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
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.