Saturday, July 02, 2005


This event - where most participants are sat in their living rooms with a plate of gypsy cremes and a cup of tea - is just made for the instant punditry beloved of the bloggers. We're just going to dip a very ginger toe into the waters:

My Heart's In Accara picks up a report in the Christian Science Monitor, which showed that Live8 ticket holders in the US didn't really have much of a clue about Africa: "only half the concertgoers could name a single African leader. (In three of four cases, the concertgoers came up with “Robert Mugabe”, suggesting something about what African countries do and don’t receive Northern media coverage."

For Pambazuka, Gerald Caplan isn't entirely sure that Live 8 is going anything like far enough: Anyone who doesn't distrust the Group of 8 leaders who'll be meeting next month hasn't been paying attention. They're the ones responsible for the economic apartheid that characterizes rich-poor country relations today. Every one of them has failed to live up to repeated pledges about aid, debt relief and agricultural subsidies, solemnly made and blithely ignored. The recent ballyhoo about debt relief for 14 African countries was wildly overblown; it was no more than a modest first step. The more leaders like Tony Blair and Paul Martin shed crocodile tears talk about their moral crusade for Africa, the more liberal imperialist rhetoric they spin, the more nervous we should be. The job of Bono and Bob Geldof and other Live 8 organizers is to let their fans know that Africans need no more missionaries or do-gooders. Instead, Africans have a right to justice and equity to make up for the incalculable harm that we in the rich world have inflicted on them for such a long, long time.

Of course, that's the politics - what's really getting people excited is the swearing:

Razorlight cause a Ruckus! By saying the "F" word twice before the watershed! Oh my! Good for them. Update: Madge does, too! saysRecord Card; while Gav's Studio begs for some understanding:She swore. For god sake no-one complain to the BBC. The poor African woman looked dazed. I’m not surprised seeing 200,000 people looking back at you.

Did anyone actually invite Crosby, Stills and Nash? They've rushed out a press release saying how sorry they were they couldn't take part:

"After working many hours to try and support Live8 and David Crosby even helping to secure a plane as CSN was prepared to do the show, the band was not able to get a workable slot in the Berlin performance sequence that would have put them back in Bonn to perform a tour date that was previously routed prior to any announcement of the Live 8 event," Gerry Tolman, manager of Crosby, Stills & Nash said today. "They are extremely sad that they could not be a part of this historic event."

Yeah, we bet the Berlin organisers were really falling over themselves to try and work CS&N into the schedule. We can just picture them on the phone - "sorry, we have a metal band doing Hang On Sloopy when you want to play... how does ten pm sound? No..."

Paul Korda's blog also has this: The historic opening of today's Live 8 concert in London - U2 and Sir Paul McCartney collaborating on the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - has been rush-released worldwide by Universal Music Group as a digital download, for sale an hour after its performance on the Hyde Park stage.

The unique recording is available to buy through more than 200 online music stores and services in 30 countries, including, and the proceeds from the download sales are being donated to Live 8.

Pity - or perhaps not - that they can't include it in the download chart, isn't it?

So while that end of the digital world is holding up under the strain, it looks like AOL is having a bit of a nightmare - Caryl isn't the only blogger having trouble watching the streams:

Ok, So its 3:30am and Im staying up TRYING to watch Live8 but the damn site wont let me! Linkin Park are on in less than 30 minutes but I still havent fix this problem! I have been on this fucking site since 11:30 and I haven't even managed to get the radio stream to work! *kicks computer* Damn it!

Mind you, not hearing Limp Bizkit is hardly the most crushing thing that can happen to you, is it?

Back to the politics - and for a useful round-up on African Bloggers' perspectives on Live 8, Global Voices offers some first steps in.