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, the shows planned to pressure world leaders to drop the debt of the world's poorest nations, increase and improve aid, and negotiate fair 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 double 2008 levels of aid to poor nations from US$25 to US$50 pounds by the year 2010. Half of the money was to go to Africa.
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. Many former Live Aid acts offered their services to the cause. Prior to the official announcement of the event many news sources (see e.g. ) 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 Live 8 call that politicians take action to "Make Poverty History" www.live8list.com. 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, 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.
The Live 8 concert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On stage is Keith Urban
Live 8 concerts and line-ups
2 July 2005
Hyde Park, London
Ch??teau de Versailles, near Paris
Circus Maximus, Rome
Museum of Art, 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"
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.
Bob Geldof was at the event at Hyde Park in London, England and made numerous appearances on stage, including a performance of "I Don't Like Mondays". Special guests appeared throughout the concerts. Both Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Bill Gates made speeches at the London show and Nelson Mandela addressed the crowd in the South African venue. Guest presenters, ranging from sports stars to comedians, also introduced acts.
Included in the line-up were Pink Floyd, reunited with former bassist/lyricist Roger Waters for the first time in over 24 years. The complete foursome had not performed together since a show at Earls Court in London on 17 June 1981. With the death of keyboardist Richard Wright in 2008, Live 8 became the final time the four members of the band's classic lineup of the late 1960s and 1970s performed together.
The final event was held in Edinburgh, Scotland 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, and was the closest of the eleven to the actual location of the G8 summit.
The Live 8 concert in the Tiergarten, Berlin. On stage is a-ha
The Live 8 concert in Rome, Italy
31 May 2005: Official announcement of Live 8 concerts by Bob Geldof.
1 June 2005: Geldof calls for a million people to descend upon Edinburgh in a "Long Walk to Justice", on 6 July, the first day of the G8 summit at Gleneagles. Geldof is 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 accommodate so many people.
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 launches 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: Peter Gabriel announces he 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 Messe, Japan; and Barrie, Canada.
17 June 2005: The Live 8 List, a petition to the G8 leaders, launches.
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's band Blur 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 3 July in favor of their viewers' 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 Do As Infinity, Bj?śrk, 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, The Red Elvises and Bravo.
28 June 2005: ABC say they will broadcast a two-hour highlights event at 8