View Full Version : Newsreel: Oxfam volunteers wanted for Euro shows (includes Oxfam Blog from Europe)
29-08-2008, 07:24 PM
Newsreel: Oxfam volunteers wanted for Euro shows
August 29, 2008 3:09 pm
They need your help in Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic and Hungary
Good afternoon. This just in from our friends at Oxfam...
Hello. As you know, Coldplay have shows coming up around Europe. Oxfam volunteers have been invited to campaign every step of the way, talking to 100,000s of people about how they can take action to overcome poverty. There are still a few places available for volunteers in Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic and Hungary. You could be one of them.
Volunteers receive a free ticket to the show, in return for working hard and spreading the word for about three hours prior to the show. What better way to spend an evening? Join the other dedicated volunteers in doing amazing work to fight poverty, and then watch Coldplay put on an amazing live show!
We'll convert your precious time into life-saving work around the world. Oxfam works to overcome poverty and injustice in a variety of ways. The three main streams of this work are Emergency response, Development work and Campaigning for lasting change. Campaigning at music concerts is one way to give people the opportunity to get involved. The Make Trade Fair campaign has previously been hugely successful, when it was on the road with Coldplay. This time out, Oxfam volunteers will be asking Coldplay fans to show their support by making a Health and Education FOR ALL pledge.
If you want to read more about how it has been going so far, check out the Oxfam tour blog (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/). If you are interested in volunteering, email Pete Lusby, Oxfam's on-tour coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org - thanks!
31-08-2008, 05:38 PM
I sent a mail, to ask if I could volunteer in Norway a few days ago, but they still haven't answered yet!
31-08-2008, 06:01 PM
I’m on the road again.
Bonjour, Nazdar, Hallo, Hello’, Salve, Hola!
After a few weeks to get some sleep, rest a bit and catch up on life at home (where I lay my hat..), i’m back out on the road again with Coldplay. The crew room has a strangely orange glow. Light fittings, chairs and floor are all a matching ’Dulux’ tangerine colour. That’s in keeping with the awkward-but-stangly-interesting-tango-tent-like structure that is the Strasbourg Zenith, home of tomorrow night’s show. It sort of looks like a pile of bright orange plates.. Nothing like the sports arenas of North America. This is yet another strange and interesting place I have seen on this Oxfam/Coldplay tour. It feels very clean. Quiet too. No voices, ringing phones, truck engines, bleeping radios, running feet, sweating or busy atmosphere that usually fills these places on show days. Not forgetting the amazing music and live shows of Coldplay and their support acts. Mind you, there are a pile of bath towels on the floor, which suggest the crew who arrived a few days ago for tech rehearsals, have been working up a sweat getting the venue ready and the stage set. Thank you to them.
It was another early start this morning. Shower, mango breakfast, lift to the station, train, tube, another tube, then another airport. I stepped out onto the runway to walk towards the plane, and suddently felt what touring feels like. For some reason, the idea of rock stars throughout history stepping out of aircraft onto runways is a resounding image of life on tour. I walked up the 5 small steps into the cosy plane, took my seat, grabbed my cheese sandwich and looked out at the old-fashioned looking propellors that would whisk us away for Round 2.
We flew out over a rain-drenched London, patchwork fields, the English channel and over into France. The airport was fittingly quiet for a Sunday afternoon. I went to the toilet only to come back and see the crew walking out of the hall, and my bag the only one left drifting around on the console (cue mild panic and silly run). Then we headed out (on the other side of the road) in the direction of the aforementioned ’stack of plates’ Zenith..
I’m excited about meeting Amelia from Oxfam France -agir ici with her group of volunteers tomorrow night. I hope that Europe will match the success Oxfam had around North America. I had better go and find the Oxfam hamper, and start setting up. I just wanted to say ‘Hi’ (in a few different languages). Get the ball rolling again. Coldplay will be rolling into town soon, and we need to be ready.
Is that a radio I hear in the distance??
p.s. Here’s a peep inside the crew room (my ‘office’ at the moment). Please excuse silly looking blogger.
03-09-2008, 10:06 AM
Monday 1st September 2008, 22:30. Zenith, Strasbourg, FR.
I just came upstairs to write a little note to the world. It’s heaving down there. Will Champion just dropped the beat for ‘Politik’. I have 1411 signatures sitting next to me. The Oxfam France agir-ici volunteers just handed them in before they went in to enjoy the show. In just 3 hours, 1411 people in Strasbourg called for Health and Education FOR ALL. That’s amazing. When the numbers are added for the whole tour, world leaders will have to take note. I’m heading back down to catch some confetti, before the volunteers come back again to get even more people signed up.
Tuesday 2nd September 2008, 14:15. SAP Arena, Mannheim, DE.
Another day, another city, another arena, another language, another Coldplay concert, and a brand new group of Oxfam volunteers.
I have just had my lunch on day 3 of this European tour. Just before I go to set up the Oxfam stall, I wanted to finish off this post I started last night. I had a strange moment last night. Albert Hammond Jnr walked past me when I was brushing my teeth and said ‘hello’.. With a mouth full of Colgate and toothbrush, my reply was a muffled ‘hey’. There is the guitarist from The Strokes, walking past in his pristine cream suit, there’s me, unable to even say hello properly. It’s all about first impressions! Mind you, at least I will have minty fresh breath.
Another odd moment just now. I’m borrowing a desk in the ‘Artist Management’ office (they haven’t arrived at Mannheim yet). Someone comes up and asks me.. “Do you know where I can put fan mail?” umm.. I guess I just have to get used to these things.
I’m excited to see Albert Hammond Jnr as support. His band were great last night, and duly appreciated by the Strasbourg crowd. It was an open standing floor last night. It gives the gig a totally different feel. I like it when people can pick and choose their Coldplay experience.. almost touching distance, or dancing at the back. It gives the venue a buzz before the doors too, as the crowds wait patiently to rush to the front (even in torrential Strasbourg showers. It made me laugh when I saw them all oblivious to Jonny and Guy going for a run in the distance. That must have had them energised for the show. It was another great concert. Chris and Jonny pleasing the crowd by strutting down the catwalks for ’In My Place’. I have a feeling that it will only get better, as the tour rolls on. Lets hope Oxfam sign-ups keep going up too!
03-09-2008, 10:46 AM
Is it possible that they still need people in Cologne?That'd be great....
04-09-2008, 03:17 PM
Mannheim to Lyon.
The sound in some of these arenas is incredible. I will never get tired of hearing the crowd spontaneously chanting that ‘Viva’ chorus. The echo and the sheer number of people singing as one, is something else. Amazing. Another thing that’s amazing, is another 982 signatures in Mannheim, the first stop for Oxfam Germany (http://www.oxfam.de/aktivwerden). 982 people lending their voice to Oxfam campaigns. Many thousands more learning from our volunteers, about Oxfam, Coldplay’s support of Oxfam and the ways that they can support campaigns, helping to tackle poverty and injustice. These people have power to make change happen. Imagine if EU leaders heard all those people singing along to ‘Viva La Vida’, and then the same leaders heard the same voices calling for Fair Trade policies (http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/trade) or FOR ALL (http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/health-education) people to have access to clean water, health, education, sanitation. Every person has the power to lend their voice for positive change. Together, we are so much stronger.
Today we are in Lyon. The baton is passed back to Oxfam France agir-ici (http://www.oxfamfrance.org/). Their volunteers will again have the chance to be the start of a movement.
Today’s venue, the Tony Garnier Hall. This place used to be an abatoire. It is a huge hall. An unusual setting for a Coldplay show. It’s a great use for such a huge space. I am sure the crowd will soon warm it up, when they rush through later today. The set is being tweaked all the time. Every song, light, sound, drape, cue and position, thought through. The band want this show to be truly something to remember.
I had some time to look around the old town of this great city. It’s very photogenic, despite a torrential downpour, which left me sheltering under the awning at a patisserie. I really like it here. Tonight will leave me buzzing on the way to Barcelona, i’m sure. So many new places to see. So many fans to reach. The band could play well into the night, and I am sure the crowd would still want encore after encore. If it didn’t come, they would make their own, with another chorus of Viva!
06-09-2008, 02:24 PM
That’s the choice some fans might have had to make for their Saturday night in Barcelona. Today’s venue, the Palau Sant Jordi, is right next door to the Olympic Stadium. That is the home of Andorra today, for their game with England in the 2010 Football World Cup qualifiers. The atmosphere should be amazing outside later, as fans of both events converge on this hill overlooking the city, soaked in sunshine. It will give our volunteers a whole different crowd to speak to as well. I wonder which crowd will make the most noise..
Judging that on the noise inside the Halle Tony Garnier in Lyon on Thursday, it could easily be Coldplay that wins on noise volume. It was electric in there. I was on such a high during and after that show. Easily one of, if not, the best show so far. The band really seem to be getting into their stride. The tweaks to the set are fitting in nicely. Songs are rolling on one after the next, and carrying the momentum. The crowd were lapping it up. It was an amazing night. Oxfam volunteers were on song again. Another 1500 or so people making the FOR ALL pledge (http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/health-education/pledge) (that’s 3000 from just 2 shows in France!). The campaigners were full of enthusiasm, passion and energy to help Oxfam strengthen it’s call for action from governments and institutions to ensure quality healthcare and education for all people. The numbers are adding up across countries to form a global movement. With that awareness and action, change is possible. Amazing sign-ups from a noisy and excited crowd at an incredible Coldplay show. When the night goes like that, I really do feel like I have one of the best jobs around.
After the trip from Lyon to Barcelona, it was my chance to check out the city, as there was no show last night. I was exhausted with all the walking but it was well worth it as I made my way around to take in the sights. I had a look at the Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona, and met a few waiting England fans on the way. This is a great city. History everywhere. I hope to come back someday. Before that though, we have the small matter of another huge sell-out Coldplay show (and maybe some of the football on the radio…)
07-09-2008, 03:52 PM
Palacio de Deportes, Madrid, Spain.
Block 12, Room 8, Seat no. 3.
The venue is a building site. There are hard hats, reflective jackets and hand signals across the floor. Stage trucks reversing in. Confetti cannons, lasers, fans, speaker stacks, motors, inflatable spheres, more lights and more speakers, all ready to be lifted above the stage when the rigging goes up. When a show gets this big, it’s a long time before you see any instruments!
I can now see one of the catwalks being assembled, which will later see Chris Martin walking into the waiting crowds (who are already sitting patiently outside..)
It was my first time working with Intermon Oxfam last night, in Barcelona. It was a pleasure to work with such a happy bunch. The show was a great prize for all their hard work. The atmosphere in Europe is raising the bar even higher, and the band seem to be savouring the challenge of living up to fever pitch expectation. The crowd were still singing that famous ‘Viva’ chorus long after the show closed in that Yellow lit arena. It once hosted the gymnastics at the 1992 Olympics. It was a very different spectacle last night.
Intermon Oxfam was collecting names in support of a fair trade deal. Those people who gave their voice last night, will join those voices tonight in pressuring the Spanish government. It’s a great feeling watching someone stop and listen to one of our volunteers. Take a moment to think about how they can be part of our work. Grab the pen and start signing. Walk away with a smile on their face, and go to enjoy the show. Coldplay make that possible, by inviting us here. The volunteers put the opportunity into action. And the people that stop, are the ones that make it happen.
Here comes another truck full of equipment..
By the way.. I’m pretty sure the Coldplay show made a lot more noise than the football last night.. One of the truck drivers skipped sleep to go and see the football, and said he should have chosen sleep instead!
08-09-2008, 01:17 AM
O-le ole ole ole, Coldplay, Coldplay.
