|Genre Pop musicRock music|
Dates 2 Jul 2005 – 6 Jul 2005
|Years active 2005|
|Location(s) London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Philadelphia, Barrie, Chiba, Johannesburg, Moscow, Cornwall and Edinburgh|
Founded by Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and Ryan Jarman
Nominations NME Award for Greatest Music Moment of the Year
Madonna like a prayer live 8 part 1 3
Live 8 was a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 conference and summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland from 6–8 July 2005; they also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. Run in support of the aims of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty, ten simultaneous concerts were held on 2 July and one on 6 July. On 7 July, the G8 leaders pledged to double 2004 levels of aid to poor nations from US$25 billion to US$50 billion by the year 2010. Half of the money was to go to Africa.
- Madonna like a prayer live 8 part 1 3
- R e m live 8 concert hyde park london 2 july 2005
- Key events
- London UK
- Philadelphia USA
- Barrie Canada
- Berlin Germany
- Rally and protest in Edinburgh
- Fewer artists of African descent
- Artists careers
- Live 8 as public relations
More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks.
Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof announced the event on 31 May. 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. On an episode of quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, airing on 2 March 2006, The Cribs frontman Ryan Jarman revealed he had texted Geldof, suggesting that a "Live Aid 2" would be a good idea. However, after organising the event, 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, including Executive Producer Jeff Pollack.
Organizers of Live 8 presented the "Live 8 List" to the world leaders at the Live 8 call that politicians take action to "Make Poverty History". Names from the list also appeared on the giant televisions at each concert during the broadcast.
An official Live 8 DVD set was released on 7 November 2005 internationally and 8 November 2005 in the United States. It was released almost a year to the day after the release of the DVD of Live Aid on 8 November 2004.
R e m live 8 concert hyde park london 2 july 2005
Broadcaster Jonathan Ross opened the European Live 8 concerts with the words:
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 outside the city's Museum of Art, actor Will Smith led the combined audiences of London, Philadelphia, Berlin, Rome, Paris and Barrie in a synchronised finger click. This was to represent the death of a child every three seconds owing to poverty.
Bob Geldof hosted the event at Hyde Park in London, England where he also performed "I Don't Like Mondays". Special guests appeared throughout the concerts. Both then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made speeches at the London show and former South African President Nelson Mandela addressed the crowd in the South African venue. Guest presenters, ranging from sports stars to comedians, also introduced acts.
Included in the all-star line-up were Pink Floyd, reunited with former bassist/vocalist/lyricist Roger Waters for the first time in over 24 years. The complete foursome had not performed together as Pink Floyd since a show at Earls Court in London on 17 June 1981. With the death of pianist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Richard Wright in 2008, Live 8 became the final time the four members of the band's best known, "classic" line-up performed together in concert. Attempts to lure former member Syd Barrett to perform prove fruitless. The band dedicated "Wish You Were Here" to the absent Barrett, who died in 2006.
The final event called Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push was held at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland on 6 July 2005 and was hosted by comedian Lenny Henry. It featured further performances from some of the artists from the other concerts, and was the closest of the eleven to the actual location of the G8 summit.
It was also said that Live 8 organizers had planned to have the US show in New York's Central Park. However, due to the work of Larry Magid, Geldolf and others were convinced to return to Philadelphia, the US home of Live Aid 20 years earlier. Over 700,000 people turned out to the Ben Franklin Parkway to experience the show.
Although the concerts were free, 66,500 pairs of tickets for the Hyde Park concert were allocated from 13 to 15 June 2005, to winners of a mobile phone 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 messages were sent during the competition, raising £3m. Thus entrants had a roughly one-in-28 chance of winning a pair of tickets. The first £1.6m raised was given to the Prince's Trust, who in turn donated to the Help A London Child charity. The Prince's Trust usually host the Party in the Park concert in Hyde Park in July, a major source of British pride. That event was pushed aside in 2005 to make way for Live 8. The £1.6m donation acted as a quid pro quo. According to the Live 8 website, funds raised beyond the £1.6m "will go to pay for the costs of Live 8, as it is a free event".
Some ticket-winners immediately placed their tickets for sale on internet auction site eBay, and were heavily criticised by the organisers of the event, including Bob Geldof. Initially, eBay defended its decision to allow the auctions to go ahead, stating that there were no laws against their sale. It also promised to make a donation to Live 8 that would be "at least equal to any fees" it 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.
