Geldof faces fresh criticism over his handling of Live8

Bob Geldof is unrepentant in the row over African artists and Live8 as he continues to face unprecedented criticism over his handling of the global charity concerts.

The musician insisted yesterday that American rappers were the true musical heroes of Africa's youth ­ dismissing his critics who reacted with dismay at the exclusion of African performers from the original line-up.

He said his objective was to "get eyeballs" for the concerts and achieve as big a global television audience for the event as possible.

Speaking in Paris, where he resolved his dispute with the city authorities over the setting of the Live8 France concert, he said: "We need the biggest artists as defined by popularity and sales ... The fact is that most African kids these days listen to Eminem and 50 Cent."

The row over what role African artists should play in the concerts is the most persistent in a stream of controversies to dog the event, and Geldof in particular. Lord Steel, the former Liberal leader, said Geldof was displaying "slight touches of megalomania" over his demands for a million people to descend on Edinburgh during the G8 summit at Gleneagles.

Teachers expressed dismay at his calls for children to play truant from school to attend the demonstration, The Long Walk to Justice. Coastguards were furious when the singer suggested that a flotilla of small boats cross the English Channel ­ one of the world's busiest shipping lanes ­ to ferry continental demonstrators to the march. Police were also taken by surprise when he let slip that people without tickets would be allowed into Hyde Park for the main concert.

The former international development secretary Clare Short added her voice to the critics. She told BBC's Question Time: "There is something wrong with the lack of African music when you've got some very famous African musicians now ­ it is like Bob Geldof and Tony Blair are going to save Africa at one meeting."

Geldof has also been criticised by senior music industry figures including the broadcaster Andy Kershaw, Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz, and the Senegalese singer Baaba Maal. Writing in The Independent this week Kershaw accused the Irish singer of returning to "apartheid" by "corralling" African performers into a separate concert at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Ms Short also questioned whether the concerts would do anything to help the poor in Africa. "People will enjoy the concerts because there are famous bands but quite how the concerts are going to eliminate poverty in the world is not clear," she said.

But as Geldof resolved his row with the French, who will accommodate the concert at Versailles rather than the Eiffel Tower, there appeared to be problems with the Johannesburg event, which he announced on Thursday. Geldof said he hoped to get Nelson Mandela to appear. Aspokesman for the South African charity Civicus that is dealing with the event there said it was still resolving "participation of key ambassadors".

Concerts will take place in London, Cornwall, Versailles, Philadelphia, Rome, Tokyo and Toronto.

The rows

* Lord Steel accuses Bob Geldof of 'megalomania' for demanding Pope, Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama join campaign

* Teachers furious over his suggestion children play truant from school to attend G8 march

* Coastguards dismayed at plans for a flotilla of boats to cross the English Channel to bring demonstrators to the march

* Clare Short accuses Geldof of going 'way over the top' in his criticism of eBay, where Live8 tickets were being touted

* Police taken by surprise over Hyde Park concert

Arts and Entertainment

Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boy

music
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig in a scene from ‘Spectre’, released in the UK on 23 October

film
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap

film
Arts and Entertainment

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Jess Glynne is UK number 1

music

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Brayben is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Carole King in Beautiful

film
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe