02 July 2005

U2 & McCartney kick start Live8 spectacular

RTE

02 July 2005 15:36

The main concert in the Live8 series of global events designed to raise awareness of African poverty is underway in London's Hyde Park in front of a crowd of over 150,000 people.

Performing at the spectacular are Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna, Coldplay, Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams and U2.

The events from London, South African, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, the US, Canada, and Edinburgh are expected to attract a global television audience of two billion.
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In London, Paul McCartney and U2 opened the show with a rendition of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

US software billionaire, Bill Gates, also made a surprise appearance at the London concert to back the campaign.

Organiser Bob Geldof said his aim was to force leaders of the Group of Eight major industrialised nations, meeting in Scotland next week, to do more to alleviate poverty, particularly in Africa.

Meanwhile, an estimated 120,000 people have gathered for the Make Poverty History rally, which is under way in Edinburgh.

Marchers are due to form a human chain round the city centre.

A 2,000 strong police security operation is in place although police say they are hopeful there will not be any trouble.


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