Live Earth: so how was it for you? Long (10 hours) and hard (on the bum). By now everyone has their own view on the music; McCartney and Timberlake were the great no-shows, those Pussycat Dolls sure don't conserve their energy, and why were those dwarfs in monk's outfits running around Stonehenge.
But here's an on-the-spot report of the London concert. Firstly, who was there? The audience was 25 to 35 years old and almost completely white, which is surprising given London's diverse multi-cultural population. The outfit: jeans and a no-slogan tee-shirt, for men and women. In the VIP section there was a flag with "Robbie Williams is gay" on it, and another that said "Make CO2 History".
How did they get there? By public transport! Amazingly the parking lot was completely empty. A great green triumph for the planners of Wembley stadium.
What to buy? The tee-shirts were either organic or bamboo and all of them were well-designed and good looking. The reusable bags for groceries etc. have a map of the concerts and the play list and will be a status symbol at the first outing at a market. The programme was 23$--didn't buy that.
The food was standard issue stadium food but it did come in recycled paper boxes ( until they ran out of them). Since it is England, along with the watered-down beer in plastic bottles, they also serve that quintessential summer drink: Pimms.
How green was it otherwise? Hard to tell. The promoters introduced some very serious and laudable attempts to make it so and one can only hope that future productions will learn from their efforts. Some snide remarks were made about private jets but at the same time many groups put in an enormous amount of free time and energy to make the shows a success.
But what is the impact of concerts like this? The audience was constantly asked to "answer the call" and sign a 7 point pledge by texting 82004 on their cell phones—a simple enough task. Surprisingly, it was announced that only half of the audience had done it. Many articles debating the worth of these events have been written and many sceptics have had their say. Let's hope that these concerts and the coverage that they received will truly be a starting point for real social and political change by the 2 billion people who saw them. :: Live Earth