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Global Music Festival - One World Beat 2004

(visit 2004 website)

One World Beat 2004 saw thousands of musicians, fans, volunteers, nonprofits, sponsors, organizations and people from all walks of life converging to participate in 200 events in 46 countries, showing their compassion, generosity, hard work, and commitment both to One World Beat and Keep A Child Alive, our designated 2004 charity--which provides life-saving treatment for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS--and to the cause of music making a difference.

OWB 2004 featured many highlights: a 3-day Internet broadcast co-sponsored by and artist Larry Edoff and his Management team; a beach party in Los Angeles, co-organized by OWB 2004 Global Communications Manager, Crys Spelman, and artist Rich Hardesty; a week-long series of activities organized by educator Louise Bourgault and the students in her global communications course in Marquette, Michigan, which included the creation of a special song about HIV/AIDS by Senegalese musician, Mady Kouyate.

Mini-festivals took place worldwide: in Spain, the Philippines, Bahamas, Faroe Islands, and Maldives, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Canada, Japan, the USA and the UK. Many were organized by OWB media/events/NGO coordinators and volunteers. There was global news coverage on the Internet, TV and radio, in print media, even a BBC 1 morning talk show--seen by millions-- featuring UK/Asia Communications Manager and Global Media Coordinator, Mark Roach.

Webcasts from six countries. Events from Australia and New Zealand to the Americas (North and South) and the Caribbean, across Asia and the United States, throughout the UK and Europe, Canada and Africa. From small pubs to giant stadiums, parks to hotels, community centers to nightclubs, the National Piping Centre in Glasgow to Steinway Hall in Tokyo, the Club Acoustica in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide to the Hard Rock Cafe in Amsterdam and Dallas; in theaters, conference and concert halls, arts venues, cafes, churches, fairgrounds, schools, a carnival, a medical conference, and online.

The music was as varied as the musicians and audiences: hip-hop, jazz, blues, country, reggae, rock, folk, metal, choral, classical, ethnic, pop, Latin, African, Caribbean/Island, bluegrass, punk, electronic, acoustic, Big Band/swing, R&B/soul, spiritual, gospel, disco, rap, indie/college, New Age, ska, calypso, steelpan, acapella, even a ukelele band! There was comedy and the spoken word, including "edutainment" with an explicit HIV/AIDS-prevention message.

Many young musicians gave of their time and talents, while those with global reputations and chart-topping hits endorsed One World Beat and its unique mission and approach, including Phil Collins, Paula Abdul, Sheena Easton, Level 42, Michelle Gayle, The Cardigans, Bonnie Tyler, Europe, and Westlife. Alicia Keys is a strong supporter of Keep A Child Alive.

A number offered their music for sale to benefit Keep A Child Alive: Soulcyde and Colin K and The Grey--both UK-based rock bands--have written singles which were played or performed live during the weekend and will be formally released on albums in future (Soulcyde's "Heaven Can Wait" was produced for broadcast and sale during the festival weekend, and Colin K's "An Army of Five Thousand Men" was performed live and will be recorded soon).

Some 70-plus musicians who took part in the broadcast donated their music for download sales--not just for the weekend but for an entire year (among them Larry Edoff, whose "15 Time" was chosen as the official broadcast anthem)--the proceeds to benefit Keep A Child Alive.

A special CD created from the "Healing Hearts" concert in Trinidad and Tobago is being used to raise funds for local HIV/AIDS nonprofits, and a DVD made by bands participating in the Gibraltar event is being offered to raise funds as well. World Talent Quest, an online independent-music promoter, offered a percentage of all download sales during March.

Everyone who took part in OWB 2004 came together for a purpose: to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and funds for people affected by the pandemic. Currently there are 40 million infected by this disease worldwide, and 25 million who have died. Lack of access to treatment--especially in combination with poverty and malnutrition--kills thousands needlessly each day. In 2003, close to 500,000 youth under the age of 15 died, 6000 young people were infected daily, and 3 million people worldwide perished from HIV/AIDS-related illnesses. There were 5 million new infections in 2003--14,000 every day--and the number of HIV/AIDS orphans stands at 13 million globally.

OWB 2004 events and donations helped to provide treatment, education, inspiration, and hope, proving that music can indeed make a difference for so many. In 2005, on the 20th anniversary of "Live-Aid", we invite you to join us again as the world unites to beat HIV/AIDS and other human challenges as one.

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