HOLLYWOOD — Ten concerts in nine countries, organized under the Live 8 umbrella, were witnessed live Saturday by nearly 2 million people and seen by millions more on the Internet via AOL and television.
Organizer Bob Geldof, the brains behind Live Aid in 1985, assembled the concerts to bring awareness to the poverty in Africa just before the meeting of the G8, which has the continent’s situation on its agenda this week. Geldof, U2’s Bono and Live 8 organizers are pushing for the elimination of African countries’ debt, greater aid from the eight largest powers in the world and fair trade.
The largest crowds gathered in London to witness a Pink Floyd reunion and Paul McCartney performing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with U2 and Madonna; and in Philadelphia, where Will Smith hosted a show with Linkin Park, Jay Z, Destiny’s Child and Rob Thomas.
Concerts were designed to raise awareness and get viewers to sign an online petition. No money was raised from the shows.