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Pete's Oxfam Blog - the Autumn US leg

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Coldplay and Oxfam have landed.

Here’s one I penned earlier (when I didn’t have access to the internet..)


It’s oh so quiet. I just got to the hotel. All I can hear is the slight ringing in my ears (still popping occasionally due to the air pressure changes). Coldplay and Oxfam have landed. I caught the same plane as the band today, back over the pond. We’re back on tour. North America (part 2). Now we find ourselves in Ottawa, Canada. Well, just outside, to be precise.


Silence is a rare thing on tour. You know.. when you can actually hear it. Completely quiet. So breathing sounds noisy. Things rarely shut down and switch off, on the road. For about a week or so, the whole crew did just that. Got some silence in their ears. Coldplay have another 20 shows coming up here. Oxfam will have 20 campaigners at each and every one. The first of this leg, and the last in Canada, is tomorrow night. Oxfam Canada are up first.


Oxfam will continue to follow this amazing tour, on the personal invitation of this huge band, Coldplay. Their support gives Oxfam a massive opportunity for thousands of their fans to start something with Oxfam. Have a conversation. Sign a petition. Take an action. Pledge support. Take a flyer. See the Oxfam sphere. Go online. Be inspired. Maybe even read a blog..


The band has arrived. I saw them get off the plane. They are ready for another great set of shows. Their fans, i’m sure are ready to make some noise. Oxfam is also ready to make some noise too.


But before all that.. i’m going to get back to my silence..









Show day 1. New tour. New itinerary. New haircuts.


Time to get back to work. I’m in a cold-looking corridor again. This one skirts around the bottom of the Scotiabank Center. A 13′000 seater hockey stadium, which usually plays host to the Ottawa Senators. Today’s runner, Eric, told me that they are pretty good.


It will be Canada’s last chance to watch Coldplay for a while tonight. Way back in summer, in Toronto, Pemberton and Montreal, the atmosphere was electric. I’m sure that it will be tonight too. The band have had a chance to rest, and i’m sure they will want to come back with a bang.


Everyone seems to be walking around with shorter hair today. No more shaggy-dog looks in the crew. The chance to visit your own barbers is another luxury of visiting home for a day or two. It’s all hands on deck today. Lots to do before we head on to Cleveland tonight. Everyone wants it to go off well. Start on a positive, get us rolling again. 20 Oxfam volunteers are fired up and ready for tonight. Let’s hope it’s a good one.








Record breakers..?


Amazing stuff from the Oxfam campaigners tonight. 1847 signatures collected in just a couple of hours before the Coldplay set. We have a little more time after the set.. so there is a chance, that we could surpass the current ‘world record’ held since Montreal.. (which was 1889).


Just think.. all those fans stopping to think about providing people with good quality Health and Education For All. Then signing their name. For Oxfam to take off to the Canadian government, to show that support. All those people then go off to watch a Coldplay show. Can’t be bad can it..? I can hear the last song going on inside.. I had better get back out there. There are people who need to get some school books. There’s a record to be broken.



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[Oxfam Blog] We did it!


The new ‘Oxfam sign-ups on the Coldplay tour 2008 World Record’ holders are Oxfam Canada’s amazing group of volunteers in Ottawa. 2032 is the magic number of Coldplay fans who signed up. It was an incredible night. What a way to start the new tour. The Coldplay set was awesome too. They nailed it last night, following opening act, a local band called ‘Stars’, with an awesome set. The atmosphere once again, was electric.


Thank you to Victoria Harnett, from Oxfam’s Toronto office, and all of our volunteers last night, for their energy and enthusiasm. They worked tirelessly to give as many fans as possible, the chance to take an action with Oxfam. It was a really inspiring night. 2032 people in the space of a few hours standing up against poverty, and making a noise for Health and Education For All. Amongst them was Ottawa Senators Allstar player, Jason Spezza. One of the volunteers was very pleased about that!


We have now rolled up in Cleveland, Ohio, after crossing the border to USA during the stormy night. The rain may have held us up a little.. It’s going to be a quick day. Everyone is running around to get the stage up, lights in the air and rigging set. Trucks are being wheeled in one after the next, with cases flowing off the ramp. It’s a frantic start to the day, but ‘we’re jamming now’ (as Fin, the production manager just said), so we’ll get there. I will be pleased to climb in my bunk tonight and say.. “we did it again”.



