I was there! Part 1

It was a bit of a wild rise and shine on Saturday morning (2nd July : Live8 around the world). I awoke to a cramp pain in my left calf – Maybe it was the pain of standing about on Thursday night at the Jazz Café at another gig! After a quick rubbing down I managed to stagger out of bed and get ready to attend the Live8 gig in Hyde Park, London. We left home by 11.35am and arrived at the park entrance by 12.15pm. We were then treated to being directed to walk around what seemed to be most of the perimeter of the park to the main entrance. During the closing stages of this walk it appeared as if we had looped back on ourselves!Once we had found a place to sit down and had some sandwiches it approached the time for the concert to start (2.05pm). Then the crowd suddenly appear to be on the move. Collectively everyone grabbed their ground sheets and rug sacks and decided to get-up and surge forward. Eventually we were approximately a third of the way back from the stage but as the makeshift arena (200,000 capacity) was based on uneven land, we stopped short of a small incline. It appeared that everyone in front of us had just grown by another 12inches. We also found ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder with no real room to sit down. From where I was standing I could see Jonathan Ross’s capsule in the distance adjacent to the stage. On my right I could see numerous gazebos on a raised area especially set aside for what appeared to be the press, cameras and selective media interviews. Eventually we managed to get a place on the incline. In front me stood a flag bearer. Throughout the concert he held on to his St George’s cross flag with an imprint of ‘make poverty history’ blazoned across it. Ironically our view was blocked by another flag situated next to the central TV camera, right in the middle of our eye line.

We then stood and sometimes knelt down to refresh our knees in the same place until just after midnight. No one excused themselves (or should I say relieved themselves to go to the loo) as it would have been unlikely that they could return to the same location due to the squash. None of us were in any special VIP or even earmarked Golden Circle. At 11pm we managed to move slightly forward but the view was still the same: Slightly bigger dots on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of the first to congratulate the feat of putting together an audience that for the first time is getting politicians to stand-up and listen to the perils created by humankind. It would have been good to have some more crowd guidance staff to ensure that people treated the concert as a day where one could sit down and chill rather than be subjected to the stresses of standing for hours.

The line-up was great and the world appeared to jolt slightly. Although one could argue that the 8x concerts were some very rich people hoping to do something for a lot of very poor people, I hope that Live8’s achievement will form an arrow to pierce the conscience of the G8 leaders – all who really do have an opportunity to take seriously the deaths of men, women and children every second, minute, and hour of the day.

Categories: 2005

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