Live8: The global verdict: so how was it for you?

London was a triumph but did Bob Geldof's dream capture the imagination elsewhere? Jonathan Brown and Elizabeth Davies find out
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Indy Politics

"Anne texted 50 times and sent 20 postcards to get the tickets. We arrived in London on Friday afternoon and scouted out the area. We got up at 3am and got in the queue. When they opened the gates everybody ran. We were lucky enough to be at the front. It rained a little in the morning but we had umbrellas and had stocked up. The crowd built up behind us. We kept thinking 'are we really watching this?' When Bob Geldof brought the Ethiopian woman on the stage we nearly cried. Geldof made his point without being too preachy. I must admit we watched the finale from our hotel bedroom. It had been a long but unforgettable day."

The London view: Live8 has received blanket coverage in Britain. It dominated the news for much of last week and has raised Africa up the political agenda. With a massive protest due in Edinburgh on Wednesday, all eyes will be on the politicians when they meet for the G8 in Gleneagles.

Paris, France
Karen Zouaoui, 22, student teacher from Versailles

"This was my hometown concert. The backdrop was stunning and the castle looked magnificent. There were thousands of people but the organisation was really good. The whole town seemed to have turned up. It felt like a local festival, people were coming and going. What I really liked was the way that we were connected with the other concerts. When the screens joined us up with Philadelphia or London there was a big cheer. It was a great feeling to be in solidarity with so many people around the world. My parents are both Algerian so, like many French people, I am more familiar with the issues facing North Africa than the Sub-Saharan region. But there has been a lot of awareness in Paris. Live8 was a great occasion."

The French view: Organisers had hoped for 200,000 but attendance was down presumably hit by the failure of France's biggest stars such as Johnny Hallyday to get involved. There was some live coverage on the minority channel M6 of both the British and the French concerts. Newspapers carried some inside coverage.

Barrie, Canada
Johanna Gabel, 40; psycho-therapist

"I was really there for the politics, that was my motivation; the music was a beautiful perk. I would describe myself as an interested observer on the African issue. I do reiki therapy, which is an energy therapy, so I am interested in the idea that we are all connected in the world. When some are suffering so badly it affects everyone, even if they don't realise the suffering is going on. In the West, we are so comfortable, so affluent. We have so much and complain about the smallest things. But we can never be happy when this suffering is going on out there. The concert has got a lot of people talking. They are putting it to our Prime Minister, Paul Martin, that if he wants to be a great leader he must pick up the poverty issue and go for it."

The Canadian view: Canada has an excellent record as an aid donor and despite the decision to hold the concert 100km from Toronto, in the middle of a long weekend, organisers claimed success with 40,000 people attending. The show was broadcast live on local television.

Eden Project, Cornwall
Sophie Dunwoody, 19, anthropology student

"After my five-hour journey and four hours in the rain, Eden turned out to be absolutely amazing. I heard some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard in my life. Three musicians really did it for me: Mariza, a Mozambique born singer who grew up in Lisbon and sung 'fado', Portuguese folk music. Then there was Geoffrey Oreyma, who fled from Uganda in the 70s. It was just him and his guitar but the feeling he gave to his performance was remarkable. Youssou N'Dour performed beautifully too. The thing that stood for Eden more than anywhere else, is that it really was about making poverty history. It seemed the rest of the concerts were about celebrity but at Eden everyone really knew why they were there."

The Eden view: After a slow start and bad weather, Peter Gabriel's hastily assembled African line-up proved a success. Despite being overshadowed by the Hyde Park concert more than 4,000 turned out and there was considerable local television and newspaper coverage. Provided an important platform for African culture.

Tokyo, Japan
Hiroshi Fujita, 28, and Reiko Nagata, 27

Hiroshi: "We're basically here to see Bjork. But when I saw the videos of Africans in debt on the screens I was shocked.It all seems too far away from Japan. I think a lot of other people here have come to see Bjork too. I wonder why they haven't solved this debt problem earlier. I just don't understand why the world works that way. I think they could also have put better acts on today. It's a pity U2 couldn't come. I love Bono. The way he blends music and his views is beautiful."

Reiko: "I read about the concert on a blog, which said that Bjork was playing. Do I know what it is about? Getting rid of poverty in the world, right? I'd like it to succeed. It is important."

