The songs were familiar to many - Bob Dylan's Blowing in the Wind, Beyond's The Great Wall - but to sing them with a choir of hundreds in Victoria Park was an unfamiliar experience for all involved. The opportunity for the mass singing came yesterday at the Freedom Concert, with democracy and freedom as its theme, organised by the Hong Kong Democratic Development Network. It also offered the opportunity to see how well certain well-known people could sing, including former radio talk-show hosts Leung Man-tao and Peter Lam Yuk-wah, and even Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, leader of the Catholic Church. The organisers, who estimated more than 1,000 people had taken part, hoped to increase people's awareness of the importance of freedom and democracy and to remind them to cast their votes in next Sunday's Legco elec- tion. Applause erupted when Leung, and several leading political scientists such as Ivan Choy Chi-keung, were introduced on stage. They addressed the audience and sang along with the event's main singers, the Love Music Workshop. Waving balloons, participants sang along with the singers on the temporary stage. One particularly emotional moment came when the group's producer, Irene Cheng, devoted Song of the Ocean to veteran Democrat Szeto Wah, one of the guests of the concert, for his contributions to society and democracy. The song was written specially for him. In a taped video broadcast, Bishop Zen called on people not to give up the ideal of democracy. He said Hong Kong could proceed quicker in the path to democracy. 'We are well prepared and qualified to enjoy freedom and democracy. We have to express our dream of democracy and freedom ... continue walking the very long road, because the Lord wants us to be a person with freedom,' he said. Afterwards, he sang a Latin hymn, which says: 'My lord, please wake up, why are you still sleeping? Is it because you have forgotten us? It seems you have given up on us. We are suffering'.