Hamburg ‘Live Earth’ — Slow Sales Draw Attention

By July 4, 2007Global Warming

From Die Zeit, a national liberal weekly (with elitist cultural tastes), a new report highlighting the disappointing ticket sales for the Hamburg “Live Earth” concert for carbon depletion. Still only half of the 45,000 available tickets have been taken, even as promotional campaigns are running hot and heavy.

In Hamburg, people are puzzled why there’s such little interest in the musical marathon, originated by Kevin Wall – one of the organizers of the 2005 Live 8 shows – and former U.S. vice president, Al Gore. Is it the musical line-up or some failure in the event’s publicity? For example, there was the decision to rule out mass poster advertising in order to avoid wasting paper, which could well be a disadvantage. It certainly must not have been pleasing for the advertising agency, Comtent, to have gotten the concert go ahead at the late date of May 16th.

It’s notable that the big environmental organizations – with the exception of the World Wildlife Federation – haven’t signed on. Greenpeace was asked to co-sponsor the event, but it was clear that they would not participate, said spokesman, Jan Haase. Big companies just want to garb themselves in a “green” cloak, he explained. In the end, the promoters are running ads on the radio to promote the open-air concert. Many tickets are being given away in radio promotions, and they’re hoping to boost demand with deals like discount student tickets or a 69 Euro overnight stay with breakfast and a concert pass.

Promoters have certainly ratcheted up the sales patter. From the Hamburg “Live Earth” website comes the news that Bianca Jagger will be on the scene, and the Hamburg Airport and the Hamburg Volksbank are offering two-for-the-price-of-one student tickets. And then there’s the suprise guest:

Sensational Coup! Superstar Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens) will be at Hamburg
Yusuf, who won world fame as Cat Stevens, has agreed to an exclusive appearance at the Hamburg Live Earth on July 7th. The outstanding song interpreter, who counts among the most popular singers of all time, will conclude the concert in the HSH Nordbank Arena with performance. It is one of his first live appearances in German since his spectacular withdrawal from pop music in 1979. Stevens, who converted to Islam, became famous in the early 70s with such pop ballads as “Wild World,” and “Moonshadow.” Most recently, Yusuf and others sparked well-deserved raves with his top hit, “Where True Love Goes.

Among the most popular singers of all time? He’s no Herbert Groenemeyer. Anyway, truth and accuracy appear not to be Live Earth’s forte.

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