Radio Festival 2005

The 2005 Radio Festival took place in Edinburgh in the first week of July. A number of notable stories emerged from the event. One of the main ones was the “return to radio” of Chris Evans, who was interviewed by his former boss from Radio 1, Matthew Banister.  Another was the address by the then-head of Ofcom, Stephen Carter (now Lord Carter of Barnes), in which plans for a second national DAB multiplex were announced. This led to an “unscripted” response from GCap chief executive Ralph Bernard in his subsequent address to the festival.

During Chris Evans’ interview a live feed was linked up to the International Olympic Committee in Paris. The conference centre fell silent as the announcement of the winning bid for the 2012 Olympics took place. As “London 2012” came over the speakers, spontaneous applause broke out.

The first week of July was the same week as the G8 conference in nearby Gleneagles and the massive series of Live8 concerts across the world. To this end, the Festival welcomed Midge Ure onstage for an exclusive interview. With Edinburgh being the closest location to the G8 conference, the Make Poverty History coalition had organised a massive demonstration which saw over 225,000 protestors marching through the city centre. With the conference centre on the route of the march, the Radio Festival delegates ended up locked inside until the demonstrators had passed!

As the Festival ended, the last of the Live8 gigs, Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push, was just starting. And the very next day after the Radio Festival concluded came the 7/7 bombings in London.

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