Live Earth


Live Earth

Media Man Australia was delighted to do the media and PR for Live Earth Pittwater (northern beaches of Sydney).

Special thank you to Cameron Bayfield (Newport Arms Hotel) and Linda Haefeli for helping make the opportunity possible.

Updates

Live Earth Pittwater and Climate Action Pittwater has helped facilitate the Pittwater High School Solar Power Station.

Bill Holland nominated for a community award by Media Man Australia for his part in the Solar Power Station.

 

Live Earth was a series of worldwide concerts held on 7 July 2007, that initiated a three-year campaign to combat climate change. The concerts brought together more than 150 musical acts in eleven locations around the world and were broadcast to a mass global audience through televisions, radio, and the computers through the Internet.

The umbrella organization for the event was Save Our Selves, founded by Kevin Wall (Executive Producer), and included major partners such as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, the Alliance for Climate Protection, Earthlab, MSN, and Control Room, the production company which produced the event. The logo for the event was the Morse code distress signal. Brand Neutral, the environmental business strategy firm, served as the worldwide sustainability strategy and services partner for Live Earth, developing the overall sustainability strategy, staffing all members of the global "green team," creating the overall master plan for resource management, and supervising the execution of the Live Earth environmental strategy. Leading sustainability expert John Picard served as chief environmental and efficiency counsellor for the event. The worldwide producer of talent and venue programming for all of the events was Aaron Grosky. The worldwide producer of events was Lily Sobhani. Live Earth produced 60 short films, directed by leading filmmakers from the worlds of films, music videos, commercials and animation. The worldwide producer of Live Earth films was Kit Hawkins. The 22-hour global TV broadcast (world feed) and satellite distribution, as well as radio, internet and mobile production was overseen by Executive in Charge of Production André Mika. Unlike the similar Live 8 concerts, which were free, Live Earth charged admission but the event was made broadly available via television and the Internet.

The event set a new record for on-line entertainment with over 15 million video streams during the live concert alone. Television ratings were mixed, with 41% of households in Canada watching the concerts, while figures in the UK were characterized as a "flop". Television ratings in the United States were "dismal" as well, NBC's broadcast of Live Earth was the least watched network program between the Big Three Television Networks and Fox.. On the other hand, Bravo, an NBC Uni property, reported the highest Saturday ratings in the network's history

Background

The plans for the Live Earth concerts were announced at a media event in Los Angeles on 15 February 2007 by Al Gore, Kevin Wall and other celebrities. The inspiration for promoting the cause using benefit concerts comes from many similar events over the past 25 years including the 1985 Live Aid concerts and the 2005 Live 8 concerts and it was to be the longest show ever to be recorded in the world records. The event was claimed to be carbon neutral, and organisers said they would purchase carbon credits to offset the environmental impact of the flights associated with the events.

In addition to raising awareness of global warming, on 28 June 2007, it was revealed that Live Earth is to be the launch event for the Live Earth Call to Action. During the concerts people were asked to support the following 7-point pledge:

1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
2. To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become 'carbon neutral;'
3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
5. To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
6. To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
7. To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

In subsequent interviews Al Gore indicated that the concerts would mark 'the beginning of a three-year campaign worldwide to deliver information about how we solve the climate crisis' and that 'the prospects for every future generation depend on us understanding, hearing and acting upon this information.'

Live Earth's supporters included climate change activists in New Zealand's Climaction Coalition, who praised concert organisers, stating "Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today." Climaction spokesperson David Colyer said the concert presented "a great opportunity to join our voices with theirs" and called on people who could not attend a concert to participate in local events to raise awareness about climate change.

Further information on the issues raised by the concerts are published in The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook, written by environmentalist David Mayer de Rothschild. Profits from the book will be donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection, as will some of the profits from the concerts.

Antecedents for the style of concerts

The concert series followed in the tradition of many benefit events staged in the past three decades:

* The aspect of multiple concerts on a single day followed two events conceived by Bob Geldof -- two Live Aid concerts staged on July 13, 1985 and eight Live 8 concerts staged on July 2, 2005.

