February 23, 2008 / 1:36 AM / in 10 years

Concerts key to World Peace One initiative

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - The mission of World Peace One is nothing if not ambitious: Bring peace to the world through a 10-year global campaign of concerts, education and government advocacy.

“Our mission is ending all war at the end of our 10-year period,” WP1 founder Douglas Ivanovich said. “We know it’s a daunting challenge, but mobilizing 90 percent of the world that wants peace and no more part of war, terror, violence or conflict is a very powerful process.”

Ivanovich -- who has a background in business development, finance, executive management, communications, event production and broadcasting -- has already enlisted an impressive array of governments and has the endorsement of Claes Nobel, senior member of the family behind the Nobel Peace Prize.

The initiative will begin with a series of concerts May 17 in Beijing; Istanbul, Turkey; London; Johannesburg; and Miami, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia, India and possibly other locations.

Ivanovich said WP1 is in discussions with such marquee acts as U2, Madonna, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith to perform. Top international acts like Reyna Reyna, Tarkan, Tamara Day and Jane Zhang are also in talks to perform.

The WP1 team includes Artie Kornfeld, one of the original founder/producers of Woodstock, and Paul Flattery, a producer/director for the Live Earth concerts.

POLITICIANS RESPOND

Government participation is a big part of the mission. ”We are opening relationships not with promoters per se, but with governments,“ Ivanovich said. ”And in my 30 years of activism and 20 years in broadcasting and entertainment, I have never seen such a response from world leaders, parliamentarians, government officials and dignitaries as we’re seeing with

WP1.”

In terms of producing and promoting the events, Ivanovich noted that “we are in discussions with some very high-level agents and promoters, and we are planning now to consolidate these relationships in various parts of the world. We are also in serious discussions with Live Nation and other promoters, and we’re about to consummate our relationships, so I won’t mention their names until we do.” Ivanovich did cite the involvement of well-known Latin promoter Arie Kaduri of NYK Concerts.

Ivanovich said WP1 will offer artists choices of where they want to perform. “We are going to have at least seven major international venues where we can house anywhere from 65,000 people up to several hundred thousand,” he said.

Ivanovich said WP1 is a multifaceted project that includes broadcast, Internet, mobile and educational initiatives designed to engage people in an ongoing way.

WP1 is also entering the merchandising game with the Peace Culture brand and the launch of the WP1 shopping mall, featuring official patented signature WP1 jackets by Kaptain Designs.

One major objective is inciting governments to establish departments of peace to counterbalance departments of war. “It’s extremely important to know that music and entertainment are our vehicle and chief ambassador, but these programs are critical to our mission and purpose and to achieving our objectives,” Ivanovich said.

WP1 has about 100 people around the world working on this project, and having a humanitarian of such international stature as Nobel on the team is clearly an asset.

“Working towards peace is the family legacy,” Nobel said. “Our intention is to transform the world, this crazy society that we have, to one that is better, safer and saner. We can help do this through World Peace One. We can send a signal of hope and good will, and that change can take place. That is our mission.”

Reuters/Billboard

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