Bono Plans G8 Event To Cut Third World Debt

U2's Bono may shed more light on the situation backstage at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles Wednesday night, but it's certain a large musical campaign of some kind will be taking place in Cologne, Germany, in June, to correlate with the G8 summit of government leaders.

Bono is working with the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cut third world debt (see "U2, Prodigy, Others To Support Third World Debt Campaign") and is committed to being in Cologne on June 19, hopefully with his band.

A spokesperson, however, warns not to expect a Live-Aid style concert. Bono is so far only confirmed to take part in a human chain that will circle the convention, according to the London-based Jubilee 2000 representative, but adds that the singer is hard at work organizing a major music industry presence and hopes to expand those plans. The Los Angeles Times reports that Bono is looking into a series of performances in offbeat settings such as public

squares, train depots, cathedrals and even army barracks as a setting to be broadcast in a live, three-hour television special.

The U2 singer wrote an open letter to the Guardian newspaper in England that said he was getting a lot of support from musicians for the Jubilee 2000 campaign. "I've had calls from the singer Lauryn Hill (on the way to having her baby), Pavarotti, Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson and the blessed Bob Geldof himself," wrote Bono. Contrary to some published reports, however, the letter does not mention a June 19 event. The L.A. Times says that Bono's wish list for the Cologne event(s) included The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., Madonna, Michael Jackson and the Beastie Boys.

A source close to R.E.M. confirmed to MTV News that the band has been approached by Bono to participate in the Jubilee campaign and that they were receptive, but said that as far as they know any Cologne events are only in the very early planning stages.

R.E.M. are scheduled to be in Europe in June, but they're listed as playing Madrid June 19, which is within flight distance for an early event, but not conducive to an evening concert performance.