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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 05:55 GMT 06:55 UK
Bono lined up for Hay Festival
Bono and President George Bush
Bono has met world leaders to campaign over Aids awareness
Rock star Bono could follow in the footsteps of Bill Clinton by speaking at the annual Hay Festival.

The U2 singer has been invited to the 2005 festival in the mid Wales town and organisers expect to find out next month whether he can appear.

About 80,000 people attend the 10-day event, which attracts speakers from music, sport, broadcasting, film and politics, as well as literature.

If he appears, Bono is expected to lecture on the issues of Aids, African debt and Third World aid.

He has extraordinary political credibility
Hay Festival director Peter Florence

Organisers of the Hay Festival, which takes over the borders market town each year, are waiting to see whether the rock star can fit the event into his schedule.

Festival director Peter Florence told the BBC News website: "He's been invited and we are waiting to hear whether he can come.

"What's interesting about it is Bono's political influence.

"He is one of the few people who has brought positive changes out of Bush.

Ex-president Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton appeared at the 2001 Hay Festival

"He has extraordinary political credibility.

"People like him and Michael Moore are not in the system, but operate outside it.

"We would like him to come to the festival."

If Bono accepts the invitation, he would be among the biggest names to appear at Hay.

The festival will reach its 18th year next May and June and brings thousands of tourists annually to the town, which is famed for its 39 book shops.

Former US president Bill Clinton spoke to a packed audience on conflict resolution in 2001 and described the festival as the "Woodstock of the mind".

Hay on Wye
The festival attracts thousands of visitors to the market town

Rock stars Van Morrison, Bob Geldof and James Dean Bradfield, comedians Terry Jones and Jo Brand, explorer Ranulph Fiennes and hurdler Colin Jackson have all appeared in recent years alongside giants of literature such as John Updike, Maya Angelou, Ian McEwan, Harold Pinter and Salman Rushdie.

Bono has become one of music's most recognisable front men since U2 formed in Dublin in the 1970s.

He has campaigned about issues including Aids awareness and Third World debt, meeting world leaders like George Bush and Tony Blair to discuss them.




SEE ALSO:
Bono rules out political career
04 Jul 02  |  Entertainment
Clinton wins over festival audience
26 May 01  |  Entertainment


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