Make Poverty History: ROCK THE WORLD; Two Billion around Globe Watch the Greatest Music Acts on the Planet
Byline: By John Dingwall
THE whole planet was ready to rock last night as Live8 chiefs worked around the clock to prepare for the greatest music show in history.
Two billion people in more than 140 countries will watch 160 bands and artists at 10 concerts across the globe.
They will see Bono perform with Sir Paul McCartney and Coldplay's Chris Martin, witness the reunion of rock legends Pink Floyd and hear Elton John sing an unlikely duet with modern-day hell-raiser Pete Doherty.
The dazzling line-up will outshine anything ever seen on a concert stage - even Live Aid in 1985.
And everyone involved will pray that eight men - the leaders of the G8 club of wealthy industrial countries - get the message and finally Make Poverty History.
At the showpiece Live8venue in London's Hyde Park, stage crews battled through the night to get everything ready.
The park had hosted a smaller festival on Thursday night and the Live8 team only had hours to expand the venue to take the 150,000 fans expected
Promoter Harvey Goldsmith said: 'I am not nervous but there is a huge amount of work going on.'
Festival director Stuart Galbraith added: 'The stage and backstage infrastructure from the previous festival will stay. But the mixing desks, disabled viewing platforms and the two other stages all have to be stripped out.'
Last night, more than 100 vans were queuing outside the complex, carrying everything from burgers to portaloos.
Scots star Annie Lennox tried out the massive stage, running through a couple of songs as technicians tested 47 tons of lights and 15 miles of cable.
The giant Live8 logo was hoisted into place and teams backstage set up 300 portacabins, 20 marquees and 200 toilets.
Thousands of fans prepared to camp overnight,to make sure they are as close to the stage as possible when the show begins at around2pm today.
The first arrivals, 18-year-old students Stuart Garbutt and Will Duffy, turned up at 3am yesterday.
Will said: 'At one point, it was so cold that we thought about giving up.
'But I will spend another night like that to be there and be at the front.You can't moan about the cold when this is all about the most extreme poverty in the world.'
Louise Kasper, 25, had travelled all night from her home in Edinburgh. She said: 'People have been offering stupid money for our tickets but I wouldn't give mine up for anything. It's the most amazing line-up you could imagine.'
Fellow Scot Ellen McIlwraith, 41, also of Edinburgh, said: 'I feel like one of the oldest here but it will be worth it.
'I missed being at Live Aid because I was pregnant.I knew I had to be here this time.'
As well as the 150,000 fans who won their tickets in a text lottery, 55,000 will watch the gig on giant screens beside the Serpentine.
McCartney, Bono and Martin will kick off the concert with Beatles classic Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. …