The stage goes dark. The crowd starts to sing. The lights go up. The noise really starts. Amazing show tonight. A Spanish-speaking crowd singing every word to songs released less than 2 months ago. When there were no words, they were singing the melodies. The atmosphere in Spain has been something I will remember all my life. The arenas seem to hold in the sound. Either that, or these crowds are just crazy. In a good way.
Chris, Will, Guy and Jonny will probably remember that for a long time too. No matter how many shows they do. Belen, my Intermon Oxfam contact, told me that Chris said (in Spanish), at the end of one song, “thank you, with all my body”. He also said, they will be back until the crowd gets bored of them. I don’t see that happening any time soon.
The set just fits. The band knowing how to tease the best out of the crowd. Knowing when they will sing, and when to make them jump. It’s an amazing sight
to see people united in that way. And of course, to see four people controlling all that.
I want to thank all the Intermon Oxfam volunteers for all their energy and enthusiasm. Special thanks to Patricia, Maria and Belen for all their support from Intermon Oxfam in organising everything. It’s been great to see the crowds reaction to us, and as I said, Spain’s reaction to Coldplay.
I am about to jump on my bus, ready for the long trip to Paris. Oxfam France Agir-ici will be waiting for the two shows at the Bercy. Thank you Spain.. it’s been emotional.
08-09-2008, 02:13 AM
Can I be a part of this,before the concert in Budapest? Even if I don't speak Hungarian , but speak English perfectly? And even if I am Serbian? I am glad to help.
And this might be a bit selfish, but are the tickets for the standing area? Cause I have sitting tickets and this might be my only chance to get standing tickets.
But don't get me wrong, I want to help - seriously.
Please do reply ! :)
09-09-2008, 01:09 AM
Viva La France!
This is a stunning city. Very picturesque (i’m afraid I had to look up the spelling of that).. Iconic landmarks wherever you look, Musee du Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Bastille, and of course, Tour Eiffel. I didn’t have long to look around, so I made the most of it!
Just got back to my hotel room from a long walk around Paris (in case you hadn’t guessed). Our 5 ‘BeatTheStreet’ tour buses rolled into the city at about 6:15pm this evening. Quite a journey. We started out from Madrid at about 2:30am last night.. One of the guys described it as a ’submarine trip’ (”a very long time, spent in a confined space”). Mind you, I slept soundly most of the way in my confined bunk space on Bus 5. Our driver, Steffan, always gets us safely to the next city as quick as he can.
That was one of the longer trips we have on this European leg. So now, sadly, we leave Spain behind. Barcelona and Madrid were two amazing shows. Maybe the crowds were subconsciously competing with each other!? I met some great volunteers too. The crowds really seemed to be enthusiastic about Intermon Oxfam’s work on Fair Trade. There is plenty more to come, as Coldplay returns to France, for two shows in Paris Bercy (as always, with Oxfam and our volunteers, for company).
Until tomorrow. Au revoir.
09-09-2008, 01:16 AM
can anyone actually RESPOND to my question?
09-09-2008, 01:24 AM
We don't work for OXFAM so no. You need to get in contact with them ;)
09-09-2008, 01:25 AM
thanks I guess :(
09-09-2008, 01:29 AM
Email Pete Lusby, Oxfam's on-tour coordinator with your questions at email@example.com
He can tell you more than we can. I'm sure he'll give you a reply :D
12-09-2008, 08:32 PM
Two nights at the Bercy, Paris. Then on to Cologne.
So here we are. The Koln Arena, Cologne, Deutschland. I’m taking advantage of the internet connection in the tour management office, before they arrive with the band later on. We had a travel day/day off yesterday after the French finale in Paris. I went for a run by the Rhine to explore Cologne. The tour is flying by. Hard to believe that we are done in Spain and France already. It was great to work with Oxfam France Agir-ici (http://www.oxfamfrance.org/). The volunteers worked their socks off getting over 5000 signatures for the Health and Education For All pledge (http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/health-education/pledge). That’s fantastic work. One volunteer even travelled twice from Marseille, just to help Oxfam in Lyon and Paris. I met some great people. I especially want to thank Amelia, Maria and Nina for all their work helping to coordinate everything. Merci!
The shows in Paris again sounded great. I didn’t get to see much this time, but the volunteers and crowd seemed pleased with what they saw! The Bercy was an odd looking venue. Kind of like a huge swimming pool risen out of the ground with grass and sprinklers on the sides (I wonder what image that conjours up for you..) I only figured out where all the entrances and exits were, just before we left! The digital technician, Neill had a go at scaling the Bercy, and found out how slippery that grass was..
Walking into the venue today, it towers above you like the hockey stadiums of N. America. A huge arch hangs above it (a bit like a mini-Wembley-arch). Everything seems to be in it’s place (apart from this blogger, who is in the managers office!) Oh, and the band aren’t here yet, but don’t worry, they will be. When our Oxfam volunteers arrive, it should be time for another great night of sign-ups. Time to get ready!
14-09-2008, 02:09 PM
So here we are in Hamburg. The Color Line Arena. The rigging is going up. The morning is growing old. The Coldplay tour has rolled into town. ‘Oxfam’ (as some of the crew call me), is here too.
The show in Cologne, was another triumph for both the band, and Oxfam. 1472 was the number of Coldplay fans who gave their voice to our petition. Showing the German government that they care about unfair agricultural policies, which further marginalise small-scale farmers. Those people all pushing in the same direction, for a fairer world without poverty. That was a great effort by the team, and set a new record for the tour im Deutschland.
I took my chance to take in most of the show on Friday night too. Albert Hammond Jnr is still doing a great job of warming up the crowd, surely building their fan base in every city they pick up guitars. Coldplay live is a real spectacle. It would be easy to either close your eyes, or block out the sound, and still enjoy the show. Lights, confetti, screens, spheres and lasers, all add to the action on stage. Andy, the video director, knows the music so well, that the screens make the most of the sounds coming off-stage. Each song has it’s own twist, and builds on a great show. I am impressed. The band and crew have hit their stride in Europe. Leaping from city to city and absorbing huge audiences every step of the way.