Similar touting 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.
Deep Purple made an appearance and performed "Highway Star", "Smoke on the Water" and "Hush". The Tragically Hip played a set, just before Neil Young finished off Live 8 in Barrie with "4 Strong Winds", "Rockin' in the Free World" and "O Canada".
Some of the highlights of the Berlin show included Brian Wilson who played a set with his band, doing Our Prayer/Gee, God Only Knows, California Girls, Good Vibrations, and Fun Fun Fun, as well as Green Day, having released their political rock opera American Idiot one year previous.
Rally and protest in Edinburgh
On 2 July, the same day as the Live 8 concerts, a rally and protest march was held in central Edinburgh, the nearest major city to the Gleneagles venue for the G8 conference later that week. This protest was organised by the Make Poverty History coalition as part of a series of events ahead of the G8 conference, and had been planned for months before the announcement of Live 8.
An estimated total of 225,000 people took part, making it the largest ever protest in Scotland and the largest ever anti-poverty protest in the UK.
The marchers had been asked to wear white to make a symbolic ring of white through the city, matching the Make Poverty History white wristband. Marchers were addressed by coalition and other activists, celebrities and religious leaders who support the campaign for political action on world poverty.
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Dickinson said:
Fewer artists of African descent
Based on the proposed line-up, Damon Albarn criticised the event for a lack of black presence but, feeling that his criticisms had been addressed, he eventually became happy about Live 8 telling a reporter on 21 June:
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 and Mariah Carey. However, only two Africa-born artists, Youssou N'Dour and Dave Matthews of Dave Matthews Band, were signed to perform at the main concerts respectively. 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. Geldof had 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 near St. Austell, Cornwall, on the same day as the main Live 8 concerts.
As with many charity events before it, Live 8 came in for some criticism in the media. Some of these criticisms were not specific to Live 8 but representative of a particular point of view concerning western attitudes towards Africa. However, some critics such as TV and radio presenter Andy Kershaw directed criticisms at Geldof himself and the motives for Live 8:
Geldof was 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 line-ups, such as that in Sudbury, 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 while wanting to "Make Poverty History". 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. Certain artists have undertaken such action on their own initiative: David Gilmour, for example, announced that he would donate the profits of increased sales in Pink Floyd's Echoes album to charity, stating:
More criticism was levelled at some of the performers based on what they took home for participating in the Philadelphia concert. While they received no monetary compensation, some were given gift bags containing lavish gifts and designer goodies – including Gibson guitars and Hugo Boss suits – valued at approximately $3,000.
Despite the show being broadcast before the watershed in many countries, there was no attempt at censorship. In the United Kingdom, the BBC apologised for not censoring performances such as Madonna and Snoop Dogg's. Madonna also swore repeatedly during her final song, "Music". Razorlight, Green Day, U2 and Velvet Revolver were also condemned for using strong language before the 21:00 television watershed, though Joss Stone's use of the word "bollocks" during a backstage interview apparently went unnoticed by complainants as her name did not feature on the list of artists named during the on air apology broadcast by the BBC following an investigation by UK Government media regulatory body Ofcom. Performances by Robbie Williams, Pink Floyd and The Who also featured strong language, though all three appeared after 21:00 (BST).
In the official DVD release of the concerts, Madonna's pre-song cursing was not included while her in-song cursing was. On the other hand, almost half of Snoop Dogg's performance was not made available. Robbie Williams and Midge Ure's cursing comments remain from the Edinburgh concert.
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". ABC drew criticism when it aired a highlights special which included The Who's performance of "Who Are You" without censorship of the lyric, "Who the fuck are you?". However, ABC said in a statement that the song "has been aired countless times in its unedited form on radio stations across the nation since its release in 1978".
Live 8 as public relations
Critics claim the events can be best viewed as a PR campaign for G8 leaders and multinational corporations, due to the disparity between the rhetoric of the events and the actual efforts made after the events in reducing poverty.
