Some of the world's most celebrated recording artists have come together to answer Nelson Mandela's SOS to raise awareness and funds for the AIDS pandemic. A huge concert will be held in the prison on Robben Island and broadcast worldwide.
Confirmed to appear at the Robben Island Mandela SOS human rights concert on 2nd February 2003 are: Macy Gray, Shaggy, Bono, Eve, Nelly Furtado, Queen, Jimmy Cliff, Dave Stewart, Ludacris, Joe Strummer, Coldplay, Deborah Cox, Yusuf Islam and Lamya, as well as African artists Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Johnny Clegg, Bongo Maffin, Vusi Mahlasela, Sipto Mehunu and Femi Kuti. Dave Stewart will also be the musical coordinator for the concert.
Additional artists will be added in the coming weeks.
The Mandela SOS concert was announced earlier this month at a dinner in Cape Town which was attended by Oprah Winfrey, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Richard Branson. At that time, former President Mandela asked "...each person, in every country, not to be silent witnesses to this devastation but to answer our SOS by raising both awareness and the vital funds necessary to fight and win, against this disease". Since then, world leaders have continued to voice their commitment to both President Mandela and his SOS concert.
"For many years, the name Nelson Mandela was a symbol of enduring freedom, wisdom and inspiration. Today, more than ever, President Mandela continues to be a visionary whose life we use as an example by which to live. Through our work together with the International AIDS Trust, I have grown to know the depth of his love for human life, and the profound importance he attaches to our fight against the burgeoning global AIDS crisis.
I'm glad to see he has been able to enlist so much talent for "Mandela SOS," which promises to be an extraordinary concert. Our fight against AIDS is one that we cannot lose. Twenty-nine percent of the people with AIDS, about seventy percent of the total in the world, live in Africa. If these trends continue, this disease will cripple entire national economies and make it impossible to sustain growing democracies. But AIDS can be treated and prevented, and we must make as great an effort as possible to raise awareness and funds so that we can move in the direction of our dreams - a world where our children can live in peace and prosperity, without this devastating and deadly disease." - President William J. Clinton
Roger Taylor of Queen said, "We can think of no better time, place or cause for us to return to the stage."
Presented by EPOP Productions, (Education Powers Our Planet), the Mandela SOS concert will be staged within the walls of the notorious maximum-security prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his prison term. The concert will then be broadcast world wide. Highlights will also be streamed live on the Mandela website (www.mandelasos.com) hosted by MSN, one the of the events sponsors.
Tickets for the Robben Island event will be free and distributed by competition or lottery, details of which will be announced shortly. Because of the limited capacity of the Robben Island site, EPOP are to stage a People's Concert to be held simultaneously at the 30,000 capacity venue, Green Point Stadium, in Cape Town, for which there will be a nominal ticket price of R50 rands. The Robben Island concert will be beamed live into the stadium, with many artists confirmed to perform at both events.
100% of the proceeds raised from this event will be distributed to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, UNAIDS (the joint UN programme on HIV/ AIDS) the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Robben Island Museum.
For more information on the Mandela SOS concert, log onto www.mandelasos.com