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Live 8 gets quick death on EBay after protests

QUICK TAKES

June 16, 2005|Geoff Boucher

The London edition of the Live 8 concert on July 2 is a hot ticket -- early reports are that it will feature Paul McCartney and U2 performing together as well as scheduled sets by Sting, Elton John, Coldplay, Snoop Dogg and others. But don't look for it on EBay anymore. The online auction house has pulled down all the tickets that had been posted for sale on its site after a scolding from the political concert's organizer, Bob Geldof, and a flurry of sabotage bids lodged by protesters.

Geldof first asked EBay officials early Tuesday to take down the auctions of tickets to the free event, which is being staged to raise awareness of the African debt-relief campaign. When the San Jose company refused to ban the sale of tickets -- which were distributed to fans after an electronic lottery -- the musician and activist chided EBay as "an electronic pimp." He also called out through the British media for fans to post bogus bids and sales offers on the site to undermine the auctions. Within minutes, bids for tickets jumped from hundreds of dollars to millions.

The auction house responded by backing down. "We have listened to EBay's community of users, and the message has been clear -- that they do not want the tickets to be sold on the site," an EBay spokesman told Reuters.

The wire service also reports that Peter Gabriel will organize an English Live 8 concert with African musicians, after Blur's Damon Albarn dubbed the London lineup "just too damn Anglo-Saxon."

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