* The aspect of a series of rock concerts for a single cause taking place in multiple nations across the planet echoed the twenty concerts presented in 1988 on Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! World Tour - a tour conceived by Jack Healey and Martin Lewis.

The deployment of multiple pop and rock musicians and entertainers to promote awareness of a single cause has many antecedents - the principal examples being:

* Two 1971 Concerts for Bangladesh - conceived by George Harrison
* Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Balls benefit shows staged from 1976 to 1981 - conceived by John Cleese and Martin Lewis
* Four 1979 No Nukes concerts - conceived by Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt and John Hall
* Four 1979 Concerts for Kampuchea - conceived by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim

Friends of Live Earth

Over 10,000 "Friends of Live Earth" events and house parties were held in 195 countries.

* Live Earth Alert, was a Netherlands contribution/concept, to the real program Live Earth on 07/07/07. In Westerpark in Amsterdam (NL) a parallel event had been organised which included a continuous 24 hour live broadcast program on Nederland 3 of live streams (in sequential order) from Live Earth events and reports from Dutch correspondents stationed on all 7 continents as well as an almost 12 hour side event at the home location with performances, artists and other side activities. Some parts of this Dutch program were included in the official Live Earth streams and broadcast worldwide.

Locations

The organisers intended to present concerts on all seven continents. They stated that the venues would utilise on-site power generation, efficient methods of energy utilisation and sustainable facilities management in an effort to minimise environmental impact

Cancellations

A concert for Istanbul was called off, the local organiser said, for lack of government and private sponsorship. "Live Earth Istanbul failed to be a priority ... because our country is in an election marathon and due to fears of terrorism and security risks," said Purple Concerts, which will erect screens around Istanbul to show the concerts in other cities, spokeswoman Funda Dusgor said. Just days before the event, the concert in Rio de Janeiro was reportedly cancelled because of a lack of security for the concert, but was later revived.

Washington D.C. venue

It was only hours before the Washington D.C. concert was scheduled to begin that organisers were able to secure a venue for the last-minute addition to the schedule. The Washington Post reported the U.S. capital had been Gore's first choice for the main concert. However, the main concert was moved to New Jersey and Gore made a surprise announcement during a 6 July media interview that a concert would take place on the plaza of the Museum of the American Indian. "Some who don't understand what is now at stake tried to stop this event on the Mall, but here we are. [crowd is cheering] And it wasn't the cavalry who came to our rescue, it was the American Indians," Gore said during brief opening remarks carried live on the MSN website.

Performers

Sydney Football Stadium (Australia)

Main article: Live Earth concert, Sydney

* Blue King Brown
* Toni Collette & the Finish
* Sneaky Sound System
* Ghostwriters
* Paul Kelly
* Eskimo Joe
* Missy Higgins
* The John Butler Trio
* Wolfmother
* Jack Johnson
* Crowded House

Presenters:

* Peter Garrett
* Jimmy Barnes
* Hamish & Andy
* Tim Ross
* Adam Spencer
* Ian Thorpe

Audience

The concerts were broadcast in over 130 countries by more than 500 media partners including television, radio, Internet and wireless channels. National television viewing figures included 19 million viewers in the US, 41% of all households in Canada, 37% of all households in Brazil, and 20% in Germany.

The event also attracted a record on-line audience. Live coverage attracted over 8 million people who watched over 15 million video streams, while total 55 million video streams had been watched by 23 July.

United Kingdom

London's Wembley Stadium production of "Live Earth," received poor viewing figures on the BBC, blamed on a good weather Saturday afternoon, in addition to the network's tennis coverage at Wimbledon. BBC's live afternoon coverage of the concert drew an average of about 900,000 viewers while the evening viewing figures averaged around 3.1 million and the highlight figures, near the end of the concert, were around 4.5 million. Three times as many viewers had watched the Concert for Diana six days earlierand 9.6 million viewers had watched the Live 8 concert, two years earlier.

Controversies and criticism

While garnering favourable comments, several aspects of the event drew criticism from various perspectives.

Political motives and campaigning

Further information: Al Gore controversies

Some Republicans have criticized Al Gore for organising the event and said he did so to promote himself for a 2008 U.S. Presidential election bid, although Gore has said repeatedly he is "not planning to be a candidate again for office" and has said that he "had fallen out of love with politics."

