The first FIFA World Cup™ on the African continent may be scheduled to kick off on 11 June 2010 but the event begins in earnest the night before with the inaugural FIFA World Cup™ Kick-off Celebration Concert.
Billed as the greatest entertainment event to date in Africa, the concert will be staged at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg and feature musical performances by international superstars in collaboration with major African artists, as well as football legends from the past and the present, as well as celebrities from other fields.
This three-hour celebratory extravaganza, which will bring together the two universal passions of football and music before a capacity stadium audience of 30,000, will be broadcast to millions more worldwide. It is scheduled to begin at 8.00pm local time (GMT+2) on 10 June.
FIFA has selected Emmy Award-winning producer Kevin Wall and his company Control Room to organise and produce the concert. Control Room has masterminded some of the world’s biggest and most complex events, such as Live Earth 2007, which featured 150 artists performing on seven continents over the course of 24 hours to raise awareness of climate change.
“We believe sports and music transcend cultural, language and geographic barriers, and through the official FIFA World Cup Kick–off Celebration Concert, Control Room will present the sights and sounds of unity and celebration for an unforgettable, must-see experience,” said Wall.
All net proceeds from the concert will be donated to “20 Centres for 2010”, the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, which aims to build 20 centres across Africa offering education and healthcare services as well as football training to disadvantaged communities.
“We are thrilled to have a concert of such magnitude and performing talent raise the curtain on the first FIFA World Cup on African soil,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke. “It is testament to the universal and unifying power of football and music and will start the competition off on the right note – of celebration.”