

It is rumoured that Sergeant is currently in talks with the likes of U2, Coldplay, The Darkness and Franz Ferdinand in order to attract as many people to the gig as possible.

"As soon as the enormity of the disaster was known we opened discussions with a number of musical agents to see if it would be possible to get a money-spinning event up and running. I was involved in two such charity concerts during my time as manager at Wembley," he continued.

"We have the experience of hosting major concerts at the Millennium Stadium and we could easily accommodate 50,000 or more fans at a charity event. It would give everyone the chance to do their bit and would considerably boost the £3m already raised in Wales for the disaster fund."

Money raised from any gig would be used to provide support for those left homeless, starving and at risk from disease in the aftermath of the tsunami, which hit Asia and India on December 26 and resulted in the loss of over 150,000 lives.

Anyone wishing to donate to the tsunami appeal can call either Oxfam on 0870 333 2500, the Red Cross on 0870 512 5125, or Unicef on 0845 731 2312.

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