The Sani Music Festival in northern Greece celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. In the mild night air, large crowds came out to hear Irish rock star Bob Geldof and his band the Bobcats perform some classic songs from the Boomtown Rats.
Geldof is best known for his fundraising activities to fight famine, and he has used his appearance to warn of the impact of the war in Ukraine on the global food supply.
“Putin is using food as a weapon,” he told Euronews. “Millions of people who have never heard of Ukraine, people who have never heard of Putin before, are going to die because of what he is doing.”
“He says it’s a military operation. Then what does the pill have to do with this? It’s disgusting. It’s shameful, and it’s despicable.”
“Everything is new and everyone has an opinion”
37 years ago Geldof organized the charity Live Aid to raise money to fight famine – and today, he believes new ways must be found to mobilize public opinion around the world.
“Social media is going to be the mechanism by which something can happen,” he said. “But for that to work, it’s too prevalent.”
“So one way of thinking about this is that spreading the medium means diluting the message.”
“Here’s the problem. Everyone has access. Everyone has an opinion, and you just get noise. Everything is new. Everything is determined by that thing that we have in our pockets (the mobile phone). Everything. And we still have.” Explained Geldof “I didn’t quite learn what that meant.”
For more than 30 years, dozens of concerts have been held on Sani Hill in Halkidiki, with the ruins of its 14th-century tower as a backdrop.
This year the festival has expanded its horizons beyond jazz: it opened with two concerts by Chocho Valdes and Paquito de Rivera, and the curtain will fall on August 20 with a concert by Andrea Bocelli.