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
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
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.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'