Environmental impact

Bands including The Who, Muse and the Arctic Monkeys dubbed Live Earth "Private Jets for Climate Change." The event's total carbon footprint, including the artists' and spectators' travel and energy consumption, was probably at least 74,500 tonnes, according to John Buckley of CarbonFootPrint.com - more than 3,000 times the average Briton's annual footprint. Performers flew at least 222,623.63 miles (about 358,278 kilometres) — the equivalent of nearly nine times round the planet — to take part in the event, and this figure does not include transport of technicians, dancers and support staff. An estimate reported that 100,000 planted trees are required to offset total carbon emissions produced during the entire event, as well as a key sponsor for the event being Chevrolet, promoting a new hybrid four-wheel drive.

The BBC cancelled a later major attempt to "raise consciousness" of global climate change. The BBC's news story suggested that this was in part because "poor ratings in the UK and elsewhere for July's Live Earth concert may have confirmed the internal belief that the public do not like being "lectured to" on climate change."

DaimlerChrysler used its low-emissions Smart car brand while sponsoring the event worldwide.

Concert-goers at the event’s London leg had left thousands of plastic cups on the floor of Wembley Stadium, although organisers had urged audience members to use the recycling bins provided, the BBC reported.

Al Gore was unhappy with the travel arrangements of the UK band Razorlight. After their appearance at the London Live Earth event, they were ferried to an airport in a large tour bus with a police escort to catch a private jet to Scotland. From the airport in Scotland they travelled by helicopter to Balado to perform at T in the Park. Razorlight claimed they would offset their emissions by planting trees.

Singer-songwriter John Mayer, one of the big attractions at the New Jersey/New York concert had not signed Gore's seven-point Live Earth pledge. "If you want to peg me as not being entirely eco-friendly, you'll win," Mayer told reporters after his set. "We're just getting together saying 'We want to be healthier'.”

PETA has criticized the selling of meat products in the concerts, comparing it to selling cigarettes at an anti-cancer fundraiser. According to PETA campaigner Yvonne Taylor, "It would be hypocritical to be serving meat at an event for the environment, and if you really cared about the environment, you wouldn't be eating meat in the first place."

Bob Geldof and Live 8

Before the goals of the concerts were announced on June 28, the concert was criticised by Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof and Roger Daltrey of The Who about a lack of a final goal. Geldof said in an interview on 15 May 2007, that the concerts are a waste of time because "Everybody's known about [global warming] for years." Geldof said he would organise a concert like Live Earth only if he "could go on stage and announce concrete environmental measures from the American presidential candidates, Congress, or major corporations." Daltrey said "The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert ... the questions and the answers are so huge I don't know what a rock concert's ever going to do to help."

A spokesman for Live Earth responded to Geldof, saying that the concerts were intended to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change. "People are aware of global warming but millions are not doing anything about changing their lifestyles." Al Gore said "What Bob Geldof did with Live Aid and Live 8 was fantastic and he has followed up very diligently. [Geldof] has said ... how important it is to have specific goals and a continuing follow-on effort, and we have designed the Live Earth concerts in just that way."Gore continued, “This one day, 24 hours long, will not only be a wake-up call for the world but the beginning of a multi-year campaign to organize an effective response to the climate crisis.”

BBC coverage of the London venue

The BBC which televised the concert in Britain (population approximately 60 million) received a total of 413 complaints because coverage of Metallica's live set was cut short, and approximately 130 complaints concerning swearing as the BBC had shown the concert before the watershed time of 9pm, this includes Chris Rock jokingly calling the crowd "motherfuckers". Presenter Jonathan Ross praised performances that did not actually get shown to the TV audience. The BBC later apologised for cutting away from footage of Metallica, and both during and after the concert for the bad language. The BBC also angered many viewers by cutting away from Wembley Stadium performances by Bloc Party, Beastie Boys and Spinal Tap (who had reformed especially for the event) to show, in the two later cases, pre-recorded performances by Rihanna and Shakira. This was made even more frustrating when the same footage of Rihanna performing "S.O.S." was shown later the same evening as part of BBC1's extended highlights package. The BBC also featured only one performer from the Shanghai event, Sarah Brightman.

