Live 8 was a series of concerts that took place in July 2005, in the G8 nations and South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 Conference and Summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland from July 6-8, 2005; they also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. Running parallel with the UK's Make Poverty History campaign, the shows planned to pressure world leaders to drop the debt of the world's poorest nations, increase and improve aid, and negotiate fairer 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 increase aid to Africa by US$25 billion by the year 2010.
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 2005. 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. 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 G8 summit. This is a list of names compiled from around the world of people who have voiced support of the Live 8 mission to "Make Poverty History" www.live8list.com Names from the list also appeared on the giant televisions at each concert during the broadcast.
Some ticket holders placed their tickets on the auction site eBay, creating an uproar which included Geldof demanding that the company remove the auctions, even encouraging hackers to attack eBay. eBay later removed the tickets, after some controversy.
Other critics say that millionaire rock stars would make greater contribution by donating parts of their personal fortunes. Indeed as some performers have been out of the public eye, it may be seen as a way of getting back. It is also important to note that Live 8, unlike Live Aid, didn't intend to raise money, but awareness and political pressure.
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. There was also an event entitled "Africa's Calling", organised by musician Peter Gabriel, which featured an all African line up and took place at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Bob Geldof was at the event in Hyde Park, London and made numerous appearances on stage, including a performance of "I Don't Like Mondays". Some of these were also shown to other venues. Special guests appeared throughout the concerts, with Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, making a speech at the London show and Nelson Mandela appearing in the South African venue. Guest presenters, ranging from sporting stars to comedians, also introduced acts.
The final event was held in Edinburgh 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, Geldof again appeared at the Edinburgh gig with his band, and performed two songs; The Great Song of Indifference and Rat Trap. Midge Ure also performed in Edinburgh which was the closest of the eleven events to the actual location of the G8 summit.