Drop the debt of the worlds poorest nations, increase and improve aid, and negotiate fairer trade rules...
The Cause
The Cause
Live 8 was a series of concerts that took place in July 2005, in the G8 nations and South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 Conference and Summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland from July 6-8, 2005; they also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. Running parallel with the UK's Make Poverty History campaign, the shows planned to pressure world leaders to drop the debt of the world's poorest nations, increase and improve aid, and negotiate fairer trade rules in the interest of poorer countries. Ten simultaneous concerts were held on 2 July and one on 6 July. On 7 July the G8 leaders pledged to increase aid to Africa by US$25 billion by the year 2010.
More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks. 
Live Aid and Band Aid organiser Bob Geldof announced the event on 31 May 2005. Many former Live Aid acts offered their services to the cause. Prior to the official announcement of the event many news sources referred to the event as Live Aid 2. However Geldof and co-organiser Midge Ure have since explicitly said they don't think of the event as the same as Live Aid. Geldof said "This is not Live Aid 2. These concerts are the start point for The Long Walk To Justice, the one way we can all make our voices heard in unison."  Many of the Live 8 backers were also involved in the largely forgotten NetAid concerts.
Organizers of Live 8 presented the "Live 8 List" to the world leaders at the G8 summit. This is a list of names compiled from around the world of people who have voiced support of the Live 8 mission to "Make Poverty History" www.live8list.com. Names from the list also appeared on the giant televisions at each concert during the broadcast.
Some ticket holders placed their tickets on the auction site eBay, creating an uproar which included Geldof demanding that the company remove the auctions, even encouraging hackers to attack eBay. eBay later removed the tickets, after some controversy.
Other critics say that millionaire rock stars would make greater contribution by donating parts of their personal fortunes. Indeed as some performers have been out of the public eye, it may be seen as a way of getting back. It is also important to note that Live 8, unlike Live Aid, didn't intend to raise money, but awareness and political pressure.
There were ten concerts held on 2 July 2005, most of them simultaneously. The first to begin was held at the Makuhari Messe in Japan, with Rize being the first of all the Live 8 performers. During the opening of the Philadelphia concert, Will Smith led the combined audiences of London, Philadelphia, Berlin, Rome, Paris and Barrie (outside Toronto) in a synchronised finger click. This was to represent the death of a child every three seconds, due to poverty. There was also an event entitled "Africa's Calling", organised by musician Peter Gabriel, which featured an all African line up and took place at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Bob Geldof was at the event in Hyde Park, London and made numerous appearances on stage, including a performance of "I Don't Like Mondays". Some of these were also shown to other venues. Special guests appeared throughout the concerts, with Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, making a speech at the London show and Nelson Mandela appearing in the South African venue. Guest presenters, ranging from sporting stars to comedians, also introduced acts.
The final event was held in Edinburgh on 6 July 2005 and went by the name Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push. It featured further performances from some of the artists from the other concerts, Geldof again appeared at the Edinburgh gig with his band, and performed two songs; The Great Song of Indifference and Rat Trap.  Midge Ure also performed in Edinburgh which was the closest of the eleven events to the actual location of the G8 summit.
Key events
31 May 2005
Official announcement of Live 8 concerts by Bob Geldof, Harvey Goldsmith (the phenomenal promoter who would handle all of the logistics of the mammoth task), Midge Ure, Elton John and Richard Curtiss. Geldof calls for a coinciding march on Edinburgh to protest poverty, "What's better - two days of work? Two days of geometry? Or participating in something you will remember all your life," he says.
3 June 2005
British Chancellor Gordon Brown announces that VAT will be waived on the cost of the London concert. He estimates that this will save the organisers £500,000.  He also supported Geldof's call for a peaceful protest rally in Scotland.
6 June 2005
Text lottery launched in the UK for tickets for the London concert. 1.5 million text messages are received in the first day.
7 June 2005
Midge Ure announces a concert to be held in Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland on 6 July as the climax to the proposed rally.
11 June 2005
G8 finance ministers agree to cancel the debt owed by 18 of the poorest countries.
14 June 2005
eBay announces that they will block the selling-on of tickets after Geldof calls on the public to rally against the internet auction site.
15 June 2005
It is announced that Peter Gabriel will organize a sixth simultaneous Live 8 concert dubbed "Africa Calling" featuring all African artists, to counter criticisms that most performers announced to date are white. The event is to be held in Cornwall, southwest England, on 2 July. Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour will host the event, which will also feature performances by African performers Maryam Mursal, Salif Keita and Thomas Mapfumo.
16 June 2005
Geldof announces three more concerts for 2 July, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Makuhari, Japan, and Toronto/Barrie, Canada.
17 June 2005
The LIVE 8 List, a petition to the G8 leaders, is launched.
21 June 2005
"Live 8 Canada" announced. Acts include Bryan Adams, Barenaked Ladies, and more. The event will be hosted by comedians Dan Aykroyd and Tom Green
21 June 2005
Damon Albarn, who recently criticised Live 8 for the lack of African artists, is now reportedly happy about Live 8 now that they have addressed his criticism. He told a reporter: "I have said certain things in relation to the density of African performers... In some way that's been addressed and that's really good... Live 8 will make a difference - it's already created a debate that we're all involved in." Albarn was originally a part of the Live 8 line-up, but withdrew after complaining of the event being too "Anglo-Saxon"
22 June 2005
In the United States, MTV, MTV2, mtvU, and VH1 all confirm that they will broadcast Live 8 starting at Noon ET. Country Music Television and VH1 Classic will show highlights on July 3 in favour of their viewer's genres.
23 June 2005
All 35,000 tickets for Canadian show are taken within 20 minutes of being made available online.
24 June 2005
Live 8 Japan and South Africa announced. Acts in Japan concert include Björk, Good Charlotte, while acts in Johannesburg concert include African stars such as 4Peace Ensemble and Oumou Sangare
27 June 2005
Live 8 Russia, in Moscow's Red Square, announced. Acts include Pet Shop Boys and Bravo
28 June 2005
ABC say they will broadcast a two-hour highlights event at 8pm ET on 2 July in prime time.
2 July 2005
AOL Music begins broadcasting streams from each city live and on-demand at Aolmusic.com.
2 July 2005
The march against poverty in Edinburgh starts and continues mostly peacefully, with an estimate of 200,000 people involved with the march. Main concerts start.
3 July 2005
Sail 8 flops and sinks without trace.
6 July 2005
Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push concert in Edinburgh takes place.
8 July 2005
The G8 summit ends. Leaders pledge to increase aid to developing countries by US$50 billion overall by 2010, including an increase of US$25 billion in aid for Africa.
8 July 2005
Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof thanks the G8 for meeting the Live 8 goal and then knocks off for a cuppa.
Live 8 list
"We don't want your money, we want your voice." 
 Bob Geldof
The previous Live Aid concert, held in 1985, was a massive fundraising effort which accumulated approximately £79 million, which was sent to the world's poorest countries in aid.
The current Live 8 concert is not a fundraising event of any kind; rather, the organisers are hoping that it will spur people's political interest. The event coincides with the 2005 G8 summit at the Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland, and the idea behind it is to overwhelm the eight politicans attending with the amount of public support for the principles of the Make Poverty History campaign.
An enormous petition with (presently) over 30 million names is available to be signed on the Internet. Named the "Live 8 List", this can be reached via the Live 8 List page. Millions of paper petitions and emails have already been submitted.
The concerts were free, 66,500 pairs of tickets for the Hyde Park concert were allocated on 13 June 2005 to winners of a text message competition that began on Monday 6 June 2005. Entry involved sending the answer to a multiple choice question via a text message costing £1.50. Winners were drawn at random from those correctly answering the question. Over two million texts were sent during the competition, raising £3 million. Thus texters had a roughly one-in-28 chance of winning a pair of tickets. The first £1.6m raised is to be given to the Prince's Trust, who in turn will donate to the Help A London Child charity. The Prince's Trust usually host the Party in the Park concert in Hyde Park in July. This event was cancelled in 2005 to make way for Live 8. The £1.6m donation will act as a quid pro quo. Funds raised beyond the £1.6m "will go to pay for the costs of Live 8, as it is a free event", according to the Live 8 website.
Some people who won tickets immediately placed them for sale on the Internet auction site eBay, with the intention of making a profit. This was heavily criticised by the organisers of the event, including Bob Geldof. Initially, eBay defended their decision to allow the auctions to go ahead, stating that there were no laws against their sale. They also promised to make a donation to Live 8 that would be "at least equal to any fees" they would be making for such sales. Many people, angered by others seemingly using Live 8 to make money, placed fake bids for millions of pounds for such auctions in an attempt to force the sellers to take them off sale. It was later announced that eBay, under pressure from the British government, the public, as well as Geldof himself, would withdraw all auctions of the tickets. Others have argued, though, that selling the tickets would not have done any harm to the people Live 8 is supposed to be helping and it would have allowed those who missed the random selection a chance to go to the concert.
Similar scalper situations arose for the Edinburgh and Canadian shows, and eBay halted sales of those tickets as well. In fact, the 35,000 free tickets for the Canadian show were all distributed in just 20 minutes on 23 June 2005, Ticketmaster reported.
Rally and protest in Edinburgh
On July 2, the same day as the Live 8 concerts, a rally and protest march was held in central Edinburgh, near the Gleneagles venue for the G8 conference later that week. This protest had been organised by the Make Poverty History group and local authorities as part of a series of events in Edinburgh commemorating the G8 conference, and had been planned for months before the announcement of Live 8.
An estimated total of 220,000 people took part, making it the largest ever protest in the Scottish capital. The marchers had been asked to wear white to make a symbolic ring of white through the city, matching the Make Poverty History white wrist band. Marchers were addressed by celebrities, political and religious leaders who supported the reduction of world poverty.
A group at the head of the procession through the city were dressed in business suits. They raised applause from the marchers by stopping to bow before Starbucks and McDonald's while chanting "Two, four, six, eight, we really must accumulate."
Police presence at the march was moderate but effective, handling a small series of scuffles over deliberate trouble makers with no arrests. The march was considered peaceful, and effective.
"I want to pay tribute to the crowd of 225,000 who came and cooperated with the police to make this a successful and memorable occasion. I also want to pay tribute to the organizers of the march who have achieved their objectives through meticulous planning and cooperation."
Chief Constable Ian Dickenson
Geldof's "Long Walk to Justice"
On June 1, Bob Geldof called for a million people to descend upon Edinburgh in a "Long Walk to Justice", on July 6, the first day of the G8 summit at Gleneagles, in a separate protest to the one held on the 2nd. Geldof was immediately criticised by Lothian and Borders Police chief constable Ian Dickenson for encouraging such a large crowd to assemble in Edinburgh with such little notice and no consultation with local authorities about how to accomodate so many people.
Criticisms -
A lack of African presence
London-based group Black Information Link described the list of performers at the Hyde Park event as "hideously white", noting that Mariah Carey, Ms Dynamite, and Snoop Dogg are the only non-white performers scheduled to perform at the event. Damon Albarn re-iterated this criticism, saying that "This country [the UK] is incredibly diverse," he said. "More than ever, black culture is an integral part of society. So why is the bill so damn Anglo-Saxon?" Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Jay-Z, and Kanye West also turned up at Philadelphia to perform.
Albarn is now reportedly happy about Live 8 now that they have addressed his criticism. He told a reporter on 21 June: "I have said certain things in relation to the density of African performers... In some way that's been addressed and that's really good... Live 8 will make a difference – it's already created a debate that we're all involved in."
A Live 8 spokesman said that a number of black performers had been approached to participate and that the event would feature a "large urban element", and pointed to the number of artists of African descent like Ms Dynamite. However, Youssou N'Dour and Dave Matthews of Dave Matthews Band, remained the only African-born artists signed to perform at the main concerts. Bob Geldof originally said that this was because he had aimed for the biggest-selling, most popular artists to ensure a large television audience; but critics noted that even if this was acceptable as the sole criterion for inclusion, some of the minor white artists signed up were substantially less well-known than some major African artists. Bob Geldof has been accused of compounding the original error by announcing an entirely African line-up ("Africa Calling") at a concert to be held at the Eden Project in Cornwall on the same day as the main Live 8 concerts.
The concert was also been criticized by African intellectuals for not addressing issues such as corruption and governance. A Cameroonian op-ed appearing in the New York Times stated:
"Who here [in Africa] wants a concert against poverty when an African is born, lives and dies without ever being able to vote freely? But the truth is that it was not for us, for Africa, that the musicians at Live 8 were singing; it was to amuse the crowds and to clear their own consciences, and whether they realized it or not, to reinforce dictatorships. They still believe us to be like children that they must save, as if we don't realize ourselves what the source of our problems is." 
Artists' careers
As with many charity events before it, Live 8 has come in for some criticism in the media. Some of these criticisms are not specific to Live 8 but representative of a particular point of view concerning western attitudes towards Africa. However, some criticisms are directed at Geldof himself and the motives for Live 8:
"I am coming, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Live 8 is as much to do with Geldof showing off his ability to push around presidents and prime ministers as with pointing out the potential of Africa. Indeed, Geldof appears not to be interested in Africa's strengths, only in an Africa on its knees." 
Geldof is criticised for using Africa as "a catwalk" which is more about reviving the careers of ageing rock stars than about helping the poor in Africa. For example, some fans and music critics feel that some of the lineups, such as that in Barrie, are not only largely ethnically homogeneous but not likely to connect with, or speak to, younger fans.
Many believed that it was hypocrisy that many of the performing artists had tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars of "spare cash" lying in their bank accounts whilst wanting to "Make Poverty History". On stage, Kanye West criticised G8 politicians for riding in Bentleys and Benzs, although he himself owns 12 vehicles. [Even more controversially, West also used the global platform to make claims of "man-made diseases placed in African communities", a reference to the widely-held belief that AIDS was created to exterminate Africans.] Counter-critics, however, point out that these celebrities are still not rich enough to be able to cancel the debts of nations. Damon Albarn also suggested that the performers' record labels should pay "a tariff" as the accompanying publicity would increase future record sales and hence their profits. Live 8, it is important to note, is not a charity event. Indeed, public figures and media have since called on the artists and their record labels to donate the profits of increased sales that followed appearance at the event.
More criticism has been levelled at the performers based on what they will be bringing home for participating in the concert. While they received no monetary compensation, they have been given gift bags containing lavish gifts. These gift bags contain designer goodies valued at approximately $3000.
Many charities had been planning a rally on 2 July targeting the G8 summit and were apparently surprised at the Live 8 announcement, although, due to the common cause, protest has been muted.
The debt relief idea being promoted by Live 8 is seen as giving a blank cheque to governments, many of which are plagued by corruption, and in the past have used debt relief to increase their defence spending. Some have criticised him for ignoring what they hold to be the root causes of Africa's problems, the actions of Robert Mugabe being one, and seeking to solve complex political problems by simply throwing money at them.
The economic principles and theories behind the event have also been subject to criticism as ill-informed and simplistic. A rising number of citizens of G8 nations are discontent with the idea of billions of their tax money funding developments in another continent whilst their own education, health, pensions and infrastructure systems require more funding.
Despite the show being broadcast before the watershed in many countries, there was no attempt at censorship. The BBC apologised for an instance when Madonna asked the audience "are you fucking ready, London?", and for Snoop Dogg's perfomance which contained the use of swear words without censorship. When Green Day's performance in Berlin was broadcast to the other venues, it was aired uncensored. In the United States, MTV censored swear words from the performances it broadcast, except for the word "bullshit" as part of the lyrics to Pink Floyd's "Money".
Criticism was also drawn from viewers of MTV (and possibly other networks), in which the broadcaster cut to commercials while bands were still performing, specifically Pink Floyd and The Who. Criticism was also aimed at MTV for focusing too much on ill-informed VJs and not enough on the music. In fact, very few of Live 8's songs were played in full by MTV and almost none of them were broadcast live, leading some to contend that MTV may have covered the event but they did not broadcast it.
The Line Up and The Songs

Live 8, Hyde Park, London
In order of appearance:
  1.     Bob Geldof (Host)
  2.     Paul McCartney with U2 - "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  3.     U2 - "Beautiful Day"/"Blackbird", "Vertigo", "One"/"Unchained Melody"
  4.     Coldplay - "In My Place/Rockin' All Over the World (chorus)", "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (with Richard Ashcroft), "Fix You"
  5.     David Walliams and Matt Lucas (presenters) as their Little Britain characters Lou and Andy.
  6.     Elton John - "The Bitch is Back", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", "Children of the Revolution" (with Pete Doherty)
  7.     Bill Gates (presenter)
  8.     Dido - "White Flag" (Solo), "Thank You" and "Seven Seconds" (both with Youssou N'Dour)
  9.     Stereophonics - "Bartender And The Thief/Ace Of Spades", "Dakota", "Maybe Tomorrow", "Local Boy In The Photograph"
  10.     Ricky Gervais (presenter)
  11.     R.E.M. - "Imitation of Life", "Everybody Hurts", "Man on the Moon"
  12.     Kofi Annan (presenter)
  13.     Ms. Dynamite - "Dy-na-mi-tee", "Redemption Song"
  14.     Keane - "Somewhere Only We Know", "Bedshaped"
  15.     Will Smith (presenter) in Philadelphia, USA
  16.     Travis - "Sing", "Side"/"Stayin' Alive", "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?"
  17.     Bob Geldof (and Band: Pete Briquette, Johnny Turnbull, Niall Power, Alan Dunn, Vince Loveday) - "I Don't Like Mondays"
  18.     Brad Pitt (presenter)
  19.     Annie Lennox - "Why", "Little Bird", "Sweet Dreams"
  20.     UB40 - "Food for Thought", "Who You Fighting For?", "Red Red Wine", "Can't Help Falling in Love"
  21.     Snoop Dogg - "Ups And Downs", "Drop It Like It's Hot", "Signs", "What's My Name", "Hey Hey"
  22.     Razorlight - "Somewhere Else", "Golden Touch", "Looking For You"
  23.     Bob Geldof introduced 24-year-old Birhan Woldu, an Ethiopian student who was shown as a starving child in a video at Live Aid.
  24.     Madonna - "Like a Prayer", "Ray of Light", "Music"
  25.     Snow Patrol - "Chocolate", "Run"
  26.     The Killers - "All These Things That I've Done"
  27.     Joss Stone - "Super Duper Love", "I Had a Dream", "Some Kind of Wonderful"
  28.     Scissor Sisters - "Laura", "Take Your Mama Out", "Everybody Wants the Same Thing"
  29.     Velvet Revolver - "Do It For The Kids", "Fall To Pieces", "Slither"
  30.     Lenny Henry (presenter)
  31.     Sting - "Message In A Bottle", "Driven To Tears", "Every Breath You Take" (with alternate lyrics)
  32.     Dawn French (presenter)
  33.     Mariah Carey - "Make It Happen", "Hero" (both with African Children's Choir), "We Belong Together"
  34.     David Beckham (presenter)
  35.     Robbie Williams - "We Will Rock You", "Let Me Entertain You/All These Things That I've Done (bridge)", "Feel", "Angels"
  36.     Peter Kay - presenter, comedy, and a cappella excerpt of "Is This the Way to Amarillo"
  37.     The Who - "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again"
  38.     Pink Floyd - "Breathe" segued with "Breathe (Reprise)" from Time , "Money", "Wish You Were Here", "Comfortably Numb"
  39.     Paul McCartney - "Get Back", "Drive My Car" (with George Michael), "Helter Skelter", "The Long And Winding Road"/"Hey Jude [refrain]" (joined by many of the above for "Hey Jude")
Edinburgh The Final Push
Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push was part of the series of Live 8 concerts held around the world designed to encourage the leaders congregating at the G8 meeting to consider the plight of those in absolute poverty. Held four days after the other concerts on 6 July 2005, at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland, it coincided with the opening day of the 31st G8 Summit and rally in the city centre marking the end of the Long Walk to Justice.
Tickets were allocated by means of a "text lottery". As with the Hyde Park Live 8 concert it overran its official finishing time (by almost 2 hours).

Lineup of The Murrayfield, Edinburgh Concert
Lenny Henry (host)
The Proclaimers - "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
Jamie Cullum - "All You Need Is Love" (with Natasha Bedingfield)
Natasha Bedingfield - "These Words"
Wet Wet Wet - "With A Little Help From My Friends", "Love Is All Around"
Davina McCall (presenter), with children from C8 delegation
Peter Kay - Instrumental version of "Top of the World"
McFly  "All About You"
Eddie Izzard (presenter)
Giant Leap featuring Will Young and Maxi Jazz
Eddie Izzard - "Flower of Scotland" (during technical difficulties)
Sugababes - "Stronger"
Bono (presenter)
Nelson Mandela (speaker, pre-recorded message from South Africa)
George Clooney (presenter)
Annie Lennox - "Redemption Song", "Sisters Are Doin It for Themselves"
Coumi Nidu (Action Against Poverty)
Susan Sarandon (presenter)
Bob Geldof and Campino (from Die Toten Hosen) - "Great Song of Indifference", "Rat Trap"
The Thrills - "Santa Cruz"
Claudia Schiffer and Herbert Gronemeyer (presenters)
Midge Ure - "Vienna" (with Eddie Izzard on piano)
Chris Evans (British broadcaster)
Feeder - "Buck Rogers"
Wangari Maathai (presenter)
Youssou N'Douri and Neneh Cherry - "Seven Seconds"
Embrace - "Ashes"
Beverley Knight
Texas - "Say What You Want"
Kathryn Jenkins
Snow Patrol - "Run"
Ronan Keating
Travis - "Driftwood", "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?"
The Corrs featuring Bono
James Brown - "I Feel Good", "Papa's Got A Brand New
Bag", "Sex Machine" (featuring Will Young), encore