What happens when a group of fantastic musicians get together to do a concert for a good cause? Magical moments and perhaps the biggest concert in history! We’re talking about 16 hours of non-stop concerts on two stages set up at London’s Wembley Stadium, attended by more than 72,000 spectators, and the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia which, some 5,700 km away, welcomed nearly 100,000 spectators eager to participate in this unique event. Every 20 minutes, mega stars of the 80’s graced the stages and performed for approximately 1.5 billion spectators from around the globe who were following it live on television.
Bob Geldorf and Midge Ure made the phone calls and all attended: U2, Queen, David Bowie, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Madonna, Sting, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and more (below you will find the complete list of artists). *
LIVE AID FACTS
|When:||July 13, 1985|
|Where:||England & USA, with off-concerts in Australia, Japan, Austria, Holland, Yugoslavia, USSR and Germany|
|Spectators:||1,5 billion (in attendance: 72,000 in London / 100,000 in Philadelphia)|
|Peculiarity:||More than 60 bands and musicians on 2 stages, contracted for raising money for a good cause (aiding starving people in Africa) from an audience of billions of people|
|Line up:||Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, U2 and many more!|
All the musicians involved came to Live Aid not only to do a gigantic concert. Again and again the world was called upon to participate in donations for Africa. And finally, the amount raised was worthy of an event of these proportions: it was the first of its kind in the world.
They collected what would amount to around 180 million euros today, not counting inflation, which was transferred to various aid organisations. Only music can achieve a feat like this!
THE MEGA CONCERT
The great event took place on July 13, 1985. It was Bob Geldorf and Midge Ure who summoned musicians from all over the world to share the stage for a good cause, thanks also to the aforementioned American initiative, among others.
It is not surprising, therefore, that, given the magnitude of the event, things accumulated: thanks to the worldwide radio and television transmission, almost 1.5 billion people were able to experience this spectacle. More than 60 bands and individual artists stepped onto the stages. And all the big names were there: Status Quo, Sting, Joan Baez, Bryan Ferry, Judas Priest, U2, David Bowie, The Beach Boys – to name just a few. Bands such as The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or Led Zeppelin, which had either dissolved or had not played together for years, also participated. The concert offered by the British band Queen at this event was considered by the BBC as the best live performance in history, even ahead of historical concerts like the one Jimi Hendrix gave at Woodstock.
In addition to the main concerts in London and Philadelphia, there were others in other parts of the globe, such as Cologne (Germany), where the ‘Band for Africa‘ presented two songs. Televisions and radios broadcast the events non-stop, to the point of collapsing the satellite connection that, fortunately, could finally be recovered. Phil Collins was able to participate in both concerts flying directly to the United States via Concorde jet after his performance in London. Wow!
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
When, in 1984, the media began showing images of starving people in Ethiopia, many musicians began to think of a way to help alleviate the situation. It was here that the main architects of the event appeared: Bob Geldorf of the band Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure, who became famous as the singer of the band Ultravox, who created the ‘Band Aid’ project. After summoning several 80’s superstars, they recorded the song ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, which became a huge success, reaching number 1 worldwide. At the same time, the American side of the initiative (which of course also involved the biggest stars of the time) performed the song ‘We Are The World’, written by Lionel Richie and the only superstar we haven’t mentioned yet: Michael Jackson!
And when one has summoned so many musicians eager to help… What better than to organize a concert like this? By the way, the idea came from one of the icons of the 80’s that didn’t even perform: Boy George.
Bands and musicians: Bryan Adams, Adam Ant, Ashford & Simpson, Autograph (from Moscow), Band for Africa (from Cologne), Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Black Sabbath, Boomtown Rats, David Bowie, The Cars, Eric Clapton, Kelly Dee, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Duran Duran, Bryan Ferry, The Four Tops, Hall & Oates, The Hooters, INXS (from Melbourne), Phil Collins, Elvis Costello, Crosby, Stills & Nash Mick Jagger, Elton John, Howard Jones, Judas Priest, Eddie Kendricks, Nik Kershaw, BB King (de La Haya), Patti LaBelle, Led Zeppelin, Kenny Loggins, Loudness (from Japan), Madonna, Paul McCartney, Pat Metheny, Alison Moyet, Billy Ocean, Opus (from Austria), Teddy Pendergrass, Tom Petty, The Pretenders, The Power Station, Keith Richards, David Ruffin, REO Speedwagon, Run DMC, Sade, Santana, Simple Minds, Spandau Ballet, Rick Springfield, Status Quo, Sting, The Style Council, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, The Thompson Twins , Tina Turner, U2, Ultravox, Bernard Watson, Wham!, The Who, Ron Wood, Neil Young, Paul Young.
ENJOY OUR COLLECTION OF LIVE AID SONGS!
In the film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which is currently sweeping cinemas all over the world, Queen’s performance at Live Aid holds a very special place in our hearts. The film about Freddie Mercury begins and also closes with the sound of the audience. Here is Queen’s performance on which the film’s famous scene is based: