Mandela Concert Cancelled

Production issues derail benefit

January 21, 2003 12:00 AM ET

The February 2nd Mandela SOS concert, which was to raise money and awareness about the AIDS epidemic in Africa, has been cancelled due to production issues. Bono, Macy Gray, Nelly Furtado, Queen, Coldplay, Shaggy, Ludacris, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) and others were scheduled to perform at Robben Island prison in South Africa, where Nobel Peace Prize winner and world civil rights leader Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for eighteen years in the 1960s and Seventies.

Dave Stewart, the event's musical director, Bono and the late Joe Strummer co-wrote the song "48864" especially for the event. The title was a reference to Mandela's prisoner number during his incarceration.

While the concert was to be held for 3,000 fans at Robben Island, a concurrent performance was to take place at the larger Green Point Stadium in Capetown, South Africa. Some artists were to play both venues, and footage from Robben Island was also to be beamed onto screens at the stadium. The event was also to be televised worldwide.

No further information was available about the cause of the cancellation or a possible rescheduling at press time.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »