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, in front of over 200,000 people. The show's logistics were managed by promoter Harvey Goldsmith.

The event is also referred to as "Live 8 London" or "Live 8 UK".

Lineup and songs[edit]

In order of appearance:

¹ Also performing at the Paris show on 2 July 2005

² Also performing at the Edinburgh show on 6 July 2005

³ Guitarist David Gilmour was in Bryan Ferry's band at Live Aid. Prior to this event, Pink Floyd had not performed together with former band member Roger Waters since 1981. Others who had played Live Aid 20 years before were Bob Geldof, U2, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Sting, The Who, George Michael and Madonna (who performed then at the Philadelphia concert).

Performance notes[edit]

Bono and Paul McCartney
The London French horn free-lancers (Steggall, Walters, 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 (John, green), Adam Walters (George, orange), Joe Walters (Paul, blue) and Matt Gunner (Ringo, Pink). This is documented in "A Devil to Play," by Jasper Rees (Harper Collins, New York, 2009) on page 275.

Immediately following Travis' performance, Geldof told the audience, 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.

Both The Cure and Muse were originally listed on the Live 8 website, as appearing at the Live 8 London concert. During the December 2005 BBC TV documentary "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 of 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.

Dido and Youssou N'Dour also managed to appear at the Cornwall and Paris venues during the day.

While being interviewed by Jo Whiley during the BBC Live 8 broadcast George Michael stated that he was to have performed a solo voice and piano version of his song "Praying For Time", but come the day of the concert chose not to appear as he was suffering from a very sore throat.

Some artists, such as Elton John, Coldplay, R.E.M. and U2, 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: Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. This was the final occasion that these four performed together as Wright died on 15 September 2008 of cancer at the age of 65.

Originally scheduled to close at 9.30pm, the concert overran and went on until just after midnight, leaving many in the audience with no means of returning home.

As he had done at Live Aid 20 years previous 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:



Jonathan Ross and Ricky Gervais 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 about 18:15 on BBC One, right up to the end of the concert at midnight. The advertised changeover time was 16:15, disappointing many who had set video recorders accordingly.

The coverage was fronted by talk show host Jonathan Ross, with backstage interviews by Fearne Cotton and Jo Whiley.

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 veejays. 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 a highlights show of around 3 hours length was broadcast on the night of the concert, AEST, on free to air Nine Network and full live coverage was broadcast on pay TV.


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

The Radio 1 coverage was anchored by Chris Moyles and Scott Mills, with interviews by Edith Bowman, Colin Murray, Sara Cox and Vernon Kay. There was alternative coverage on Radio 2, anchored by Chris Evans. Each station focussed on artists who matched the station's playlisting policy and target audience.

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

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.


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.

External links[edit]