Oxfam UK: Here we are. Paused on the finish line. The finale. The final shows of the VIVA tour this year. Hundreds of flourescent jackets are scurrying about inside this huge, world famous stadium. You can already sense the rush and anticipation, which will only be quenched when Coldplay take the stage. It’s a huge occasion.
Everyone is pulling out all the stops, to make the next two days, days to remember for a long time.Of course, this place is a venue full of memories, where dreams come true. England won a world cup here! Just last week, English football rubber stamped a place in next years show piece in South Africa. The last time I was here, my team, Luton Town, won the Johnson’s Paint Trophy, on a glorious Spring day. Anything that happens here is a spectacle, and I’m sure the next two nights will follow suit.
Coldplay will have support from the incredible Jay-Z, pop stars Girls Aloud and the impressive White Lies. OXJAM, Oxfam’s month-long music festival, will have the support of Coldplay. Buskers will again show how easy it is to put on a gig, to share your love of live music, and raise some money for Oxfam. Our OXJAM acts ‘Mr Newell’s Breakfast Club’ and ‘Bowjangles’ will add another dimension to an already eclectic line-up.
I can’t quite believe I’m inside England’s national stadium. Walking past kit rooms, dressing rooms, changing rooms, I felt like I was 11 again, dreaming of playing in the FA cup final. I’m writing to you from the crew room, which oddly is the drug-testing room.. It all feels slightly surreal. As I walked into the venue, I glanced across at Wembley Arena. That of course, is where the VIVA tour all started, with production days and rehearsals to make this the best show it could be. Millions of fans have flocked to see Coldplay, and hundreds of thousands have take action with Oxfam, in the 16 months it has taken the tour to cross the road, to this world-famous stadium. The home of football, and for two nights only, the home of Coldplay.
Looking back over my shoulder, I have failed to mention the huge success of the past few days. We left Manchester with 163 people planning to get involved with Oxjam in October, and with funds raised for Oxfam’s work to overcome poverty. Making our way to Dublin, we were greeted with another stunning late summer’s day. Oxfam Ireland’s outreachers helped an incredible 2100 people to sign postcards to their prime minister, urging the government to stop cutting aid, and to hold firm on aid commitments. This was part of the We Do Care coalition.
Elbow were the second support in Dublin. They are surely one of the best bands around at the moment, and a real treat for any music lover. If you get the chance to check out an Elbow live show, or failing that, any of their albums, I totally recommend it.
We then wound our way to Glasgow, for Coldplay’s biggest ever show in Scotland. Over 30’000 people cheered them to another triumphant show in the national stadium, Hampden Park. There was a great atmosphere and another beautiful night (seriously, we’ve had amazing weather!). As the crowd entered the stadium, they were treated to some of the best musicians they would see all night at the Oxfam tent. Pure Brass came out in support of OXJAM, and played 4 great sets in the evening sunshine. As the trumpets, French horns, tubas and trombones belted out some great Coldplay covers, the donations started raining in. It was a perfect night. Thank ‘you so much to our Oxjam volunteers from Edinburgh and Glasgow and further afield. Thank you again to the incredible ‘Pure Brass’. Amazing.
So, back to the end. Wembley will welcome 140’000 cheering Coldplay fans by Saturday night. Oxjam will be here to entertain them on Level 2. It’s the end of production day, i’d better go and get some rest for show day.. If you get the chance, come and find out about a great opportunity to use your love of music, for positive change. See you there. Pete
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Photos of Coldplay at Wembley stadium, London, UK (18th September 2009):
Pictures by busybeeburns
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