More than 50,000 people filed into Edinburgh, Scotland’s Murrayfield Stadium on Wednesday for the last of Bob Geldof’s momentous Live 8 concerts, organized behind a single global mission: to raise awareness and support for the various social and economic issues facing Africa.
The postscript to the 10 concerts staged in cities all over the world on Saturday (see “Jay-Z, U2, Madonna, Pink Floyd Deliver Live 8 Highlights” ), Wednesday’s climactic finale featured Snow Patrol, James Brown, Travis, Annie Lennox, the Thrills, Feeder, Embrace, Texas, Wet Wet Wet, McFly, Neneh Cherry, Sugababes, and Youssou N’Dour, in addition to several guest speakers — supermodel Claudia Schiffer and actor George Clooney among them, according to BBC News.
All of the free event’s participants took the stage as part of an eleventh-hour push to urge the leaders of the world’s eight largest national economies — who convened yesterday for a three-day summit — to devise feasible methods by which Africa’s epidemic poverty can be mitigated (see “The Road To Live 8: Why Are We Here?” ). The final Live 8 gig unfolded just 40 miles away from this year’s annual G8 caucus (see “What Is The G8, Anyway?” ).
U2 frontman Bono — who, along with Geldof, met face-to-face with some of the G8 leaders, and told Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin his refusal to pledge more foreign aid was “infuriating” — introduced former South African president Nelson Mandela, who, in a recorded message, told the assembled mass that the world needed to “work to make poverty history.”
“Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great,” Mandela continued. “You can be that generation. You have that opportunity.”
According to The Associated Press, Geldof also addressed the massive crowd: “On Friday, there will be a great silence across the world while we await the verdict of eight men. Is [Africa] to live or die?”
In addition to orchestrating the Live 8 concerts, Geldof urged millions to march on Edinburgh on Wednesday, as part of the Make Poverty History movement; a few hundred did show, and an estimated 200,000 staged an anti-poverty march in the Scottish city over the weekend.
Get involved: Learn about the poverty crisis in Africa, the proposed solutions, and how you can help. Plus find all of our coverage of the international Live 8 concerts and more at our thinkMTV Live 8 hub.