Ten years ago this month, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page came to Beijing to plug what was to be the biggest concert ever to take place in China’s capital city: The Show of Peace, a multi-act show in front of an 85,000-person audience at the Bird’s Nest olympic stadium.
Sharing the stage with Page himself was to be the likes of Justin Timberlake, Aerosmith, Green Day, Prince, Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay…. you name it.
All put together by American promoter Rick Garson — who had risen to fame by conceptualizing and producing the Billboard Music Awards — the concert was billed as “an international event that will establish China as a world leader for Global Peace and a Healthier Planet.”
The show never happened.
Some acts plugged at the January 2010 press conference in Beijing denied right away that they had any knowlege of the event, and by March the event had already been delayed and an auspicious new date was announced: Oct 10, 2010 (10/10/10).
On March 17, we had yet another postponement announcement … then radio silence.
Though the event never happened, Page made himself at home during his visit to Beijing, stoping by Nanluoguxiang’s Pass-by Bar, shop at Plastered T-Shirts and catch a show at the now-defunct rock club D-22.
Today a dead website still shows up on a Google search for Show of Peace. Garson himself moved to Beijing in 2013, where in 2015 he set up a VR effects company. Last mention we saw of him was this time last year in a profile in the China Daily, where he praised the city’s young professionals for their talent and intelligence. He continues to blog at his personal site at nickgarson.com.
Images; The Beijinger, Plastered 8