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Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK


NetAid claims record

David Bowie at Wembley Stadium on Saturday

NetAid organisers are claiming an Internet record for their charity concerts on Saturday - but are refusing to reveal how much money the global fundraiser made.

The concerts in London, New Jersey and Geneva featured performances by George Michael, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Sting, Sheryl Crow and dozens of other stars.

Promoters said their Webcasts of the shows were accessed 2,385,455 times during Saturday, a new record for the Internet.

However, they are declining to reveal how much money was raised by the three concerts.

[ image: Bono and US singer Jewel at the Giants Stadium, New Jersey]
Bono and US singer Jewel at the Giants Stadium, New Jersey
"We're still working on the figures," a spokeswoman in London said on Tuesday. She added that final figures on how many users visited the NetAid site would not be available for a further week.

Organisers hope they will reach their target of one billion hits by the end of the year. A 'hit' is defined as each time an element of a Web page - such as a graphic or text - is downloaded onto a user's PC.

The actual physical attendance at the three concerts was fewer than 110,000, according to Kent Jenkins, a spokesman for NetAid sponsor Cisco Systems.

Although attendance at London's Wembley Stadium was good, reviewers commented on New Jersey's Giants Stadium being half-empty.

The shows also suffered from bad publicity in the US when original patrons Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover withdrew their support, claiming NetAid had been overwhelmed by corporate self-interest and United Nations bureaucracy.

But Mr Jenkins said the organisers wanted NetAid to be known for much more than just one night of music, adding the aim was to get the site known worldwide.

He said it was "more about getting people involved... driving them to the site [and] getting them to commit time" to various projects.

The concerts aim to follow the lead set by 1985's Live Aid shows, which raised $225m for African famine relief.

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