I had a run on my day off yesterday, to take in Hamburg. It’s a very interesting place. I never imagined it to be anything like what I saw. The centre had a real carnival atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon. The port area was bustling with tourists. Run out of the city though, and there were people lining the river to take in evening sun. I hope to get a glimpse of Berlin too, before we head North later in the week..
15-09-2008, 01:04 AM
No not me.. i’m in Hamburg, just like Coldplay. They are about 30 meters away from me, just finishing the end of ‘Lost!’, from their new album ‘Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends’.
Now I can hear the crowd screaming.. which might mean they are about to play a special acoustic section, somewhere in the arena.
The show is sold out again. These guys seem pretty popular you know.. Oxfam has again played it’s part in the evening. People stopping to ask who we are, ask about the shops, ask about ‘Unwrapped (http://www.oxfam.org/en/getninvolved/unwrapped)‘, ask about OXJAM (http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/fundraise/oxjam/index.php?ito=2415&itc=0), ask how they can raise money in the marathon they are doing next week… ask why we are at a Coldplay concert in Hamburg? Because they invited us, of course.
The message is simple. It’s written on my wrist.
“Deine Stimme Gegen Armut”. (Give your voice against poverty). Oxfam.
Time for the encore. . . (once the band have run past this little office, back to the stage!)
18-09-2008, 11:14 PM
Let me explain that title. I don’t want you to think that the tiredness and cool Scandinavian air has made me start to hallucinate. Coldplay are on stage now, playing ‘Strawberry Swing’, in Globen (The Globe), Stockholm, Sweden, which happens to look like a giant golf ball. See.. I wasn’t making it up.
It’s been a while since I wrote. So let me just say… ‘Wow!’
1426 more Coldplay fans, like you and I, have made Oxfam’s Health and Education For All pledge. That’s just tonight.. and the night is still young! This is the second night in Stockholm’s famous Globe arena (*golf ball). On the first night, Oxfam volunteers helped 905 people make the pledge. That was with only 9 volunteers! Amazing stuff. Incredibly, that gives Oxfam a total of 2401, in two nights in Sweden. 2401 people who care about giving everyone, everywhere, access to good quality health care. To well trained nurses. The chance to go to school and learn, for a more sustainable future. Access to clean water and sanitation. Basic things that people need to survive, to be free from poverty, and to prosper.
I think that’s truly inspiring. Coldplay are out there at the moment, inspiring people with their music (the walls are shaking, it must be ’Politik’). I want to thank them for inviting us to involve their fans in Oxfam’s work around the world.
So.. back to Berlin. I failed to mention that! On Monday, Berlin played host to Coldplay in the brand new O2 World Arena, which overlooks the old Berlin wall. The venue was only 3 concerts old. It was a new place to explore, and felt a bit like a clean airport in comparison to some of the more mature venues we are playing.. (one of our volunteers went to the opening of The Globe in 1989..). Oxfam Deutschland volunteers again did a great job. Catching people sitting down or standing up, waiting for their favourite band, and giving them a chance to take action that night.
After Berlin, we were whisked away to Sweden. Literally whisked away. At first, I stayed up on the bus talking to Steffan, our driver. I then went to take a nap, and intended to wake up when we crossed “the longest bridge in the world”. I then slept through a ferry crossing, that bridge, Denmark and half of Sweden. After the first show was over, the crew took the chance to let off steam half way into this trip around Europe. It was a fun night. It was also a late night. Making a football match between band and crew, at lunch time the following day, a little more difficult for a few tired legs. The score was 11-8. It would be disrespectful to say which way it went..
This venue really is unique. I got vertigo when I went up to the top. It’s been two great shows here. But after this encore, a few hundred more Oxfam actions, and a quick load out from The Globe, we will hit the road again, for Norway.. Oslo awaits.
23-09-2008, 02:29 PM
Praha, (Prague) Czech Republic, 22/09/08. (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=59)
September 23rd, 2008 / No Comments » (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=59#respond) / by plusby
A note from Prague.
Coldplay have just come off stage in the O2 Arena, Prague. I am sitting in the crew office, hearing the scurry of feet and the sounds of a thousand cases being loaded and wheeled off to the trucks (which still sit breathing heavily after their mammoth trip from Oslo over the weekend). Even on a day off, the tour does not stand still, as buses, trucks and crew make their way to the next city.
Prague is a beautiful city. A sight for sore (sleep deprived) eyes. Such a great place to recharge batteries, catch a breath and take stock, as the tour rolls on past the half way mark. I checked out the famous Ruduta jazz club, which was a change of scenery, but a real treat for any drummer out there..
A quick word on Oslo. Oxfam had a great time throughout Scandinavia. Almost record numbers of people signing up and getting involved. Oxfam worked with a Norwegian organisation called Changemaker in Oslo. The organisation works for similar causes as Oxfam, and their volunteers needed little encouragement to get started on campaigning. Part of the motivation might have been to challenge the great success we had in Stockholm the night before..
Tonight, the buses will roll on to Budapest, Hungary. It’s time for me to leave.
September 23rd, 2008 / No Comments » (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=60#respond) / by plusby
Late arrival today. Some of the trucks got held up en route from Prague last night. Everyone is here safe now, so the show can get back on track. One thing is that it will make it a shorter day.
The arena is on the outskirts of Budapest. We are here for less than 24 hours, and won’t get to explore. I hope I will get another chance to follow the Oxfam volunteers advice, and check out this amazing city.. It’s strange to think we were in Oslo a few days ago, and will be in Vienna tomorrow. Touring is a unique experience.
It is a unique opportunity for Oxfam too. When else would the organisation get the chance to take a campaign on the road in this way, and talk to such a range of people. It’s very exciting. I need to head out and set up. Speak to you soon.
