It's cloudy and it looks like it could rain at any second. Ticket winners have been dragged round Hyde Park in an attempt to actually get into the event. Live 8 2005 has begun.

Once all 205,000 ticket winners were packed into the park, the show began. The crowd pulses forwards and the opening bars of 'Sergeant Pepper', sung by Bono and McCartney, spread out over the crowd before U2 take over for an all too brief set comprising of the trio of classics - the rousing feel good anthem 'Beautiful Day', the stockier build of 'Vertigo' before ending up on the ever-relevant 'One Love'. It might be a condensed set, but it marks out why U2 have the live status they hold. Hearing Bono sing inspirational, customised lyrics from 'Beautiful Day' whilst doves fly into the sky is something that will stick in the minds of many.

It all changes when Coldplay take to the stage, however. Despite their popularity, they can never aspire to hold the cult status of those great bands from days gone by and it shows in their set. The crowd sings along to 'In My Place' where Chris Martin displays his idiotic streak for all to see, a stunning rendition of 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' with Richard Ashcroft helping out on vocal duties. They finish on the poignant 'Fix You'.

Next up, comical geniuses Matt Lucas and David Williams of Little Britain fame treat us to a quick sketch before Elton John takes to the stage. Despite there being more of him than I'd remembered, puts on a brilliant show, slightly rocked up to fit in with the more raucous acts on the bill. Playing 'The Bitch is Back', 'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting' and ending up with a duet with the ever-embarassing Pete Doherty. 'Children of The Revolution' has never sounded quite like this... Still, Elton John shines over the drugged-up stagger of Doherty and soon the crowd is told "It's the boss himself - look busy!" as Bob Geldof strides onto stage to survey the people gathered to make his dream happen.

Then, something strange happens. Bill Gates... at a music event? Looking every inch the computer genius, he looks ever so slightly out of place introducing the angelic face that's next to entertain the crowd assembled. Dido's voice, delightfully flat, fills the air and her innocent face fills the video screens. Starting off with 'White Flag' she fights the female artists corner proudly. She might sound a tad more flat than usual, but it's still a pleasure to watch. Even more enjoyable is the tribal infused version of 'Thank You' and the final song 'Seven Seconds'.

Next up are the Stereophonics in all their tuneless glory. The crowd is soon jumping around gleefully to 'The Bartender and the Thief', 'Dakota' and 'Maybe Tomorrow'. Some people stand with a glazed look in their eye, but the majority of the crowd is happy to see these Welsh indie-rockers performing at such a huge event. REM requires the comic talent of Ricky Gervais to introduce them. Playing 'Imitation of Life', a rousing rendition of 'Everybody Hurts' and finishing up on 'Man On The Moon', their set is brief, but one of the highlights in this barrage of talent.

Things get a little less interesting when Ms Dynamite takes to the stage. Perhaps that could have been predicted though. Still, 'Dy-na-mi-tee' gets a portion of the crowd singing. It's unsurprising it's the same few who were dancing to the Stereophonics earlier. Keane up the talent levels with ease as soon as they land on stage and treat the crowd to 'Somewhere Only We Know' and 'Bedshaped'. Not the kind of band that excel on stage, but they're charming and the crowd are easily pleased until Travis come on stage and show Keane how indie should be. Playing their hits and including a bizarre descent into 'Staying Alive' before pulling a pair of Make Poverty History pants out of his trousers, frontman Francis Healy really gets into the spirit of things. Their set prepares the audience for the talent that overflows from Annie Lennox. Beginning with a video showing various Africans with AIDS, it's a touching start to a set that reaches it's climax with 'Sweet Dreams'.

UB40 are up next, and the highlight of their set is, as predicted, 'Red Red Wine' although 'Food For Thought' is certainly not far behind. Snoop Dogg's set is... memorable to say the least, although for all the wrong reasons. The BBC received 400 complaintes about the swearing throughout the Live 8 broadcast. Madonna might have had a part to play in this, but it wouldn't be surprising to hear that the majority of those complaints stemmed from this offensive, out of place set. It's a relief when Razorlight take to the stage and set things right with their charismatic indie-rock.

