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A July 4 concert by pop star Elton John in Philadelphia that was expected to raise $1 million for John's AIDS foundation and up to $1 million for local AIDS groups could bring in almost no money for the Philadelphia organizations, ThePhiladelphia Inquirer reports. Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal, who organized the concert, had hoped it would generate a large amount of money for the recently created Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund, which supports Philaelphia-area AIDS charities. But the fund could receive almost no money after a $1 million donation is made to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Segal says the nonprofit group Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods gave the Hirschfeld Fund a $667,000 advance to cover concert expenses with the expectation that the money would be repaid, but returning the money would essentially wipe out all the remaining profits from the concert. Segal says CABN is now considering whether to turn the advance into a grant, which would allow the Hirschfeld Fund to distribute the money to local AIDS groups.
Segal says the Elton John concert was overshadowed by the global Live 8 concerts held on July 2--just two days before John's concert--which included a live performance in Philadelphia. "We couldn't get the people after that," Segal told the Inquirer. "Everything dried up."