Furthermore, the Live 8 concert's timing, coinciding with the long planned Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh, drew criticism from organisers of the march. Benedict Southworth of Make Poverty History claimed that the timing of the concert on the same day of the march diluted the political message and had the effect of leading the media to cover the concert rather than the march. He says 'What should have been a political concert was very much kind of watered down and frittered away by the way the media covered it.'
Although the concerts in London and Philadelphia had the biggest stars lining up, both concerts are not available in their original, full version. Several artists' performances were cut to one or two songs.
MTV and VH1 were criticised for cutting to commercials while bands were still performing, specifically Pink Floyd and The Who. Criticism was also aimed at MTV and VH1 for focusing too much on ill-informed VJs and not enough on the music. VJs were frequently talking over the music, discussing how great it was to be hearing a particular song or seeing a particular band, rather than letting the performances speak for themselves. In some instances, VJs referred to the event as "Live 8 2005" or even "Live Aid 8" proving that they had little or no knowledge of the cause going into the event. Very few of Live 8's songs were played in full by MTV and almost none of them were broadcast live, leading some to say that MTV may have covered the event but it did not broadcast it. The following weekend, MTV and VH1 broadcast a six-hour commercial-free special devoted to Live 8 showing full performances in response to the heavy criticism. As a possible result of the criticism, neither MTV nor VH1 broadcast the Live Earth concerts in 2007.
Another criticism was at the London concert where alcohol wasn't made available to concertgoers, while being made available to the VIPs.
In the weeks leading up to Live 8, British newspaper Daily Mirror began a petition, garnering support for British rock legends Status Quo. Originally offered a 6pm slot, the Quo already had commitments in Ireland and therefore it requested an earlier slot. The Mirror's petition, titled "No Quo, No Show", was backed by thousands though eventually nothing came of it. One proposed rationale behind this was a rumour that Geldof was angered at the Quo's reference to there being "a lot of drugs" at Live Aid in 1985.
The Spice Girls were rumoured to be coming back for their first appearance together since 1998. All across the UK, rumours began to circulate causing a frenzy with both fans and critics alike. The Spice Girls did intend to perform together at Live 8. However Geldof decided that they would only be accepted in the event if all five members were in attendance. Due to contractual commitments in Los Angeles, member Melanie Brown could not attend Live 8, so none of the girls sung on stage.
British comedian Peter Kay played a trick on Spice Girls fans in the audience, while he was introducing one of the acts. After several minutes of build-up, he introduced the Spice Girls, to cheers from the crowd, before looking backstage, supposedly confused as to whom he was introducing he then turned back to the crowd with a smile on his face and introduced The Who.
Alternative rock band Green Day received some minor criticism for the politically charged lyrics used in the song "Holiday". Some viewers felt that the word choice caused unnecessary division in the audience and did too much to shift the focus off of ending poverty.
Oasis also declined to participate in the concerts as they were performing at the City of Manchester Stadium the same evening and the day after. Noel Gallagher later raised his resentment that musicians were expected to rally at the convenience of Geldof, and was quoted as saying:
Later, Gallagher became one of the more vocal sceptics about the impact of Live 8, citing his belief that rock stars are not as influencing over world leaders as popular culture may believe.
The Backstreet Boys were one of the first artists offered to perform at the events but they declined as they would be performing overseas as part of their Never Gone Tour later that month.
On 2 July 2006, BBC One, CTV and MTV broadcast Live 8: What a Difference a Day Makes. In the UK, the special was 60 minutes as compared to the US version on MTV running at 90 minutes. The special was aired on MTV at 07:30 Eastern time, giving nearly no chance for viewers to be made aware of the broadcast. Instead of airing the special late at night, MTV aired their normal broadcasting schedule for Sundays, again adding to the criticism of MTV's lack of interest in Live 8.
In a report issued in June 2006 the G8 have reportedly not lived up to their promises set in 2005. According to DATA, the US has increased its development-assistance pledges but is increasingly off-track in meeting them and, in general, the G8 is moving slowly in the effort to meet its promises.
Some consider Live 8 to be a success, including Bob Geldof himself. Chris Martin of Coldplay described Live 8 as "the greatest thing that's probably been organised ever in the history of the world". However, others believe it was a publicity stunt and a failure as the G8 have already forgotten their pledges. Geldof also believes that public attention was quickly diverted by the London bombings on 7 July, the day after Live 8 Edinburgh which was the final concert in the series.