Sunday, July 08, 2007

In Case You Live in a Cave

The past two days has seen the world's best and biggest concert, and the reviews are coming in. If you were in a cave, you can pick from any of the 100 artists, and view the performances on demand. Don't miss Madonna, Melissa Ethridge, and of course Linkin Park.

Many reviewers are sceptical of the potential benefits of this event. After all, the concerts are an awareness event with no fundraising, no concrete goals. But I believe this is a worthy event because it has shown a young generation that environmental awareness is hip, relevant and that an individual can make a difference (even if you're not Al Gore). But Mr. Gore certainly is making a difference, and has clearly found his calling. I for one am going to 'answer the call'.

As a communications vehicle, I think the concerts will have a broader impact than Gore's Inconvenient Truth. But both film and music have their place in affecting a change of mindset. They just touch people differently.

I am old enough to have seen Live Aid (heck I'm old enough for Woodstock), and I recall that it really changed perceptions about African famine - which was very much brushed under the carpet before that concert. My friends and I recorded the entire 16-hour concert on highband VHS, and then edited into a 4-hour condensed version. We hired a dance hall and put up two big screens, a dance sound system, and held a charity event to screen the edited concert video. It was a lot of fun and we felt like we were participating in global movement, awakening our friends to the cause.

But Live Earth was high definition, 21st century event, on another scale from Live Aid or even Live Eight, with continuous blogging, and multiple channel choices (courtesy MSN). At one point I was able to switch between 5 countries all presenting excellent bands. Definitely a communications learning event for me!