June 13, 2005

Live 8 Concert Generates 2 Million Text Messages

LONDON (Reuters) -- Music fans broke a world record when they sent more than 2 million text messages to try to get tickets for next month's Live 8 concert in London, the Guinness Book of Records said Monday.

The record-breakers' bible said 2,060,285 texts were received, setting a record for the "Largest Text Message Lottery."

Performers for the July 2 charity concert for Africa include Maria Carey, Coldplay, Elton John, Madonna, Paul McCartney, REM, Scissor Sisters, Sting, U2 and Robbie Williams.

"The Live 8 text lottery has had an unprecedented response and we're thrilled to be awarding them with a Guinness World Record -- especially as it's all in the name of charity," said Craig Glenday, editor of Guinness World Records.

The nearest comparison was the New Year Asian Tsunami appeal when 726,875 texts costing 1.50 pounds each ($2.70) were sent to the Disasters Emergency Committee's online fund raiser.

With would-be concert goers paying 1.50 pounds per text message to win a pair of tickets to Hyde Park concert, the scheme earned Live 8 a total of about 3 million pounds.

Some of the money will be given the Prince's Trust charity of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles which had to cancel its own event to make way for Live 8.

Live 8 organizers said winners of the text lottery would be notified by a free text message by June 16. ($1=.5549 Pound)