Live 8: Final Thoughts

Sunset at Live8If I have any regrets, I wish we’d moved into the crowd a little sooner. I’d love to have sung along with Keane, properly watched Bob Geldof perform ‘I don’t like Mondays’, and swayed to ‘Everybody Hurts’. But, if I’m truthful, I don’t know whether I’d have lasted. I was approaching the limit of my standing ability after seven hours in one spot, and we were in a great place for a view of the finale so I’m glad we didn’t move. It wasn’t like we wasted the time either – we needed food etc.! I shall buy the DVD and catch up on the parts I missed.

I have a tendency to iconify pop stars, and it was an interesting experience being able to actually see these terribly famous people. Quite inspiring, really. Call me slow, but it brought it home that they’re just people – here are people just like me, but they’re on stage performing for two billion worldwide. It may be a pretentious thing to say, but all that really stands between anybody and greatness is hard work.

Even taking into account my propensity for hero worship, Bob Geldof is now my role model. He saw an opportunity to make a difference and took it. I’m sure there were no shortage of people quite willing to tell him that it would be a pointless gesture, or that nobody would pay any attention, or any number of reasons why he shouldn’t bother. But he did, and look what he’s accomplished. Of course there were hundreds of other people involved, but he appears to have been the driving force. His eloquence, passion and sheer dynamism were an inspiration. I want to be like that! Having seen him in the flesh, it doesn’t seem as out of reach as it once did.

Whether the Make Poverty History goals are achieved in full or just in part, there can be no doubting that the world stepped back and took notice this weekend. Political change via entertainment in front of a hostile media (who quickly changed their tune come Sunday morning) – it’s an amazing achievement. I’m not going to say I was ‘part of it’, but I was there. And that’s something I can tell the grandkids.

It was one hell of an experience, and many thanks to Lil for being such great company, to the lady who gave me her tickets, and to her friend’s dog, who nine weeks ago felt a little horny.