23-09-2008, 03:36 PM
24-09-2008, 12:35 AM
Off to Vienna.
Motors are reversing. Lorries are bleeping backwards. Latches are fastening. Cases are rolling. Crew are running about shouting instructions at each other. It’s load-out time. The day is nearly done. Coldplay have left the stage and the Oxfam volunteers have gone home.
My road case is packed and waiting in line for it’s truck. Time to reflect on another day (even though we are here less than 24 hours..)
1085 more Coldplay fans have pledged support for quality Health and Education, clean water and sanitation to be available to all people, everywhere. They have also joined in the chorus of ’Viva La Vida’.. Fans came from far and wide tonight. The volunteers meeting Romanian, Croatian, Slovak, French, German, English, Scottish.. and many many more.. Oxfam volunteers were mostly local to Budapest, some having previously worked with Amnesty International, some, just big fans of Coldplay. It’s been another successful day.
Marguerite, the production assistant is busily packing up the wireless and the radio cases.. I had better wind this up and go and get on my bus. Next stop. Vienna.
24-09-2008, 12:36 AM
24-09-2008, 01:15 PM
I’m a little blurry-eyed, sitting here inside the depths of the Stadhalle, Wien (Vienna). Maybe due to the combination of dim underground walls, and the bright glow of a laptop screen. Outside, the lunch time catering is in full flow. Everyone refuelling after load-in, getting ready for the bands’ imminent arrival. We made it to Austria in great time. Apparently arriving at 5am.. I didn’t surface on arrtival..
I awoke to the sound of heavy rain drops on the roof of the bus. I sleep in a top bunk, so it felt particularly cosy, being so close to the outside, but wrapped in a duvet. Steffan, our bus driver, decided to wash the bus this morning. Apparently he was being blamed for the rain. “Whenever you wash your bus.. it rains. I think we should try washing the buses in the desert, and see if it gets a bit more temperate!”
We are on the last show of a set of 3, in 3 different countries. It makes the tour feel even more like it’s flashing by before my eyes. So much to see, and literally, so little time. I am looking forward to the pause in Munich for over 24 hours!
Oxfam is working with some volunteers from the ‘Clean Clothes Campaign’ today. I think we will try to go for the sign-up record. I feel like it’s going to be a good day.. despite the rain.
27-09-2008, 02:07 AM
I forgot to say! (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=64)
September 26th, 2008 / No Comments » (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=64#respond) / by plusby
Oxfam had an incredible show in Vienna. Thanks to the amazing work of our volunteers, we managed to give 1587 people the chance to pledge their support for Health and Education For All. That’s incredible. Over 10% of a huge audience. The numbers are growing fast. More pressure for action from governments to give people what they need to survive. Thanks to our ’Clean Clothes Campaign’ volunteers!
It also looked like another great Coldplay show!
Last show in Germany. (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=63)
September 26th, 2008 / No Comments » (http://www.oxfamblogs.org/coldplay/?p=63#respond) / by plusby
On the bus, on the way to the venue. The crew are all ‘fresh’ from a day off yesterday. The tram cables of Munich are strung up over the road. This is a one-off show today. The last show in Germany. It’s right next door to the Olympic Stadium, home of the 1972 Olympic Games. A little bit of history for you..
Yesterday, I took a chance to have a stroll around Munich. It’s Oktoberfest at the moment (despite still being September…), so the city was buzzing. After checking out the main tourist sights with Steve, the ‘Motion Control’ for Coldplay’s stage spheres, we headed out to see Oktoberfest. We decide that the best way to get there was to follow the lederhosen. There were colourful dresses, cardigans, long socks, feathered hats and polkerdot shirts lining the streets (worn by inebriated German folk). Eventually we found the ‘meadows’. Huge temporary tent structures crammed full of drinkers, lederhosen..and huge tankards of beer. It’s an amazing sight. Apparently “the world’s largest beer festival”. Not surprising, when seven million people consume six million litres of beer there.. 1 huge fun-fair + lederhosen as far as the eye can see + lots of beer = Oktoberfest 2008.
Munchen Olympiahalle. So here I am in the production office. Here at least until I can’t get on the internet anymore.. I got cut off in mid-flow when I was writing from the tour-bus this morning, when we rolled into the venue, and I somehow got carried away with the day.. This was Coldplay’s last show in Germany for now, and therefore, my last chance to work with Oxfam Deutschland. It was another great show for Oxfam. Over 1100 more voices in a call for fairer agricultural policies from the government here. That’s over 7000 in 5 shows in Germany. Incredible stuff.
The Olypiahalle is part of the Olympic complex. Strung together with the Stadion and swimming hall, it looks like one giant tent structure made of steel, glass and gigantic bolts. It was a very open venue which gave everyone in the house a good spot to sit or stand. The bleep of fork lifts is still going on in the distance behind my head. The band have had a great time playing to 5 sold out crowds across Germany. I have also seen some tense games of table-tennis going on backstage too.. !
I want to thank Ulrike, Juliane, Sabine and all of our other volunteers for their help along the road here. It’s been great to see a little of this country and meet so many Coldplay fans here too. Time I wound this one up. It’s been a long day, and could be a long night. We are heading for Zurich tonight, and the Alps. I’m excited.
So long.. Farewell.. Auf Viedersehen.. Goodbye..
27-09-2008, 02:08 AM
27-09-2008, 02:09 AM
27-09-2008, 03:44 PM
Melanieau - Coldplaying's Fastest Finger First of 2008 :lol:
27-09-2008, 03:46 PM
Oi, not quite :P You and me are still in there :P
27-09-2008, 03:51 PM
Carla give me a run for my money most days too :D
27-09-2008, 03:54 PM
Nobody beats About Today (http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/abouttoday.php) :P
27-09-2008, 03:58 PM
Nobody beats About Today (http://www.coldplaying.com/forum/abouttoday.php) :P
we're talking about human beings, not computers :P next you'll be trying to tell us that Arnie posts more informative items than we do :laugh3:
27-09-2008, 03:59 PM
no, just certain people :P :P
27-09-2008, 04:18 PM
I know, he's way more interesting than you :lol:
27-09-2008, 04:37 PM
I want to thank Ulrike, Juliane, Sabine and all of our other volunteers for their help along the road here. It’s been great to see a little of this country and meet so many Coldplay fans here too. Time I wound this one up. It’s been a long day, and could be a long night. We are heading for Zurich tonight, and the Alps. I’m excited.
