Live 8: Final preparations under way

Live 8 organisers were tonight making the final preparations for the biggest music event the world has yet seen.

Live 8 organisers were tonight making the final preparations for the biggest music event the world has yet seen.

Crews will work through the night to turn London’s Hyde Park into a concert arena for 150,000 people.

The concert kicks off at around 2pm tomorrow and will be watched by an estimated two billion people around the globe.

Concerts are also being staged in Philadelphia, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Johannesburg, Moscow and Barrie, Canada.

A line-up of African artists will perform at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Besides the 150,000 who won their tickets in the text lottery, a further 55,000 ticket holders will watch the Hyde Park gig on giant screens beside the Serpentine.

Sir Paul McCartney and U2 will open proceedings with Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which begins: “It was 20 years ago today...” in reference to the original Live Aid gig of 1985.

Coldplay, Madonna, Joss Stone, Robbie Williams and Pink Floyd are among the artists on the bill, and Sir Elton John is promising a duet with Pete Doherty.

McCartney will also close the event with The Long and Winding Road – urging the public to travel to Edinburgh on Bob Geldof’s Long Walk to Justice.

The concert will be shown live on the BBC and the UK’s commercial radio stations will be transmitting a joint broadcast.

Highlights from the other gigs around the world will also be broadcast.

Promoter Harvey Goldsmith said the concert would be running to a tight schedule.

“We have clocks everywhere and our message to all the artists is we don’t care what time you go on, we just care about what time you come off. It’s just one of those things.

“We have to be as time-precise as possible, particularly with all the international links going on. We just ask everybody to play ball.”

Although reselling tickets on eBay was banned, some internet traders were still offering them today for up to £500 each.

Touts have also been spotted outside Hyde Park asking £200 per ticket.

Police and council officials have vowed to crack down hard on illegal touting.

Audrey Lewis of Westminster City Council said: “There is no point coming down to Hyde Park if you don’t already have a ticket.

“This is something we have discussed with Bob Geldof and he is as keen as we are to ensure that the only people who get into Live 8 are those who have come by their tickets legitimately.”

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