Razorlight depart all too soon, and it's Bob Geldof back on stage again to show the original Live Aid film. Hyde Park falls silent and Geldof remarks "It's not really the kind of thing you clap, is it?" as the crowd looks on in horror. Suddenly, even the most cynical, those who were "only there for the music", realise how important this event is. Perhaps it's only a dream and one that's a long way off, but seeing so many artists come together across the world, hearing that three billion people will be watching on TV that day... suddenly it all makes sense. Make Poverty History is suddenly more than another slogan on a wristband and means something. When the final starving African face on the film is paused on and Birhan Woldu is brought onto stage, Hyde Park erupts into cheers. Geldof's words "Don't let them tell you that this doesn't work. Look at this beautiful woman." hang in the air, and when Madonna takes to the stage and gives the girl a hug, the crowd are in a frenzied state. 'Like A Prayer', 'Ray of Light' and the audience participation extravaganza 'Music' are compressed into her all too small set. It falls to Madonna to get the crowd moving to the real message of today - "Music makes the people come together...". It's an inspiring sight.

Snow Patrol are up next but there's only time for two songs, namely 'Chocolate' and 'Run' which are both fantastic in this setting. Sadly, due to time constraints, The Killers are limited to just one song and with a brattish comment "Right, we're off" before the band departs, the crowd seems relieved that they didn't have to endure more of their bratish behaviour. Another pet hate of mine, Joss Stone, is up next. In her favour, her "black voice trapped in a white woman's body" does work well in this setting and although the set is, thankfully, short she does keep the crowd happy before the wonderful Scissor Sisters take over.

Playing 'Laura', 'Take Your Mama Out' and also a brand new track that builds on from the sounds they've already created and introduces a vivid sense of maturity, it's a fun and uplifting collection of songs that will mark Scissor Sisters out as a talented group to keep an eye on in years to come.

Following from Scissor Sisters are the talented Velvet Revolver who don't get the crowd reaction they deserve. Whilst those clothed in black stand up to appreciate the leftovers of one of the greatest rock bands, many sit down and comment on how such brazen rock and roll doesn't fit into the concert lineup, you can't help but wonder how many people in attendance realise who Slash is. 'Fall To Pieces' gains a small chorus from the crowd, but through no fault of their own, Velvet Revolver will be long forgotten from the Live 8 lineup.

It's an entirely different story with Sting, who, talented as ever, captures the crowd's attention and his impassioned 'Message in a Bottle' rings true across the Live 8 crowd. Performers like U2, Sting and Annie Lennox will always be able to show younger artists a thing or two. Sadly, Sting's set is as short as everyone else's and it's Mariah Carey's turn to entertain. It's not her music that will be remembered (although 'Hero' was sickly sweet with the inclusion of the African Children's Choir) but rather her diva hissy fit over a microphone stand. She's the one artist playing who the audience greets with boos, although this might be down to the crowd's impatience for Robbie Williams who is up next.

Introduced by David Beckham, who feels the need to mention two times that he's good friends with Williams, it's a fantastic set and certainly the one that will be talked about almost as much as Pink Floyd's. Playing 'Let Me Entertain You', the touching 'Feel' and 'Angels' as well as a compressed version of 'We Will Rock You', the charismatic artist won over the hearts of the crowd long before he appeared on stage.

Peter Kay is then drafted in to look after the crowd whilst the stage is set for The Who. As funny as ever, his laid back banter keeps the crowd entertained until the band saunter out on stage and play their set in a cool, calm manner. Half the crowd dances whilst the other half starts to make its way to the exits as Live 8 overruns - eventually ending at 12am.

The stars of the show though, are Pink Floyd who overcome their differences for this good cause. Their set is as long and rambling as you'd expect it to be, but the joy spreading across so many people's faces at the sound of hearing Comfortably Numb and Money live for the first time in so many years makes it all worthwhile. It's a shame that the set is marred by worries of braving public transport to get home. Linking arms at the end of their set, Pink Floyd fans around the world must have felt a jolt of hope at their favourite band joining together again.

It's a hopeful ending to a day that was focussed on the hope that the worst parts of humanity can be eliminated. Those in attendance at Hyde Park and the various other venues over the world should feel proud for taking part in making history. With 'The Long and Winding Road' sounding more relevant than ever, thanks to the G8 conference in Gleneagles expected to pull crowds, the day ends on an optimistic note. Let's hope Geldof and his followers all over the world can prove the cynics wrong. The 'Make Poverty History' campaign became so much more than just another wristband phenomenon on July 2nd in Hyde Park and the overwhelming feeling is one of optimism and hope.