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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Farm Aid called off
Coldplay: Were to play at the all-day concert in Cardiff
The Farm Aid benefit concert in aid of farmers hit by the foot-and-mouth crisis has been cancelled after the terrorist attacks in the United States.

It had been due to take place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 27 October, with tickets on sale at 26 each.

It was hoped that the gig would raise 500,000 from ticket sales, with money from TV revenue and donations to be added on top of that.

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis: Cancelled Glastonbury this year
But organiser Michael Eavis, himself a dairy farmer and the organiser of the annual Glastonbury Festival, has now decided it would not be appropriate to hold the concert.

A statement on behalf of the organisers said: "Due to the horrendous events in America we have had to cancel our Farm Aid concert in Cardiff.

"Everyone's thoughts will be, for a long time, directed towards the terrible loss of life and the consequences that will bring to many thousands of people."

The all-day event was to be headlined by UK bands Coldplay, Toploader and Ash - although acts such as U2 and Robbie Williams were said to have turned down Mr Eavis's request to play.

A pressure group had also urged music fans and bands to stay away from the concert, saying farmers did not deserve extra money.

The Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva) wrote to bands and planned to stage a demonstration outside the stadium.

Ash: Rock band were also on the bill
Despite reports that at least 37 farmers have applied for more than 1m compensation each, Mr Eavis said thousands of farmers were "really struggling".

"They look after the countryside and do a great job but they are finding it almost impossible to earn a living," he said.

Mr Eavis, who is a full-time dairy farmer and also stages the Glastonbury festival, had said he was staging the event because foot-and-mouth has been the "the straw that broke the camel's back" for the farming industry.

Reef and Morcheeba were also due to appear.

Mr Eavis had criticised the biggest names in UK music, including U2, Oasis and Robbie Williams, for refusing to appear.

"They don't really see it as their problem. They don't identify with small farmers' problems. They've got loads of money," he said.

The charities that were to benefit were the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Fund, the ARC Addington Fund, the Farm Crisis Network, the Rural Stress Information Network, the Samaritans and the RSPCA.

Farming crisis in the UK
See also:

05 Sep 01 | Music
Big names snub Farm Aid
25 May 01 | Music
Eavis' Farm Aid plan
29 Aug 01 | UK
A countryside in crisis?
07 Aug 01 | UK
How much for that cow?
06 Aug 01 | Business
Why are farmers not insured?
27 Jun 01 | Wales
Cardiff: Capital of concerts
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