The postponement, first reported Friday by the Beijinger, follows major confusion over the acquisition of big-name artist bookings in the final remaining weeks before the event was to take place.
The full statement included by the Beijinger in its article published March 12 reads:
"With the agreement of Ministry of Culture, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the organizers of the International Show of Peace Concert have discussed and decided to change the date of the concert to October 10, 2010 - 10/10/10.
"The concert, originally planned for April 17, will be held at Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium. The CPAFFC has considered all aspects. To ensure the absolute success of the concert, the leaders concerned have deliberated and decided to adjust the date of the concert to October 10th, 2010."Jimmy Page, who spoke in person at a Beijing press conference on Jan. 19 to assist in announcing the musical event, has not clearly stated publicly whether or not he would perform. Separately, the Led Zeppelin guitarist has announced in multiple interviews that he intends to be seen this year, with new music and a visual biography both on the way.
Also linked to the Show of Peace is Joe Perry of Aerosmith, who expressed support for the show as he appeared via satellite in a message broadcast at the press conference. First responding to reports that Aerosmith would perform at the concert, a spokesperson for the band clarified that the band was not booked but Joe Perry was to appear. However, a subsequent statement from Perry's publicist, disclosed earlier this month by China Daily, calls into question whether or not the guitarist would perform: "The scope of his involvement is being determined," his publicist was quoted as saying in an e-mail.
The March 2 report by Patrick Kearns for China Daily also concerned the scheduling of two other top names invited to participate in the concert, those of modern pop acts the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga. At that time, the newspaper said organizer Rick Garson likened the status of the concert "to having a party at your house, where you invite 1,000 guests and only 100 show up."
The original Show of Peace date of April 17 was selected to coincide with Earth Day events due to the concert's "green" theme. If any particular significance is attached to the newly announced date of Oct. 10, other than the date being internationally recognized as "10-10-10," it is unclear at this time. The new date falls on a Sunday rather than on a Saturday.
Yesterday's article by the Beijinger casts doubt upon the concert taking place, partly based upon a history of Western acts being unable to carry through with plans to play in the city. "Don't hold your breath, Beijingers," the article concludes. "It's a long wait till October, and we all know what happened to Oasis... and the Buzzcocks... and the Killers... and Dylan. Still, at least the Back Street Boys have made it to town."
The news outlet also reported on confusion about the exact location of the concert in Beijing:
"The Beijinger has heard whispers that the organizers have faced pressure to move the concert inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium (rather than staging it beside the stadium as originally planned). Word is that a crowd inside the stadium is considered easier to control. Fair enough too – you never know what could happen at a concert for world peace."