World Cup Organizers are having trouble booking big-name performers for Qatar

The World Cup is supposed to show Qatar to the planet in a new, favourable light. It isn’t working out that way.

Having been to Qatar a couple of times, I can tell you that it’s a pretty conservative place at the best of times. Scratch the service and you’ll find all kinds of human rights abuses. Slave labour. Abominable working conditions for “guest workers.” Terrible treatment of LGBTQ+ people. Fears about how guests may be treated by the religious authorities (especially if customs finds certain things in tourist luggage.)

Booking entertainments to play during various parts of the tournament is difficult.

Rod Stewart, a footie fan through-and-through, turned down US$1 million to perform, citing Qatar’s hideous human rights record.

There were rumours that Dua Lipa had a Qatar gig. Nope. “I will not be performing, nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform,”

And that story about The Cure playing the opening ceremony? Uh-uh.

So who is playing? Robbie Williams. Jong Kook from BTS. They’re dealing with some serious criticism. And Muse was all set to play–but then….

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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