The rock star Peter Gabriel backed critics of the lack of African artists in next month's Live8 concert yesterday as he unveiled details of a separate show featuring performers from the continent.
The Africa Calling concert - held at the Eden Project in Cornwall to coincide with the other Live8 events on 2 July - will provide a global stage for more than a dozen leading African musicians, with television pictures being transmitted around the world. The announcement of the Cornish show, revealed in The Independent, followed criticism that the line-up for the main concert in Hyde Park, including Robbie Williams, U2 and Sir Elton John, was "hideously white".
Organisers of Africa Calling insisted the event had been planned before the row, but Gabriel, who is co-ordinating the concert with Midge Ure, confirmed he wanted to see more African acts at the London event.
The former Genesis singer, who has been a leading proponent of world music, said he had failed to persuade Bob Geldof, the organiser of Live8, of his case.
Speaking at a press conference in London, Gabriel said: "I do think it would be better to have a larger African presence in Hyde Park. Bob made the point that in places like China, if there's an act that comes on TV that they don't know, whether from Africa or Germany, they may well switch off. He wants to keep people watching. I don't agree that's the right criteria, but there it is."
Since the announcement of the Live8 concerts, which will also be held in Edinburgh, Philadelphia, Paris and Rome, disquiet has grown that the diversity of world music was being ignored.
Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Blur, criticised the London bill for being "so damn Anglo-Saxon".
Attempts to organise a Live8 concert for Johannesburg have also suffered delays as organisers seek sponsorship for the event. A Live8 spokesman said last night the event will be confirmed "in the next couple of days".
The decision to use the Eden Project, the environmental visitor attraction situated under a series of "bio-domes" in a disused quarry, was made after Gabriel and Ure were approached by its founder, Tim Smit.
* Youssou N'Dour (Senegal)
* Angélique Kidjo (Benin)
* Maryam Mursal (Somalia)
* Salif Keita (Mali)
* Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited (Zimbabwe)
* Tinariwen (Touareg group based in Mali)
* Daara J (hip-hop group from Senegal)
* Akim El Sikameya (Algeria)
* Shikisha (South Africa)
* Ayub Ogada (Kenya)
* Modou Diouf and O Fogum (Senegal)
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