Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and rock singer Sean Lennon will help
announce the lineup for this year's Tibetan Freedom Concert during a
press conference Friday morning (April 16) in New York.
The event, held previous years in San Francisco, New York and Washington,
D.C., will expand this year to venues on four continents.
No artists have been confirmed for the concerts except the Beastie Boys
-- whose Adam Yauch is one of the show's organizers -- who have
performed every year since the Tibetan Freedom Concert's debut in 1996. The group will perform in Chicago.
The 1999 concerts will take place June 12-13 in Chicago; Tokyo;
Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Sydney, Australia.
Joining Yauch and Lennon at the 11:30 a.m. EDT press conference will be
representatives of the Milarepa Fund -- the San Francisco-based Tibetan
advocacy organization the concert benefits -- and other activists working
to free Tibet from Chinese rule, said Perry Serpa, a publicist for both
artists and for the concert.
Lennon performed songs such as "Spaceship" (RealAudio excerpt) during
last year's Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
The lineup also included Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Wyclef Jean, the Wallflowers
and the Dave Matthews Band. The event raised $1.3 million for the Milarepa
Fund and culminated with a rally on Capitol Hill urging President Clinton
to push for Tibet's independence.
The first day of last year's event was cut short after a concert-goer
was struck by lightning.
Serpa was tight-lipped Thursday about the 1999 lineup, saying no
performers other than the Beasties would be revealed before Friday.
Two bands that won't be playing are R.E.M. and Sonic Youth. Both played
R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs said the Tibet shows come too close to the
beginning of R.E.M.'s world tour, which begins June 17 in Lisbon, Portugal.
"It just didn't work out this year," he said.
Although Sonic Youth bassist Lee Renaldo said in January his band was
discussing the possibility of playing the show in Tokyo, drummer Steve
Shelley said Thursday the band will not perform. "There was another
commitment happening," said Shelley, who did not elaborate.
Yauch has said he intends to continue staging concerts until China's
occupation of Tibet ends. And organizers have said they're expanding the
show this year in the hope of affecting policy in other countries. "The
decision to take the concert international is in response to a lack of
action on behalf of the U.S. government," a Milarepa Fund representative
said in a statement dated Jan. 20.
Serpa said the Milarepa Fund has not made contact yet with the governments
of Japan, Australia or the Netherlands. But, he said, "The promoters are
all amped to be putting on these shows."