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One World Beat News

One World Beat 2005: A big Thank YOU!

Dear Friends, Artists, Fans, Participants, and Supporters,

One World Beat Festival 2005, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid, made some electrifying history of its own: inspiring concerts in 29 nations, the return of artists who performed in 2003 and 2004, a global drumming event which took place in 11 countries simultaneously, the debut of One World Beat Radio, the development of an OWB film project, a record-company offer to help us package a benefit CD, branches starting in the UK and USA, new country entries (Denmark, Costa Rica), the decision to go "live" year-round (upcoming events planned for Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, and India).

The festival took place officially from March 18th through 27th, but from the beginning of the new year, musicians and supporters lined up to donate gigs, signed up to volunteer, and offered their music, film clips, time, and caring. The Asian tsunami which left 200,000 people dead, millions affected, and billions of dollars in damages brought out the compassion and the talent early. Our "Beat the Wave" project--with proceeds going to the global development agency, Save the Children--enlisted the help of artists in Thailand, UK, USA, and Canada.

Other campaigns quickly took shape: our "Give A Child A Chance" education project (focus of 2005 festival fundraising) has brought needed funds to two nonprofits working to provide schooling for HIV/AIDS orphans and children in dire poverty in Uganda, India, and Haiti. "Drumming in One World Beat"--created to inspire a feeling of global solidarity, peace, and creative connection--drew an enthusiastic response from participants in Canada, USA, Netherlands, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil. In Austria and Lithuania, a dual "Drums and Bells" event also served to commemorate the original Earth Day (first day of spring).

Youth turned out in great numbers to support one another: drumming schoolkids in South Africa and peacebuilders in the Netherlands, artists helping HIV/AIDS-affected children in Kenya, England's youngest rock band (Dilemma), college students in Michigan. Musicians wowed audiences from the Hard Rock Cafe in Amsterdam to La Leal Hall in Tokyo. In cafes, concert halls, a train station, at a peace rally, in parks, pubs, nightclubs, a former church crypt, a school gym, on two beaches, and Internet radio. One band (Bobbi Lee Justice and the Scepters)--returning for the third year--scrambled to find a last-minute replacement venue when the one scheduled abruptly closed its doors, and the show was a go.

The music was as varied as the venues: classical, all shades of rock, blues, jazz, acoustic, hip-hop, pop, reggae, Latin, rap, funk, soul, R&B, World Music, electronic, African, folk, metal, dance, country, Caribbean. A gala for jazz giants in Poland, an Afro-Beat album launch party and samba in Scotland, an HIV/AIDS edutainment march in Nigeria, rhythmic poetry in Austria, djembe from Brazil to Burkina Faso, creativity in Cologne, from Brazilian "misturalismo" to Germany's Miss Behavin'.

Multicultural medleys in New York, London, and Edmonton, gospel in Gladenbach, rock in Gibraltar, dance beats from the Czech Republic to France. A hip-hop extravaganza in the Philippines. Arts festivals in Costa Rica and Zimbabwe. Unity Drum on three continents. In Australia, a weekend drumming retreat in a forest, and ballads from Switzerland to Spain. From the Elbo Room to the Clapham Grand. From Boston to Los Angeles, Maine to Marquette, Bath to Boxford, Accra to Aachen.

OWB female artists were showcased weekly on Netteradio (USA), special online radio shows were created by Wales-based Reptor Productions and the Green Dragon Show, World Talent Quest donated concerts for tsunami relief, and a number of 2005 participating musicians are being featured in our first OWB Radio show. Concerts4Charity, Change for Children, and CAUSE (San Francisco) all staged events to raise funds to help young people.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all who made this possible! You have shown once again how much difference we can truly make through music: children who might not otherwise attend school will now get an education, orphans who are struggling to survive will know that people the world over care about them, and those affected by one of the worst natural disasters in history will be helped to reconstruct their lives.

We look forward to working with you in 2006, and hope to see many new and familiar faces during the remaining half of 2005. Here's to the magic and power of music, and to this road going on forever!

See the 2005 Event page...



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"You guys Rock."
Leigh Blake, Founder - Keep A Child Alive