Financial lack of transparency

Intelligent Giving have attempted to find out what was happening to the proceeds from ticket sales at the concerts. Their conclusions, published in a feature "What on (Live) Earth is going on?" were that no one involved is capable of giving a clear answer.

DVD

On November 26 (international) and December 4 (U.S), a CD/2-DVD package will be released. It will bring together the most popular artists, best performances, and the solutions-based messaging showcased at this truly global musical event staged in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Hamburg, with special events broadcast from Antarctica, Kyoto, and Washington, DC.

The CD/2-DVD package includes performances from such artists as Madonna, Linkin Park, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Black-Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi, Rihanna and many more.

In addition to the live performances, the Live Earth DVD will also include six short films from the Live Earth Film Series and a documentary on the making of Live Earth shot by Award-winning filmmakers Nick Wickham and Emer Patten. The short films, some of which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, were commissioned by Live Earth to utilize the power of film to educate a global audience through entertainment.

Tracklist

CD

1. Madonna -- "Hey You"

2. Foo Fighters -- "Times Like These"

3. The Police -- "Driven To Tears"

4. John Mayer -- "Gravity"

5. Roger Waters -- "Another Brick In The Wall Part II"

6. Linkin Park -- "Bleed It Out"

7. Keane -- "Bedshaped"

8. Bon Jovi -- "Wanted Dead Or Alive"

9. James Blunt -- "Wisemen"

10. Chris Cornell -- "Black Hole Sun"

11. Lenny Kravitz -- "Are You Gonna Go My Way"

12. Beastie Boys -- "Intergalactic"

13. KT Tunstall -- "Suddenly I See"

14. Corinne Bailey Rae & John Legend -- "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"

15. Damien Rice & David Gray -- "Que Sera, Sera"

DVD 1

1. SOS Allstars -- "Live Earth: London Opening"

2. Genesis -- "Invisible Touch"

3. Snow Patrol -- "Shut Your Eyes"

4. Damien Rice & David Gray -- "Que Sera, Sera"

5. KT Tunstall -- "Suddenly I See"

6. Taking Back Sunday -- "My Blue Heaven"

7. Paolo Nutini -- "What A Wonderful World"

8. Black Eyed Peas -- "Where Is The Love?"

9. Duran Duran -- "Planet Earth"

10. AFI -- "Miss Murder"

11. John Mayer -- "Gravity"

12. Corinne Bailey Rae & John Legend -- "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"

13. Keane -- "Bedshaped"

14. Metallica -- "Sad But True"

15. Melissa Etheridge -- "I Need To Wake Up"

16. Dave Matthews Band -- "Too Much"

17. Kelly Clarkson -- "Sober"

18. Angelique Kidjo -- "Tumba"

19. Joss Stone -- "Right To Be Wrong"

20. James Blunt -- "Wisemen"

21. Beastie Boys -- "Intergalactic"

DVD 2

22. Keith Urban & Alicia Keys -- "Gimme Shelter"

23. Enrique Iglesias -- "Bailamos"

24. Missy Higgins -- "Steer"

25. Wolfmother -- "Woman"

26. Chris Cornell -- "Black Hole Sun"

27. Bon Jovi -- "Wanted Dead Or Alive"

28. Lenny Kravitz -- "Are You Gonna Go My Way"

29. Smashing Pumpkins -- "United States"

30. Roger Waters -- "Another Brick In The Wall Part II"

31. The Police -- "Driven To Tears"

32. Crowded House -- "Better Be Home Soon"

33. Rihanna -- "Umbrella"

34. Linkin Park -- "Bleed It Out"

35. Foo Fighters -- "Times Like These"

36. Madonna featuring Gogol Bordello -- "La Isla Bonita"

* Global warming
* Politics of global warming
* Climate change
* Action on climate change (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

Websites

Live Earth

Profiles

The Environment

Pittwater

Ian Thorpe

Bill Holland

Linda Haefeli

Media Coverage of Live Earth Pittwater and Climate Action Pittwater

The Manly Daily

The Daily Telegraph

ABC TV Difference Of Opinion

mX

Pittwater High School Newsletter

Media Man Australia