It’s been 34 years since the multi-venue benefit concert called Live Aid featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers was held for a charitable purpose and humanitarian crisis. The event was held on July 13, 1985.
It was organised by Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof and James Ure. Geldof, an Irish singer-songwriter, author, political activist and co-wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas? and starred in Pink Floyd’s 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as ‘Pink’. He was widely recognised for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts in Africa. James “Midge” Ure is a Scottish musician, singer-songwriter and producer. The concert was a product of their relentless effort to raise funds to mitigate the on-going Ethiopian famine. The event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom and John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, the USA with thousands attending the concert.
Ethiopian relief fund received some 127 million dollars from the concert and catapulted the performers into the global map.Queen’s three year old Greatest Hits rose 55 places into the Top Twenty, followed by Freddie Mercury’s Mr. Bad Guy. Every U2 album available at the time also witnessed a revival. The event was one of the largest satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time with a whopping 1.9 billion viewers, across 150 nations who watched the live broadcast. Interestingly, on the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative took place in countries, like the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany.
The staggering $127 million in famine relief for African nations, was enough for supplying surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in the continent. In 2004, an official four-disc DVD set of the Live Aid concerts was released. The footage from concert got a European premiere with limited screenings held in London, Zurich, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Hamburg and Berlin.
Artistes who performed in the Live Aid event: