Live 8 concert, London

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Live 8 concerts and line-ups
Cities participating in Live 8.png

2 July 2005
Hyde Park, London
Château de Versailles, near Paris
Siegessäule, Berlin
Circus Maximus, Rome
Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
Park Place, Barrie
Makuhari Messe, Chiba
Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg
Red Square, Moscow
"Africa Calling", Eden Project

6 July 2005
"Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push"

Live8 London.jpg

The main Live 8 concert was held at Hyde Park, London, England on 2 July 2005. The event is also referred to as Live 8 London or Live 8 UK.

Lineup[edit]

All times BST

Performers who had played Live Aid 20 years before were Bob Geldof, U2, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Sting, The Who, George Michael and Madonna.

The Brittas Empire characters that appeared on stage during actor Chris Barrie's performance at this event were Judy Flynn as Julie, Jill Greenacre as Linda, Tim Marriott as Gavin, Pippa Haywood as Helen, Julia St. John as Laura, Harriet Thorpe as Carole, Michael Burns as Colin, Russell Porter as Tim, Anouschka Menzies as Penny, Jonathon Norriss as Ben, Thomas Sangster as Mark, Harrison Oldroyd as Matthew, David Crean as Michael T. Farrell III and Stephen Churchett as Councillor Druggett.

The Live & Kicking presenters that appeared on stage during actor Chris Barrie's performance at this event were Andi Peters, Emma Forbes, John Barrowman, Trevor and Simon, Don Austen and John Eccleston as leprechauns Mr Sage & Mr Onion, Jamie Theakston, Zoe Ball, Steve Wilson, Emma Ledden, Ortis Deley, Katy Hill, Sarah Cawood, Trey Farley, Heather Suttie, Peter Simon, Barry Killerby as Mr Blobby and Mitch Johnson.

Performance notes[edit]

Bono and Paul McCartney
The London French horn free-lancers (Steggall, A Walters, J Walters, Gunner) Sgt. Pepper band

It had been said that Paul McCartney and U2's Bono would be wearing Sgt. Pepper costumes but in the event they were worn by a four-piece French horn section of free-lance London area French horn players Richard Steggall, Adam Walters, Joe Walters and Matt Gunner.

Immediately following Travis' performance, Bob Geldof told the audience that he "couldn't resist playing on this stage" and played the Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays". He had earlier said that he did not deserve to play alongside the scheduled acts. Later, a girl called Rebecca took a similar spur of the moment decision to go on stage after The Killers's performance and do two songs, one solo and one with her cousin Shannon.

Both The Cure and Muse were originally listed on the Live 8 website as appearing at the Live 8 London concert. During a BBC TV documentary called The Live 8 Story, the names of both acts are visible on a provisional running order compiled during a production meeting between Geldof, Richard Curtis, Harvey Goldsmith and various other parties. In the end, both acts played the Paris Live 8 concert.

All the songs performed by Sting were sung twenty years before at Live Aid.

Some artists already had shows planned for 2 July which they performed after their performances at Live 8. Accordingly, they were not present for the "Hey Jude" grand finale.

During the "Hey Jude" finale Paul McCartney whispers in Mariah Carey's ear and she starts singing louder.

The event marked the first time in 24 years that Pink Floyd's seminal line-up would perform.

The cast of leisure centre sitcom The Brittas Empire and Saturday morning children's TV show Live & Kicking appeared on stage during Chris Barrie's comedy sketch at this event.

During Chris Barrie's sketch, Barrie performed a rendition of The Shirelles's song "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", which critics loved despite it being overshadowed by Robbie Williams' performance. Barrie's performance featured 11 footballers past and present and former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager and TV pundit Ron Atkinson on managerial duty.

During Barrie's sketch, a member of the audience called Gary appeared on stage, the reason being that he sneaked into the VIP area of Hyde Park as he could not drink alcohol because he had a concertgoer's ticket. Gary was accompanied on stage by his girlfriend and later wife Martina.

Originally scheduled to close at 9:30pm the concert overran and went on until 1.40am leaving many in the audience with no means of returning home.

As he had done at Live Aid 20 years previously Harvey Goldsmith appeared on stage to thank the audience for their patience with the late-running event and to make a closing appeal for people to leave slowly to avoid crushes.

Front-stage passes[edit]

Notable non-performing personalities backstage and in the audience included:

Coverage[edit]

Television[edit]

Jonathan Ross, Ricky Gervais, Charlie Reynolds, Rebecca Reynolds and Shannon Brooks with the Live 8 concert in the background

The BBC provided full television coverage in the UK, starting on BBC Two from 13:00 and continuing from 18:15 on BBC One, right up to the end of the concert at 01:40. The advertised changeover time was 16:15 disappointing many who had set video recorders accordingly.

The coverage was presented by Jonathan Ross, Fearne Cotton, Jo Whiley and Graham Norton.

350 complaints were made to the BBC about swearing before the 9pm watershed. The BBC apologised, however a spokesman said: "This is nothing, really. If EastEnders starts five minutes late we get close to 500 complaints".

In the US, MTV and VH1 provided intermittent and incomplete live and taped coverage, frequently breaking away mid-song for commercials or commentary by their VJs. This decision drew criticism from numerous viewers who viewed the commentary as being frivolous or inane and would have preferred to see the music acts themselves. However, AOL provided a full webcast of the entire show.

After the criticism of viewers, both VH1 and MTV showed many highlights of the Live 8 concerts on 9 July 2005 for 5 hours each without commercial interruption.

In Australia the concert was broadcast on FOX8 (live) and the Nine Network (highlights).

Radio[edit]

In the UK, there was radio coverage on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live and several local radio stations.

The Radio 1 coverage was presented by Chris Moyles, Scott Mills, Edith Bowman, Colin Murray, Sara Cox and Vernon Kay. There was alternative coverage on Radio 2 presented by Chris Evans, Davina McCall and Dermot O'Leary. Each station focussed on artists who matched the station's playlisting policy and target audience. The Radio 5 Live coverage was presented by Brian Alexander, Phil Williams and Aasmah Mir. The coverage also focused on the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh and the Wimbledon Women's Singles Final.

Most commercial radio stations in the UK took a programme produced by Capital FM for the day, presented by Ulrika Jonsson.

In the US, XM Satellite Radio broadcast the concert in its entirety.

BBC Big Screens[edit]

The BBC also had live coverage on big screens across the UK.

People who were watching the event in Cardiff were able to watch the event in HDTV on a 17 ft wide screen; this is believed to be the first ever live public relay of HD in Europe.

Online[edit]

AOL's music channel included a live video stream. The BBC were also streaming a radio show from the live event over the Internet via BBCi service, alongside various video clips.