Starting tomorrow in Sydney, Australia and continuing for the next 24 hours around the globe is the Al Gore-inspired Live Earth concert, which will feature 150 performers in eight cities around the world. It will be shown on more than 100 different channels, XM and Sirius radio, and online at MSN.com. But in case that's not enough, Fast Company will be live blogging the event, too.
Live Earth was the brainchild of Kevin Wall, the CEO of Control Room, who says in Ellen McGirt's profile of Gore in this month's Fast Company that he decided to organize the show after watching An Inconvenient Truth.
Control Room is uniquely suited for this kind of endeavor: Its business is broadcasting live concerts over the Internet. Earlier this year, the company staged a dry run of sorts with the Nokia New Year's Eve concert, which took place in a paltry five cities throughout the world. According to Nina Guralnick, the general manager of Control Room, Live Earth will feature not only video of the performances, but a number of interactive features designed to get those watching to learn more about environmental issues. Additionally, clips of the concerts will be edited by Control Room to allow for easier sharing on the Internet, making the concert last a lot longer than 24 hours, and perhaps having a greater impact than 2005's Live 8, which, while well intentioned, didn't have a lot of staying power.
For the New York concert, I'll be at Giants Stadium in *ahem* New Jersey, where, among others, the Police, Dave Matthews, Kanye West, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, and Bon Jovi (natch) will be performing. If my Nokia N800 and N95 hold out, I'll be liveblogging the event from the stadium, and inside the adjacent media bubble, which otherwise serves as the Giants practice facility. I'll be checking out not only the concert, and what it means to the performers and the people attending, what sort of response it receives, and how Control Room manages to coordinate a concert on a global scale.
Already, logistics have played their part in stirring up a little controversy: There's been some complaints that having to fly all the performers and support staff around the globe isn't doing much for the ozone layer, and two of the venue sites, Rio de Janeiro and Washington, DC, were almost nixed by local authorities, Brazilians in the former case, Republicans in the latter.
And we have our first Live Earth rumor: Justin Timberlake is set to make a surprise appearance at the London show. I'm swooning already.