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A concert for Mother Earth

Live Earth, the 24-hour global series of concerts, kicks off on Saturday.

Do you plan to watch it? And do you know what the concert is about?

A quick guide to the event:

What is Live Earth?

Organised mainly by former American vice-president-turned-environmental crusader Al Gore, Live Earth is about drumming in the message that it's now or never for humankind... unless we do something about global warming.

Gore, in conjunction with organisers SOS, has set up the largest music concert on earth that will take place across 15 time zones with nearly 150 bands taking part.

Live Earth is a more far-reaching, populist follow through to Gore's Oscar-winning documentary The Inconvenient Truth and hopes to inspire a planet-wide movement to bring a change in our climate. He says the concert will be the start of a three-year campaign that will seek to arm the public with the ability to fight global warming themselves.

While sceptics scoff at the premise that rock concerts can save the world, SOS -- which stands for Save Our Selves -- say the event will raise awareness about global warming and the urgent need to address it.

The fans, however, are not complaining. Though the line up is not as jaw-dropping as the 2005 concert Live 8, this is the planet's biggest gig as yet, and will reportedly reach two billion people.

Where is the event being held?

Live Earth will be held across seven continents from 2.30 pm IST on July 7 Saturday to 2.30 pm IST on July 8, Sunday. In India it will be broadcast on the music television channel VH1. The venues are:

Giants Stadium, New York; Wembley Stadium, London; Aussie Stadium, Sydney; Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro; the Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg; Makuhari Messe, Tokyo; Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai; Rothera Station, Antarctica and HSH Nordbank Arena, Hamburg.

Who are the artistes playing at this concert?

At Sydney:

Blue King Brown, Crowded House, Eskimo Joe, Ghostwriters, Jack Johnson, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Sneaky Sound System, The John Butler Trio, actor Toni Collette & the Finish Wolfmother.

At New York:

AFI, Akon, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Fall Out Boy, John Mayer, Kanye West, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Korn, KT Tunstall, Ludacris, Melissa Etheridge, Roger Waters, Sheryl Crow, Smashing Pumpkins, Taking Back Sunday, The Police.

At London:

Beastie Boys, Black Eyed Peas, Bloc Party, Corinne Bailey Rae, Damien Rice, David Gray, Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, Genesis, James Blunt, John Legend, Kasabian, Keane, Madonna, Metallica, Paolo Nutini, Pussycat Dolls, Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Spinal Tap, Terra Naomi.

At Hamburg:

Chris Cornell, Enrique Iglesias, Jan Delay, Juli, Katie Melua, Lotto King Karl, Mana, Mando Diao, Maria Mena, MIA, Michael Mittermeier, Reamonn, Roger Cicero, Samy Deluxe, Sasha, Shakira, Silbermond, Snoop Dogg, Stefan Gwildis.

At Rio de Janeiro:

Jorge Ben Jor, Jota Quest, Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray, Marcelo D2, MV Bill, O Rappa, Pharrell Williams, Vanessa Da Matta, XuXa.

At Tokyo:

Abingdon Boys School, Ai Otsuka, Ayaka, Cocco, Genki Rockets, Kumi Koda, Linkin Park, Rihanna, Rip Slyme, Rize.

At Johannesburg:

Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Danny K, Joss Stone, The Parlotones, The Soweto Gospel Choir, UB40, Vusi Mahlasela, Zola.

At Shanghai:

Anthony Wong, Eason Chan, Evonne Hsu, Huang Xiao Ming, Joey Yung and 12 Girls Band, Sarah Brightman, Winnie Shin.

At Antarctica:

Nunatak.

Text: Sumit Bhattacharya

Image: The Live Earth concert stage being set up at the famed Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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