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MILLENNIUM STADIUM OPEN DISCUSSIONS ON TSUNAMI AID CONCERT
1 January 2005, 11:20 pm
The Stadium's General Manager, Paul Sergeant, wants to host the charity concert on the weekend of 22/23 January while the Millennium Stadium pitch is still outside the arena.
"Time is going to be very tight, but as the largest indoor arena in Europe we feel we have the best chance of pulling off something like this. It's too early to come up with any names, but we've been chasing a strong list of 'A' list acts to see if they would be willing to take part," said Sergeant. "The public response to the disaster has been incredible and we would very much like to put our weight behind those efforts and raise another £1m or more.
"As soon as the enormity of the disaster was known we opened discussions with a number of musical agents to see if it would be possible to get a money-spinning event up and running. I was involved in two such charity concerts during my time as manager at Wembley.
"We put on the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in just three weeks to raise money for aids awareness and we didn't have much longer to organise the Amnesty International event at the same venue. It is my experience that if there is a will to do something special like this on all sides then it can come together very quickly.
"We have the experience of hosting major concerts at the Millennium Stadium and we could easily accommodate 50,000 or more fans at a charity event. It would give everyone the chance to do their bit and would considerably boost the £3m already raised in Wales for the disaster fund."
The bank holiday weekend has made contacting some major artists more difficult that usual, but Sergeant is hopeful that he could get the first signs of commitment by Tuesday.
"It was interesting to see that the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Mike German, was suggesting some sort of charity concert in aid of the appeal. I will be picking up the phone to the National Assembly to see what they can bring to the party and I would be delighted to hear from them, or any other potential corporate partners for such an event, at any time," added Sergeant. "What happened on Boxing Day in south east Asia is the biggest natural disaster anyone in the world today has ever seen. If we can get everything together this month then the people of Wales will get the chance to make a major contribution to helping the people whose lives have been so devastated."
The Millennium Stadium have already raised thousands of pounds for the Tsunami appeal through a bucket collection at their 5,000 strong School Party on New Year's Eve. In addition, all profits from the event are being donated to the fund.
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