So long.. Farewell.. Auf Viedersehen.. Goodbye..
Ulrike, Juliane, Sabine.. I don't know you, but thank you!
Btw. *german to try to be too perfect mode* it's Auf Wiedersehen.
Zürich *sigh* 1 hour from where I am living :embarassed:
Next time I will be there.
27-09-2008, 04:41 PM
stop distracting me from the very important things I'm doing on Wiki :angry:
27-09-2008, 04:42 PM
28-09-2008, 02:08 PM
Switzerland. Schweiz. Suisse. Svizzera. Svizra.
Zurich, Hallenstadion, Switzerland (or one of the above, depending on where you are from). Just the one show in this land-locked land. There are four official languages here. A fairly popular brand of chocolate, and one very good tennis player.
Oxfam is here, as ever, at the latest concert of the European Coldplay tour. The 18th, out of 23. It’s going to be a busy week. 6 shows in 7 days, in 4 different countries. Yesterday was a day off. A chance to prepare for the long haul. I went for a run again, to explore the latest town, that I had never been before. Zurich is a very pretty place. Very popular with tourists. The centre meets Lake Zurich (Zurichse), which sits at the foot of the Alps. Quite a sight. I probably was too, dodging between the busy streets in my marathon gear!
It’s sold out again tonight. Another huge arena will soon be full of singing Coldplay fans. I’m sure that one song in particular, will go down a treat.
Waiting for that bell to ring…
28-09-2008, 02:52 PM
is that a hint that they're playing Hardest Part tonight?
28-09-2008, 04:52 PM
Half an hour until the Oxfam volunteers arrive for campaigning at tonight’s Coldplay show. I’m sitting outside catching (possibly) some of the last rays of summer, in sunny Zurich. It’s important to catch your vitamin D from the sunshine you know.. especially when you work in the dim light of these indoor arenas all day. I have to admit (as I squint at the glare of the screen), the weather is making me wish we had an outdoor stadium show today!
If I stand up and peer over the fence, I can see the waiting crowds growing outside the arena gates. They are the lucky ones. I have seen fans waiting in heavy rain, icy gales and cracking thunder during this tour.. The band is here in 10 minutes. Here we go..
29-09-2008, 01:05 PM
September 29th, 2008
I am peering out through the darkened windows of the tour bus into the Zurich night. Just tapping away a few lines, whilst perched in my ‘favourite seat’ at the front of the bus. I like this seat. You can see where we are going.. Even if it’s often just a dark motorway, with flashing cat’s-eyes sinking beneath the wheels. You can also recline quite well here, and even fall asleep, if my bunk seems too far to move. There’s a plug socket by my ankle too, which is handy for my laptop for midnight blogging.
Outside I can see a sea of moving white hard hats and beanies. Road cases being pushed into queues for their space on one of the ‘Stage Trucks’ carrying all of Coldplay’s gear (and Oxfam’s hamper). Another two trucks just reversed into the venue for loading. There are flashing hazard lights. Fork lift trucks. Roadies pulling luggage towards their buses. The support band walking past onto their bus. Outside every big arena in a major city, is probably where you find most of the activity on a Sunday night..
Strange. You lose track of days on tour. Sunday. Feels like it could be any day. I guess it’s another work day. Some days blend together when you are awake so long. Hang on a minute, it’s Monday now… Chris Martin said from stage yesterday.. “thanks for joining us on this Saturday night.. Wait a minute.. Is it a Saturday?”
Inside the bus, I can see a hard hat labelled with ’McGoo’, for Jonny’s guitar tech, Matt. There’s a tray full of remote controls for the big TV and all it’s buttons.. Two seats and a couch (none as good as this one), a fruit bowl, containing snack bars, apples and pears, a cooler (perhaps containing a variety of beverages), a DVD of ’The Kids Are Alright’ by ’The Who’, a copy of ’Mojo’ magazine with the faces of ‘Queen’ band members modified with sharpie pen moustaches, our driver Steffan, eating a banana, ’Woodsy’ eating a sandwich, a toy car (?!) and tomorrow’s day-sheet pinned to the wall.. (Woodsy wasn’t eating a toy car and a daysheet).
There’s just a peek inside the tour bus. Most of the backline crew from my bus, are still in the crew room, relaxing after another sold out show. The trucks are starting to leave for Bologna. Ken and Eric from Merch just walked on the bus. I think we’ll be off soon. Which means I’ll be off to my bunk. Bring on Bologna.
A great job by our Oxfam volunteers tonight. Over 1500 more Coldplay fans joined the other thousands we’ve already seen, in making the Health and Education For All pledge. Some volunteers were from ‘Clean Clothes Campaign‘ here in Switzerland. They work on fair trade clothing. Obviously this relates closely to Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign. Remember the = sign on someone’s hand??
Here they all come. Matt. Hoppy. Neill. Bash. Tony Tiger’s in bed. Woodsy. Eric. Ken. Me. Steffan. 10. ‘We’re a bus’. Bye Bye Zurich! (says Matt)..
There go the cats-eyes..
September 29th, 2008
The first of two dates in Italy. The tour has come through the Alps, and stopped in Bologna. I have been told that the atmosphere will be incredible here. I hope so. I’m working with UCODEP and Oxfam International in Italy today. Ucodep is an Italian NGO that since 1976 has worked in Italy and abroad to build a better world through activities aimed at fighting poverty, supporting health and education rights, promoting the values of diversity and solidarity, and assisting people in humanitarian emergencies. It will be great to work with the volunteers here. I’m sure it will be another successful night.
