Tickets
the concerts were free, 66,500 pairs of tickets for the Hyde Park concert were allocated on 13 June 2005 to winners of a 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 texts were sent during the competition, raising £3 million. Thus texters had a roughly one-in-28 chance of winning a pair of tickets. The first £1.6m raised is to be given to the Prince's Trust, who in turn will donate to the Help A London Child charity. The Prince's Trust usually host the Party in the Park concert in Hyde Park in July. This event was cancelled in 2005 to make way for Live 8. The £1.6m donation will act as a quid pro quo. Funds raised beyond the £1.6m "will go to pay for the costs of Live 8, as it is a free event", according to the Live 8 website.

Some people who won tickets immediately placed them for sale on the Internet auction site eBay, with the intention of making a profit. This was heavily criticised by the organisers of the event, including Bob Geldof. Initially, eBay defended their decision to allow the auctions to go ahead, stating that there were no laws against their sale. They also promised to make a donation to Live 8 that would be "at least equal to any fees" they 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. Others have argued, though, that selling the tickets would not have done any harm to the people Live 8 is supposed to be helping and it would have allowed those who missed the random selection a chance to go to the concert.

Similar scalper 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.

 

Rally and protest in Edinburgh

On July 2, the same day as the Live 8 concerts, a rally and protest march was held in central Edinburgh, near the Gleneagles venue for the G8 conference later that week. This protest had been organised by the Make Poverty History group and local authorities as part of a series of events in Edinburgh commemorating the G8 conference, and had been planned for months before the announcement of Live 8.

An estimated total of 220,000 people took part, making it the largest ever protest in the Scottish capital. The marchers had been asked to wear white to make a symbolic ring of white through the city, matching the Make Poverty History white wrist band. Marchers were addressed by celebrities, political and religious leaders who supported the reduction of world poverty. A group at the head of the procession through the city were dressed in business suits. They raised applause from the marchers by stopping to bow before Starbucks and McDonald's while chanting "Two, four, six, eight, we really must accumulate." .

Police presence at the march was moderate but effective, handling a small series of scuffles over deliberate trouble makers with no arrests. The march was considered peaceful, and effective. "I want to pay tribute to the crowd of 225,000 who came and cooperated with the police to make this a successful and memorable occasion. I also want to pay tribute to the organizers of the march who have achieved their objectives through meticulous planning and cooperation." Chief Constable Ian Dickenson

Geldof's "Long Walk to Justice"

On June 1, Bob Geldof called for a million people to descend upon Edinburgh in a "Long Walk to Justice", on July 6, the first day of the G8 summit at Gleneagles, in a separate protest to the one held on the 2nd. Geldof was 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 accomodate so many people.


 

 

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