Czech music stars perform in aid of Haiti appeals

Czechs singers and musicians are playing their part in the campaign to raise cash for earthquake-hit Haiti. Two concerts are being staged in the capital on Thursday, with participants performing for free. Celebrities also lined up for other events.

Czech pop singer David Deyl kicked off a concert in Prague’s Old Town Square on Thursday afternoon, at the start of what amounts to a musical marathon to help Haiti. The Help Haiti concert will run for eight hours with dozens of top Czech singers and groups taking part.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK The event is being jointly organised by Prague City Council, Czech Radio station Regina, Czech Television and the charity People in Need. Prague City Council believes this is one of the first concerts in the world organised by a city to help the Haiti earthquake victims.

The concert was the brainchild of radio journalist and presenter Petr Sirotek.

“Those taking part here have chosen to express their support for the people of that stricken island. The eight-hour programme is packed with singers and groups, in short, those artists in the Czech Republic who have chosen to sing in support of Haiti. Among the main names are Lucie Bílá, Monika Absolonová and Yvetta Blanarovičová. We have information that Czech Prime Minister is due to make an appearance here as well on Old Town Square.”

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK Mr Sirotek said it had been a race against time to arrange the concert so fast:

“I came up with the idea last Thursday, so you can perhaps imagine the work gone into preparing this concert in seven days. The idea was just the first step. The second was finding partners who could take part. And of course, it was important that the help could come in time. That is why we have prepared this in such a short space of time.”

Later in the evening, a cultural centre in a former Prague factory will host the SOS Haiti concert, parts of which will be screened live on Czech Television. It will also include video messages from celebrities such as former Czech president Václav Havel.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, photo: CTKPort-au-Prince, Haiti, photo: CTK Czech celebrities are also taking part in other events. Retired soccer players Pavel Nedvěd and Karel Poborský are taking part in a benefit football match in Lisbon, Portugal, on Monday pitting former Benfica Lisbon stars against a world 11. Poborský will take to the field for the Portuguese team, with Nedvěd appearing for the world 11 alongside the likes of former French star Zinedine Zidane and Brazilian footballer Kaka.

Ordinary Czechs have already given more than 33 million crowns since appeals started more than a week ago following the 6.1 Richter scale earthquake on the island.