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

 

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