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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Live 8 blog: Part one
Thousands are expected at each of the 10 concerts, with millions more watching at home
Our reporters were at the Live 8 concerts around the world to bring you all the gossip and atmosphere from the big day.

So for all the news behind the scenes, follow our live blog with entries from our reporters, performers and fans at the concerts.


1350, Damien, outside Hyde Park, by text
Doesn't feel like we'll ever get in. Been queuing for two hours, still a kilometre to go. Should have watched at home.

1345, Ronan Keating speaking to Fearne Cotton, BBC Two
Kofi Annan just came in the backstage area and was chatting to Bono. Where else would you see that? It was amazing.

1330, Christine Jeavans, BBC News, Hyde Park screens
Atmosphere is building at the big screens with half-an-hour to go. A big cheer went up when they showed us all from the air.

1318, Ray Furlong, BBC News, Berlin
Thousands of fans have come to see the biggest names in German music as well as some well known international acts. The concert is being kicked off by veteran German punk band Die Toten Hosen whose name means The Dead Trousers. The fans themselves are on a road stretching back to the Brandenburg Gate which is wrapped in a white plastic band with the slogan: "Your voice against poverty".

1310, U2's The Edge speaking to Jo Whiley
The Live 8 logo's become an icon. Coming around for the entrance, seeing the logo was amazing, it's a great feeling. If you look at the impact the first Live Aid had on justice issues, we have now come to a point where it's a given that we've moved on. It's not about charity, it's about justice.

1310, Katya Adler, BBC News, Rome
People are gathering for the concert in Rome. Emergency services, the police and extra traffic wardens are on hand. But what the organisers say they are most worried about is the burning Italian summer heat. The Red Cross is here with a million bottles of water to hand out to spectators. And giant hoses have been organise to dowse or soak the crowd things get just a little too steamy.

1257, Dave from Exeter by text
Now at Hyde Park Corner Tube station. Busy but not overcrowded. Transport officials are advising people to get off at other stops. Touts are out!

1255, Anon from Hyde Park by text
Can everyone stop pushing. We're getting crushed at the front. Remember what it's all about - people joining together!

1250, Nicholas from Hyde Park by text
The queue is too long and we'll all miss the start. Something needs to be done urgently to speed up the queue!

1245, Chris Hogg, BBC News, Tokyo
It's been an eclectic blend here in Tokyo of east and west. We had a little earlier the Icelandic songstress Bjork and before that the whole thing was kicked off by a Japanese heavy rock band called Rize and we had the British boy band McFly - a pretty varied bill here. There wasn't an awful lot of advance publicity here - but the people that came along that I spoke to said they were glad that they came and it was making them think about the poverty issue which is something Japanese people don't ever really talk about.

1216, Kerri from Philadelphia by text
0716 here in Philly and already crowded. Less than 5 hours to go!

1210, Paul Woloszyn, BBC News, Hyde Park, by text
The waiting is over as the gates open and everyone makes a dash for a good spot. Its jam-packed at the front and still two hrs to go.

1205, Stuart, Katie, Emma and Scott, in the Live 8 London queue, by text
Standing in the queue. Squashed in like sardines but all in high spirits. Very excited ! Whoo-hoo!

1155, Ann C from Orpington, south London, by text
Am at home, listening to the radio and wishing I was there. I've got my white wristband on and hope that the G8 leaders are with us on this.

1145, William Cannon from Harrow, north London, by text
I just gave my spare ticket to a young lady in Hyde Park. She was so happy she cried.

1140, Dave by text
Still on Waterloo train (10 minutes late) and nearly at Wimbledon. A couple next to me are going to the tennis! My nine-year-old son Ben is my Live 8 partner. My other children - Edward, Bethany and Amy - will be watching on TV at home. It was a difficult choice who to take. Will have to bring them some souvenirs!

1135, Barnaby Phillips, BBC News, Johannesburg
There has been free transport laid on from the areas where most black South Africans live. The concert will begin in a few minutes time. One highlight is that we are expecting former president Nelson Mandela - the moral leader of the entire continent - to address the crowd this evening. The event here has not been terribly well organised. There hasn't been an awful lot of publicity in the run-up to it. And the majority have come to hear some very good music by some of South Africa's top bands, plus others from countries like Mali and Senegal - for free. They've come more to enjoy themselves than as an act of political campaigning.

1115, Dipen K from London by text
Just got here. Queue is massive. Atmosphere is buzzing already. Dipen K, London

1100, Dave from Exeter by text
Just left Andover on the train for Waterloo. A number of other passengers also have tickets to Live 8, and there is a sense of great anticipation!

1100, Chris Probert by text
The crowds have converged. We are in a queue a mile from the entrance. The odd guitar note reverberates out in the distance. Anticipation is high.

1050, Nick Miles, BBC News, Johannesburg
Surrounded by the office blocks of central Johannesburg a huge stage is being set up. Around it is a black-and-white banner which reads: "Join the global call to action against poverty, Africa standing tall." The crowd here has been gathering for several hours. People have come from all parts of South Africa. Police have set up road blocks around the square as part of a security operation - in part because Nelson Mandela will address the crowds during the afternoon.

1030, Gillian Ni Cheallaigh, BBC News, Hyde Park London
Thousands of security staff are milling around and several thousand people are already queuing to get in. Some have camped out all night, pitching tents or even sleeping on the grass. For those I spoke to the music is the main reason they have come, just to be at such a historic event. There is quite a vague understanding of the politics behind the concert, though most said they had learned more as a result of the extensive coverage in the media.

1000, Katya Adler, BBC News, Rome
This has been described as the biggest and most important pop concert in Italian history. It's being held in one of the held in Italy's most historical sites - a place of entertainment in ancient Rome where they used to hold chariot races. Today it will play host to a million young Italians. Rome has already established itself as a city that fights against poverty in Africa . The mayor, Walter Veltroni, has an almost evangelic drive to raise public awareness as what he describes as the forgotten continent. He has twinned Rome with Kigali in Rwanda and ever since last year has organised parties of Italian children to go out to Africa and witness poverty for themselves.

0913: Chris Hogg, BBC News, Tokyo
I've just been having a chat with British boy band McFly. They were still quite starstruck by the whole thing despite the fact that they play big gigs around the UK all the time. They were pretty impressed with the scene here in Tokyo. It's taking place at an exhibition hall about 20 miles from the centre of Tokyo. Around 20,000 tickets have been given out. Japan has never seen this kind of campaigning concert before - it didn't take part in Live Aid 20 years ago - so it's something of a first for them.

0906: David Sillito, BBC News, Hyde Park
It is extraordinary here in Hyde Park. Behind the stage there is a tent containing 26 separate sets or equipment and instruments. Each set will be rolled on to a revolving stage - each act has got 15 minutes to perform and then they are off again as quickly as possible. There will be pieces where they will be talking about the issues of the day but for the most part it's get on, sing your songs, get off again.

0835: John Hand, BBC News, Hyde Park
There are about 4,000 people in Hyde Park - the queue's split into about four and there's about 1,000 in each queue. The atmosphere was subdued when I arrived, but it's getting better - footballs are being knocked about and programme-sellers are entertaining people. People are really chatting now.

0730: Chris Hogg, BBC News, Tokyo
This was how Live 8 got under way here in Tokyo - hard rock Japanese-style, kicking off a gig that includes stars from both home and abroad. This event is something of a first for Japan, which has no history of campaigning concerts but activists in Japan hope that it will make a difference. They say young people in particular are often unwilling to talk about political issues because they feel it's not cool. Japan has been cutting its aid budget year on year since the mid-1990s. Campaigners say they're struggling to persuade ministers that there is public support here for a reversal of that trend. They hope this high-profile event will help their cause.

0650: Alistair Sandford, BBC News, Palais de Versailles, Paris
There's some confusion about the line-up here. We're told James Brown is going to appear, but he's not some of the set lists and he's not on the Live 8 website. There are others on the list - who aren't appearing; Sheryl Crow and some French acts, for example. But we do know Placebo and The Cure will be playing. Those who are old enough remember Bob Geldof from Live Aid 20 years ago, he does have a media profile here and this event has been building up over the past month. Some 150,000 people are expected this afternoon.

0635: David Sillito, BBC News, Hyde Park
Yesterday, when I walked in here, a man walked up to me and asked if I had any tickets to sell. But this morning the police are here, clearing all the touts away as quickly as possible and there's no sign of them at all. That's extraordinary - for a concert of this kind, this place would normally be swarming with people.

0615 BST: Darryl Chamberlain, BBC Television Centre, west London
Live 8 has begun in Tokyo, with fans gathered at the Makuhari Messe venue to see the likes of Bjork, Good Charlotte and McFly. In London, a few hundred souls are already either inside Hyde Park itself or waiting on the surrounding streets. Space has been made for a queue to stretch for a mile-and-a-half, past Marble Arch and down Park Lane towards Hyde Park Corner, with placards urging fans to whistle a song while they wait. However, not everybody is as excited about Live 8 as the early arrivals - some of the boards have been defaced with the messages "Hypocrites" and "Don't oversimplify poverty".


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