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Pop stars perform in Madrid to raise funds for refugees from Libya

News Stories, 9 June 2011

© UNHCR/K. Para
Singer Macaco performs at the Primavera Pop festival in Madrid.

MADRID, Spain, June 9 (UNHCR) Ten thousand pop music fans packed into Madrid's Palacio Vistalegre recently to listen to stars such as James Blunt, Enrique Iglesias and Kate Ryan and support UNHCR operations to help people forced to flee Libya.

The seventh annual Primavera Pop festival, which took place on Friday and was organized by the 40 Principales radio station, also helped raise awareness about refugees among a young audience.

"We are very grateful to 40 Principales for this solidarity initiative to support UNHCR in its 60th year," Maricela Daniel, UNHCR's representative in Spain, said at the concert. "It is a great opportunity for us to bring the refugee cause closer to a motivated young public," she added.

The concert is expected to raise around 50,000 euros, which UNHCR will use to provide protection and assistance to tens of thousands of people displaced by the continuing Libya crisis.

© UNHCR/K.Para
James Blunt poses in a UNHCR campaign shirt.

Aside from the headline acts, other artists or bands performing included Alexandra Stan, Carlos Jean y Nana, Dani Martín, Despistaos, El Pescao, La Musicalité, Macaco, Maldita Nerea, Melendi, Malú, Mohombi, Robert Ramírez, Soraya, Taio Cruz, and The Monomes.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Jesús Vázquez, who is a popular TV presenter in Spain, sent a video message to the fans and several of the performers spoke about refugees.

Many of them also joined the UNHCR campaign, "Put yourself in a Refugee's Shoes," recording video messages of support and posing with the official campaign T-shirts. The campaign will be launched in Spain on June 20, World Refugee Day. It has been up and running in Latin America for several months.

The conflict in Libya erupted in February and has triggered a massive outflow of people, with almost 1 million fleeing to countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Chad, Niger and Algeria.

By Maria Jesus Vega in Madrid, Spain

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