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International Show of Peace Concert in Beijing Set for April 17, 2010
Will it Finally Take Place After Years of Cancellations?
Update: The International Show of Peace concert has been postponed. As of this time, it is scheduled to take place in the same place - the famous Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing - on October 10, 2010.
Rick Garson's pet project, an international "Show of Peace" to coincide with the United Nation's International Day of Peace, may finally take place due to its new venue of Beijing, China. It is kind of sad to read about how this global initiative to support and foster peace has been stopped in its tracks for political reasons time and time again. Rick Garson tells his story on the history of his Show of Peace. Hopefully, the show of peace will finally take place. According to the official page above, there will be a Global Harmony concert on April 17, 2010, and there will be an additional Show of Peace concert on September 21st. The venue is the Bird's Nest, made famous by the Beijing Olympics. For the reasons stated below, I believe that the show will finally take place.
For starters, one might not think of China as the ideal place to hold a show to commemorate a day of peace. However, looking at the history of this show and cancellations made by Europeans, it is almost fitting that Garson had to go to a country that normally stays out of violent disputes around the world. Think about it. I am American and proud of it, but Americans constantly criticize China for its failure to vote for military and other action in the UN.
While I also believe that China turns its head at times when it should be more proactive (and I hate that they are so restrictive with what we consider basic human rights), it is the kind of place that will not cancel a potentially monumental event such as the International Show of Peace for reasons having nothing to do with the concert, itself. The concert that was to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2006, was cancelled because of the conflict between Israel and the Hezbollahs. Now, I don't see a good reason to cancel a concert for peace during a time of war. Wouldn't that be the ideal time to raise awareness for peace?
After attempting to move the concert in 2006 to Rome, it was then cancelled because of death threats to the Pope for those controversial remarks he made about Islam. While I sympathize with that situation and the heightened security that would be necessary in such an environment, this seems like just bending over to terrorists.
I can tell you one thing. China would not cancel a concert because of armed conflict or death threats. That sends a message to the terrorists, and that message is that they can disrupt our way of life. Therefore, I don't see any political reason why China would cancel the concert this time around.
Second, China is eager to continue trying to improve its image and market itself to the world after the exposure it got from the Beijing Olympics. Those who saw just the Opening Ceremonies witnessed the huge priority that China placed on using the Olympics to improve international relations and economic expansion around the world. This International Show of Peace is shaping up to be a global event and will be seen on televisions all around the world. This is more prime exposure for China and Beijing.
Now, do I think that such a concert will actually result in peace anywhere in the world? I have my doubts about that, and I think most of the people who tune in will do so to watch the music acts perform. But this is an "it can't hurt" situation. Regardless of the effect that it has on the stability (or lack thereof) of world affairs, I can't see how it can hurt.
Speaking of music acts, the official Twitter page of the Show of Peace has revealed some of the acts scheduled to perform: Daughtry, Christina Aguilera, Franz Ferdinand, Duffy, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Ciara, Depeche Mode, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Nickelback, Maroon 5, Prince, Aerosmith, Lady Gaga, Usher, Ne-yo, Justin Timberlake, Rob Thomas, DJ Tiesto, Wyclef, and Mary J. Blige.
Here are some others who are supposedly scheduled to attend: Beyonce, Jay-Z, Coldplay, Diddy, Backstreet Boys, Jonas Brothers, Jennifer Lopez, Green Day, and Pearl Jam.
So at least we likely have an entertaining concert to look forward to, and any positive effects from the Global Harmony concert and Show of Peace concert will be the icing on the cake. This may be a small step in the quest for peace on earth, but getting started is half the battle.