Hollywood loves a great big live Save The World production, and this one got saddled with the pretentious name “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” with the professed goal of “celebrating hope” and urging world leaders to share vaccines (and, I guess, reuniting the world). There is also a fundraising angle; they hope to raise money to get vaccines to underserved countries, and particularly to the healthcare workers. It was taped on Sunday night and will air May 8, so I don’t know how much cash is generated from ticket sales or lump donations during the run-up to the event — they’ve already gotten several — versus how much is going to be done telethon-style while it airs.
Listen, I wish it were all as simple as Eddie Vedder and J.Lo telling people what to do. In terms of addressing vaccine hesitancy, another of the stated missions, it might be preaching to the choir a tad. Anyone who would have changed their mind based on a concert probably already got the vaccine. Also, however you feel about Live Aid, it felt like a real worldwide EVENT, whereas this, I honestly did not even know was happening until I picked up my phone one last time before bed and saw some outfit pictures on Instagram. It’s not exactly leaking A-list performances the way some of these things do. Still, I’m trying — or trying to try — to be less cynical. Any money raised is better than doing nothing, right? And it sounds like Foo Fighters and H.E.R. are also performing and we just didn’t have pictures of that (maybe they weren’t live at SoFi Stadium and are being cut in later), so let’s hope for plenty of juice in the telecast itself that will push it over the top. In the meantime, here are a couple highlights from what we did get. Spoiler: It’s a lot of J.Lo, because of COURSE, because I don’t think she’s turned down a televised performance in two years.
I don’t have a specific donation page for this, but if you’re looking for ways and places to give, I hear great things about Give India. And I believe donations to the US arm of Khalsa Aid are being matched by Dasvandh Network. If you know of other organizations — and in other areas where the needs are also great — please share them in the comments.