30-09-2008, 12:20 PM
This one looks a bit like a giant turtle shell from the outside. Unlike many of the arenas we are doing on this tour, this was mostly standing, in one big oval hall, like a cake tin, with a few seats icing the edges. The standing masses gave a totally different edge to the atmosphere. More like a huge tent at a festival..
The waiting crowds always burst in and run to the front, as soon as they open, but here, the running kept going until the arena was half full. The fans are so passionate, and came for a party.. Complete with balloons bouncing off heads for hours before a single note was played, party hats, banners and flags. The place was jumping even before the band had hit the stage. In fact, probably whilst they were still in catering, or busy in another intense game of table tennis backstage.
UCODEP and Oxfam International in Italy, brought a fantastic group of volunteers. Full of energy the whole night. Just like the rest of the Coldplay fans here tonight. By the end of the night, our deposit box for signed Health and Education For All action cards, was full to bursting. We were squeezing the last ones in. A fantastic effort by the team. Elisa will count up tonight, so that Milan can compete with Bologna tomorrow!
It was hot today too. I even saw lizards scurrying about in the dusty hedges by the bus. The heat felt like we were back in those summer nights in Chicago and Boston. Italy is hanging on to the summer for one last gasp before we head into autumn and winter shows, where snow and ice is the order of the day at this time of night.
I’m back on the bus. Just a short hop to Milan tonight. See you there.
30-09-2008, 11:56 PM
I’m writing this one from the Oxfam and Ucodep stall on the concourse. The crowd are singing along to a special acoustic version of ‘The Scientist’..
The hallway just got cleared.. I know what that means! Here they come..
The band just ran past the Oxfam stall. Chris Martin waved at some of the volunteers who were standing here. That was a good moment for us to remember. They are now back on stage, playing ‘Politik’. The stobe lights are flashing, and Will Champion is beating the life out of those drums! “Open up your eyes!”.
Maybe that’s what our volunteers helped some of the crowd do tonight before they went in. Open up their eyes, on the issue of Health and Education For All (Salute Acqua Istruzione Per Tutti), in Italiano.
Elisa Bacciotti, the star of popular mobilisation for Oxfam International and Ucodep in Italy, is standing next to me, waiting for the volunteers to come back after the show for one last bit of campaigning, before hopefully, they all head home into the Milan night, with a big smile on their faces!
She very kindly translated my briefing earlier to the volunteers. My Italian is terrible. Here’s a few words from her..
“Come on Pete! My English is terrible too! We really worked well together. It’s really something exciting to be here! If I think back in 2003 when I saw Coldplay in Rome, I already worked for Ucodep and I was wondering what could these two horizontal lines on Chris Martin’s hand mean? (Oxfam Make Trade Fair symbol)…Oxfam was not in Italy at the time, Ucodep was a tiny NGO, and here we are, 5 years later, Ucodep and Oxfam at the Coldplay concerts, saying to everybody IL POTERE E NELLE TUE MANI / E ORA DI UN MONDO PIU GIUSTO (YOU‘VE GOT POWER. IT’S TIME FOR JUSTICE)…. Thanks to our 40 volunteers, they were fantastic, really. It was an incredible start up for our PER TUTTI (FOR ALL) campaign!”
I think that’s amazing. I totally agree that the volunteers have been great. However, there is one part I disagree with. Elisa’s English is great!
The volunteers are coming back now with more signed action cards for PER TUTTI. Which just launched here last weekend. These Coldplay fans tonight (cheering for the encore right now)..have the power together to help give us all a fairer world. I am sure that they can be the start of something big for this campaign here in Italy.
The curtain is coming down on the shows in Italy. Coldplay are rounding off another great night with those ‘Yellow’ lights.. It’s been amazing here. I am sad to be leaving so soon. But next up.. We have Oxfam Novib and Rotterdam…
The Oxfam sphere of being shown above the crowd as ‘The Escapist’ plays over the stereo, and the fans leave the venue. Great show. Great group of volunteers. Great night. Job done. Well.. almost.. it’s load-out time again.
02-10-2008, 06:34 PM
Here we are at the first of two nights at the Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands. From what I hear, these shows sold out in minutes. Tickets snapped up in eager anticipation, of the Viva La Vida tour. The band have been wowing crowds right across Europe. It’s been a busy 4 weeks.
Oxfam Novib, the Oxfam group here in the Netherlands, will today and tomorrow, be bringing a different kind of campaigning to the show. Dressed as nurses, they will ask the fans to ‘hug a nurse’. Yes, you heard me right! Oxfam is asking for improved health care around the world. The volunteers will dress as nurses to demonstrate the need for improved care and more medical personnel worldwide. Find out more here (http://oxfamnovib.nl/id.html?lang=en&ch=&id=11094).
Approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide lack access to basic health care due to a great lack of medical personnel. Worldwide, there are 4 million additional doctors, nurses and midwives needed. Help bring pressure to bear on the government and other key decision-makers. Click here to hug a nurse right now! (http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://www.oxfamnovib.nl/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Doxfam%2Bnovib%26hl%3Den%26rls%3DGGLJ, GGLJ:2007-44,GGLJ:en)
02-10-2008, 11:07 PM
Matt Vassallo has an amazing moustache.
I’m sitting here stage-left, backstage, outside the production office, with Steve from support band Albert Hammond Jr. They had another great set earlier. It’s Coldplay’s turn now.. Just on the way back for the encore.. Steve says “I’ve made it now! i’m pleased to be in the blog. i’m pleased to know Pete from Oxfam”. Awesome.
Hoppy and Rick just went past with the guitars from the balcony. The band have launched into the encore now. I’m sure our Oxfam Novib volunteers are out there, having a great time at the rock show.. Their work is done for the night. They have hugged as many Coldplay fans as they could (dressed as nurses)! The idea was to show, through a simple action, that we all care about everyone having access to good quality healthcare.