The Japanese view: The most politically apathetic of the G8 countries, this was the first time that Japan has staged such an event. Organisers insisted Tokyo's Makuhari-Messe venue was full to its 10,000 capacity. It was only broadcast live on satellite television and was the fourth item on the national TV news. The Hyde Park concert featured on the front pages of the two main newspapers. A moderate success.

Philadelphia, United States
Albert Yee, 25, freelance photographer

"I live 25 blocks from Logan Square and walked. It was amazing to see the city so crowded on a Saturday morning. Def Leppard said there were more than a million people. The music was the big draw. I was hoping a little bit of the message would get across. There was a fringe speaker, a Ugandan exile, who told us how something like this really helps. When Geldof brought that African woman on stage with him, that gave me the chills. What Jay-Z said about us spending billions on killing each other when we should be saving each other, was right."

The American view: Despite the crowd, the US weekend agenda was by speculation about nominations to the Supreme Court, after the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor. The New York Times put a picture of the Philadelphia Live8 concert on its front page, but gave it little space inside. Americans were preparing for their Independence Day celebrations.

Berlin, Germany
Marie Otzen, 19, from Meiningen in Thuringia; physiotherapist

"We caught the train at about 7.30 in the morning to make sure that we could get to the Berlin Live8. I was really keen to see my favourite German rock band, Wir sind Helden (We are Heroes), but I also wanted to support the concert's aims. I was moved by the pictures of the homeless and hungry African children shown during the concert. I also had great feelings of solidarity with all the people across the world. I felt proud to be part of it."

The German view: Live8 was on the front pages of nearly all Germany's Sunday newspapers, most withphotographs of the 200,000 crowd packed into Berlin's June 17 street where the concert was held. There was wall-to-wall coverage on Germany's television channels and it was broadcast live on radio. Yet the event remained steeped in controversy with the Berlin concert organisers and some artists criticising German politicians and business for lack of interest.

Johannesburg, South Africa
Thivu Mukwevho, 31, from Johannesburg

"This means a lot for Africa, I'm really excited to be watching some of my heroes. For us as Africans, this concert poses questions about what we're doing to make a contribution, It makes me think perhaps I'm not doing anything positive. The talk all over the world has focused on getting the message to the G8 nations to scrap the debt of the poorest nations but I hope African leaders will be encouraged to act more responsibly. There is no sense in having debt wiped off and the extra resources are not used to help the people, already a few African leaders are letting us down. But there's no doubt this concert and the event around the world will make a difference to the future well-being of the continent."

The South African view: Last-minute show failed to capture the imagination despite the appearance of Nelson Mandela. Line-up was of mixed quality and it didn't make the front pages of the South African press. Mandela made the national TV news.

Moscow, Russia
Andrei Pushkaryov, 32, computer engineer from Moscow

"I came to support the cause although I think lots of people here don't know about Live8. I heard about it through the media but there was not much publicity. I think it is a great way to draw attention to the poverty in the Third World. Very few people here are concerned or think about Third World poverty. I fully support the campaign although I don't know if it will succeed. I don't know how much African countries owe Russia but I think we should cancel their debts."

The Russian view: Turnout massively down on the pre-concert publicity which claimed up to 200,000 would attend. Many stayed at home because of the rain. The Kremlin had been indifferent to the whole Live8 project until the intervention of a well-known TV journalist.

State-run television station Channel One initially said it would provide live coverage but instead just showed snippets of the London and other concerts.

Rome, Italy
Sandra Torelli, 19

"The build-up was very low key in Rome but I knew I had to come because there has never been such an amazing selection of top Italian singers on the same stage on one day, and the cause is good though my friends are a bit cynical about anything changing because of a concert. It was very hot when we arrived and Circus Maximus was almost empty but it steadily built up, I think it's a credit to Mayor Veltroni and Bob Geldof that they managed to organise it so quickly, Jovanotti and Ligabue [two of the Italian stars] were fantastic, but they kept cutting to London and I wished I was there for Robbie Williams.

The Italian view: The Live8 concerts dominated the news in Italy. The Rai-3 channel broadcast the Rome concert live. Impressive turnout at the Circus Maximus which can hold a million people.

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