Despite a massive multi-media push that featured three different concerts in London, Geneva, and New York City, last month's NetAid benefit apparently failed to generate as many financial donations as organizers had hoped.According to figures reported by Q Online, the three NetAid shows raised $1 million via ticket sales and online contributions, with various corporate sponsors kicking in an extra $10 million. In comparison, the dual Live Aid concerts, staged in July 1985 at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, raised over $100 million for the starving and needy in Ethiopia and the Sudan. NetAid reps likely could have predicted the poor financial showing based upon the small turnout for the American show at Giants Stadium, which featured sets from Jewel, the Counting Crows, Puff Daddy, Mary J. Blige, and Sting, among others (see "Wyclef, Bono, Mary J. Blige, Jewel, More Hit Stage For NetAid").
The London concert at Wembley, however, was sold-out, bolstered by an audience-friendly line-up that included David Bowie, George Michael, the Eurythmics, Robbie Williams, Bush, Stereophonics, the Corrs, Bryan Adams, and Catatonia.Organizers for NetAid have continued to emphasize that the point of the shows was to raise awareness about extreme poverty around the world, not to raise funds for such causes.
-- David Basham