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[Oxfam Blog] Back to the big show.


COLDPLAY, IZOD CENTER, E Rutherford, NJ. That’s what it says on the white A4 sheet taped to the mirror above my laptop screen. Below that title is a list of phone numbers and times for today’s daysheet. It’s taped to a mirrow in my (borrowed) office. Surrounding the mirror are those big white bulbs, like the ones you would imagine backstage at a Broadway show, or on Bugsy Malone..


It’s just over 8 hours until Coldplay are due to take the stage here. About 5 hours until today’s troop of Oxfam volunteers arrive. We’re back to the big shows again. The buses rolled into Manhatten on Wednesday morning. The backline crew unloaded for a Yahoo Sessions show at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which aired on TV that night. The next couple of days was preparing for the Saturday Night Live show which aired last night, .. and exploring Manhatten. I took the chance to check out Longwave at the Bowery Ballroom. Steve Schiltz from Albert Hammond Jr (the Coldplay support out in Europe), is the lead-singer for Longwave. They put on a great show. Switching between gentle melodies and a wall of sound. They also have a new record coming out in November..


Tonight, we are back to the regular day-job. All crew back on the floor, rolling cases around and getting the big show rolling again. Another chance for a fresh bunch of Coldplay fans to get involved with Oxfam’s work and take in a great concert.


I heard that there may be a few famous faces in the house tonight.. Including, possibly, a certain Glastonbury conquerer.. Maybe tonight, we will see a special ‘Encore’.



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I bet he read here first and then got hooked and forgot to write a blog... untill jen bumped this thread hehehe


wouldn't it be cool if Jay-z finnaly got up there! I don't particully like the song but still they should at least perform it live once...

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A gig so good, they played it twice..


It’s time for the B-stage. I heard a fan earlier talking about how ‘they do this techno bit on the catwalk’. He must have caught the show before.. but I wouldn’t describe this remix of ‘God Put a Smile’ as ‘techno techno..’ Each to their own.


New Jersey is a lucky place. Like LA, Chicago, Toronto, Paris, Stockholm, Rotterdam.. They all have one thing in common. Two chances to catch the Coldplay show, rather than one. For Oxfam, this gives us a chance for 40 lucky volunteers, rather than the normal 20. It’s a good feel for a Monday night today. Lots of people coming up to find out what we’re up to, at our little booths. Oxfam is up to all sorts, to overcome poverty across the world. Lobbying world leaders at the UN recently for the Control Arms campaign. Oxfam America is still working in the Gulf Coast, following the initial devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Intermon Oxfam, today, took our signatures from the Coldplay shows in Barcelona and Madrid, to the a Signatures Handover in the President’s Palace in Spain. Oxfam Ambassador Miguel Bose talked with the Institutional Director of the government, about Coldplay’s involvement with Oxfam to Make Trade Fair in the world. The signatures have been handed over. Coldplay fans in Spain have used their voice, both to sing Coldplay songs, and to stand up and speak out about poverty.


Small actions really do change lives. You can buy Fairtrade coffee. Boil only enough water for one cup of tea. Sign a petition for Health and Education For All, at a Coldplay show. You’ve got that power.

The band have moved up to the C-stage now. They’re on the IZOD Center balcony, the mood has shifted. It’s harmonica’s, acoustics and harmonies. Science is ringing through the arena. Chris Martin helped out with the lyrics by 14′000 fans.


Oxfam has over 550 people signed up tonight, who want to take action and find out more about overcoming social injustice. More than 40′000 people have signed up or signed a petition on this tour so far. That’s an incredible number. Coldplay have done something amazing by inviting Oxfam to be here.

I just want to mention. I met a couple of ‘Coldplayers’ earlier. They’re always so supportive of Oxfam’s work. So cheerful too. Thanks for that! The band just came sprinting past, to get back to the stage. It’s almost time for the encore. Almost time to move on to Boston. There’s just a couple of songs to go first.. oh, and I just got surrounded by a group of the crew, who are excited about the post-show ‘hot-dog party’! Nice.





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