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Bono to celebrate carnival in Brazil's Salvador

By Staff
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SALVADOR, Brazil, Feb 24 (Reuters) U2 frontman Bono and British DJ Fatboy Slim are among the foreign celebrities joining Carnival festivities in Salvador, northeastern Brazil, one of the world's biggest street parties.

The Salvador Carnival, which takes place in the heartland of African Brazil, gets less fanfare internationally than the Rio de Janeiro bash but is just as popular in Brazil.

Between 1.5 million and 2 million people are expected in the city as celebrations get under way.

Unlike Rio, where the main attraction is the samba school parades in a special venue, the action in Salvador takes place on the streets. Crowd of revellers follow ''trios eletricos'' -- bands playing on top of huge trucks with walls of speakers that wind round a 26 km route through the city.

Bono, singer with the Irish band U2, was due to watch the fun last night in a VIP area with Brazil's Culture Minister Gilberto Gil, also a famous singer in his own right.

Local media speculates that Bono could join Gil today on his own trio eletrico, Expresso 2222.

Bono and his bandmates have been in Brazil since last weekend, playing two shows in Sao Paulo for around 150,000 fans on Monday and Tuesday. He visited Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and promised to donate a guitar for auction to benefit Lula's Zero Hunger campaign.

Fatboy Slim, or Norman Cook to his mother, will play above a ''trio eletrico'' on the last night of the party next Tuesday, mixing his electronic sounds with the local ''axe'' music.

The Carnival Queens include Brazilian singing stars Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury and Margareth Menezes.

REUTERS SB SSC1040

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