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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Eyewitness: Live 8 The Final Push
By Julie Broadfoot
BBC Scotland website

Fans at the Live 8 concert in Edinburgh
People were there to be counted
The Live 8 phenomenon made its final stop in Edinburgh on Wednesday, starring an A-list cast and a capacity crowd.

Put together in only four weeks, with kit begged and borrowed from across the UK, it was a remarkable way to close Bob Geldof's public crusade to Make Poverty History.

The show was opened with The Proclaimers' rousing rendition of 500 Miles and they were followed by Scottish superstars Travis, Texas, Wet Wet Wet, Annie Lennox and Snow Patrol.

There was an exciting atmosphere throughout the stadium: Fran Healy told BBC Radio Scotland all the performers he had spoken to had agreed it was even more electric than at Hyde Park, the epicentre of the weekend's global Live 8 events.

Hollywood presence

Youssou N'Dour reprised his Saturday performance of Seven Seconds, this time with Neneh Cherry, and McFly played their official Comic Relief single, still recovering from their whirlwind trip to Live 8 Tokyo.

McFly played their Comic Relief single

Described as "iconic and exceptional", it hit home its political message with empassioned speeches, specially commissioned films and comedy acts to complement a line-up of global artists.

Probably the biggest factor to distinguish this from the multitude of charity events was the number of Hollywood stars who jumped on board, causing great excitement both from the crowd and even the hardened backstage crews.

George Clooney, Susan Sarandon and Claudia Schiffer all did their turn on stage and off, lending their face and charm to the offensive, and singing Bob Geldof's praises to the hilt.

A few celebrities made the journey to Edinburgh just to be part of it: Radio 1's Chris Moyles, Razorlight's Johnny Borrell and Keane could all be found mingling in the VVIP Area.

Yes, that is VVIP Area... that is how many stars were there.

Joint performances

Chris Evans, Peter Kay, Davina McCall, Patrick Kielty and kilt-clad Lenny Henry were some of the evening's hosts, introducing some unusual collaborations: Beverley Knight and Guy Chambers teamed up for Robbie Williams' Angels (a track co-written by Guy), Bono played with The Corrs and, most surprisingly, Eddie Izzard played keyboards for the man who lost a lot of sleep making this gig happen, Midge Ure.

Raising the subject of the local unrest, Ure branded the riotous protestors as "terrorists".

"Those folk booked their tickets to Scotland as soon as the G8 summit was announced. They'll go anywhere to disrupt and make havoc. We're the antithesis of everything those guys stand for," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

George Clooney backstage at the Live 8 concert in Edinburgh
Backstage was awash with celebrities

As the G8 summit and riots began, calling up the majority of the country's police force, Murrayfield Stadium remained happily distant from any trouble.

Everyone was there for the same reason - to stand up and be counted.

Bono, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure took to the stage for "the ceremony of life", celebrating coming to Gleneagles "with 3.8 billion people in their back pocket", urging the world leaders to "think bigger than the nations and longer than electoral terms", and were visibly moved by the success.

On Bono's request, Midge Ure led an enthusiastic crowd into Flower Of Scotland.

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, headlined a spectacular concert with a set that brought the whole of Murrayfield Stadium up onto their cold, rather damp feet - they gave up worrying about how to get home as the event ran nearly two hours later than scheduled.

With 80 one-minute changeovers and 150 artists, it was understandable, although a busy but relaxed attitude reigned backstage.

Whatever the world leaders decide, these performers, organisers and supporters certainly have the energy, motivation and gumption to make this happen again and again.


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