The band’s assistant, EJ, is pacing around, waiting for the band when they come off stage. It’s her birthday today. Happy birthday EJ! I think she just got a birthday wish from stage too. The set is coming to an end now. Seems like the band have really enjoyed themselves tonight. Chris Martin asking the crowd for requests on the piano. It meant we all got to hear ’Trouble’ for the first time in a while. ’Shiver’ got a rare outing last in Milan too.
It’s the football rematch tomorrow. I’m sure the pitch will be a bit slippery.. it’s been a bit soggy today. I will let you know how it goes...
By the way Matt Vassallo (the projectionist for Coldplay) has for reasons unknown, grown a truly amazing handlebar moustache. Trust me. It’s awesome. Pictures to follow. Matt says “Yeah dude!”
03-10-2008, 10:58 PM
I’m surrounded by nurses in white coats!
Don’t worry. I’ve not been hurt (although I did take a tumble in Band v Crew football earlier..), and I have not gone mad after almost 5 weeks of touring and diminishing sleep levels.
The Oxfam Novib volunteers are busy hugging their way through the Coldplay crowd in the Rotterdam Ahoy arena. A few of them are having a coffee next to me, so I presume the tiredness means that it’s been going very well! Exhausted from hugging.. It must be a rare condition.
They have been a great group to work with. They look great, and really stand out in the crowd, which is generally a mist of Coldplay shirts and the occasional stitched replica jacket.. Hug a nurse, is about drawing attention to the need for quality healthcare worldwide. For that, we just want Coldplay fans voices.. And their hugs.
The ’hug a nurse’ campaign is ’FairAct #44’ for Oxfam Novib. FairActs are small, simple things that people can do to make the world a fairer, more equal and happier place. Other examples are to eat a FairTrade banana, be curious about the world around you, do something for nothing.. Wear ’clean’ clothes (which meet fair trade standards). You get the idea.
I just saw a volunteer nurse run across to the guy selling all those Coldplay shirts, with open arms and a big hug. It’s a really fun way to do a couple of our last shows here in Europe. Now I really am surrounded. The volunteers are coming back to the stall, to change clothes for the Coldplay show.. 10 minutes to kick off.
Speaking of kick-off..
Just a quick word on the football earlier. Band 6 - 1 Crew. I played for the band. Will Champion took home the match-ball. Maybe he’s Southampton F. C’s next star striker..
04-10-2008, 03:48 PM
Antwerp, Belgium. the end of the European road..
Talking of roads, the buses and trucks are all literally parked beneath one, as this venue is right next to the motorway. We drove past it on the way from Milan to Rotterdam. It’s a big green building, feels like it’s seen a few sights over the years..
The crowds are already patiently waiting outside. Inflatable pillows for comfort and their backs against the glass doors, claiming thier spot at the front of the queue. That metal bar at the front of the stage must be the most sought after piece of steel in Europe at the moment! There are some familiar faces too. I met some Coldplaying.com fans last night, waiting outside to meet the band on their way out. They waited in the rain last night, and said they would see me here today too. So they did. Knocking on the glass doors at the front of the venue, with a friendly wave, as I set up the Oxfam booths. I am constantly impressed by the dedication of these fans. One of the best part of the days, is when the doors finally open, these wide open venues fill up and the buzz starts to build up.
We’ve almost reached the end of the road for now. 5 weeks out and time for a breather before heading back across the pond. It’s been an amazing trip. Thousands of people have joined the movement on various campaigns with Oxfam, to make the world a fairer place for us all to live. Oxfam France Agir-ici, Oxfam Deutchsland, Intermon Oxfam, Oxfam International, Ucodep and Oxfam in Italy, Oxfam Novib and now Oxfam-in-Belgium have worked together to make this an amazing tour. A massive thank you to all of our volunteers! Coldplay have really hit their stride. Enjoying each and every concert. The crowd reaction has been incredible.
It’s been emotional.
05-10-2008, 09:28 PM
^ :D Pete is such a kind person ! I'm so glad we met him !
05-10-2008, 10:09 PM
pete is also http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp56/carlaatje84/smileys/539.gif
05-10-2008, 10:23 PM
you're wondering where my right hand is, arent you ? :wink3:
:embarassed: Pete, i'm joking. I'm really not a groupie of yours !
06-10-2008, 05:36 PM
Back in the office. Back at Oxfam HQ. Back in the UK. Back home..
Antwerp was the end of the road for the European tour. Coldplay, their Stage trucks, the Beat the Street tour buses, Roadies, Fans, and Oxfam, have all gone their separate ways.. for now.
Coldplay closed out the tour with a fantastic show in front of 17′000 euphoric fans, a brand new song called ‘Glass of Water’ (acompanied by ”one of the coolest men in the world from 2 of the coolest bands in the world, The Strokes and Albert Hammond Jr” (CM), Albert Hammond Jr), a victory in the Band v Crew football, and the words “see you again soon”.
Oxfam closed out the tour with an incredible number of signatures for various Oxfam campaigns, another great group of volunteers.. and a few Fairtrade chocolate bars. Oxfam-in-Belgium gave out Fairtrade chocolate to lucky Coldplay fans who met one of our volunteers and got 3 Oxfam logo’s on their scratch card. It was a fun way to give people some information about Oxfam and on the quality of Faritrade products.
I would like to thank Coldplay, the crew, all of the great Oxfam volunteers, and all the fans who took a moment to talk to a campaigner, sign a petition, visit a stall, watch the Oxfam sphere, go online to look us up, read a leaflet or think about what they can do to make the world a fairer place. I don’t want this blog to look like an oscars speech, so that’s enough of that..
Time to restock to road case, catch up with fiends, get some laundry done, get a haircut, catch some sleep and get ready for the next leg in North America. Oxfam will again be a part of the huge Coldplay tour of 2008. I will see some of you there…
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