Control Room staging World Cup concert

Live Earth producer chosen to organize South Africa event

JOHANNESBURG -- Live Earth producer Kevin Wall and his company Control Room have been chosen to organize and produce a three-hour concert to kick off the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa on June 10, 2010.

The concert at the newly renovated Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg will take place the day before South Africa begins hosting the soccer tournament.

Details of the artist line-up have yet to be revealed but an official FIFA statement promises the show will feature "musical performances by major international superstars and popular African artists collaborating together." It will be broadcast to TV networks around the world.

Among the names rumoured for the concert is Beyonce, an artist in the Sony Music Entertainment stable of FIFA's global sponsorship partner, Sony Corporation.

Emmy Award-winning producer Kevin Wall and his company, Control Room, were confirmed as executive producer of the Official Kick-Off Celebration Concert of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa today (Oct. 7). The announcement was made by FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, at the MIPCOM entertainment market in Cannes.

Lily Sobhani, worldwide events producer for the Live Earth 2007 event, will also produce this concert. Control Room president Aaron Grosky is co-executive producer of the FIFA event.

The rebuilt Orlando Stadium, a 40,000-seat structure located in Johannesburg's Soweto township, will be used as a training venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup from June 11 to July 11, as well as hosting the concert.

The Kick-Off concert will "showcase the music, sport and visual pageantry of South Africa," the FIFA statement said, adding that special appearances by past and present football legends will also be included.

"We are honored to have been selected by FIFA to organize and produce this first-ever event for the world's largest sport," Wall said in a statement. "We believe sports and music transcend cultural, language and geographic barriers, and through this international event, Control Room will present the sights and sounds of unity and celebration for an unforgettable experience of which all will want to be a part."

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke added: "This is the first time that the FIFA World Cup will be played in Africa and what better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than with a festival of live music from Africa and beyond. This kick-off celebration will be one of the greatest events of its kind in Africa and a must-see for football and music fans around the world."

The FIFA World Cup football tournament is staged every four years and next year's event is the first time it is being held on the African continent. Thirty-two national teams will compete for the trophy. The last FIFA World Cup in Germany attracted a global cumulative television audience of 26.29 billion over the 64 matches, according to FIFA.