Live Aid concert raises $127 million for famine relief in Africa
On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid, a global rock concert organized to raise funds for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. Continued at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia (where Joan Baez kicked off telling the crowd “this is your Woodstock, and it’s been long overdue”) and in other arenas around the world, the “superconcert” 16:00 has been linked worldwide by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 countries. In a triumph of technology and goodwill, the event raised more than $ 125 million in relief from famine in Africa.
Live Aid was designed by Bob Geldof, the singer of an Irish rock band called the Boomtown Rats. In 1984 Geldof traveled to Ethiopia after hearing reports of a horrific famine that had killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and threatened to kill millions more. After his return to London, he brought together the best British and Irish pop artists to record a single for the benefit of the Ethiopian famine. “Do they know it’s Christmas?” was written by Geldof and singer Ultravox Midge Ure and performed by “Band Aid”, a group that included Culture Club, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, U2, Wham! and others. It was the best-selling single in Britain to date and has raised more than $ 10 million.
“Do they know it’s Christmas?” was also a # 1 hit in the United States and inspired American pop artists to come together and perform “We Are the World”, a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. “USA for Africa”, as the American ensemble was known, featured Jackson, Richie, Geldof, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder and many others. The single went to the top of the charts and eventually raised $ 44 million.
As the crisis continues in Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan is also hit by famine, Geldof has offered Live Aid, an ambitious global charity concert to raise more funds and raise awareness of the plight of many Africans. Organized in just 10 weeks, Live Aid was staged on Saturday July 13, 1985. Over 75 numbers were played, including Elton John, Queen, Madonna, Santana, Run DMC, Sade, Sting, Bryan Adams, The Beach Boys , Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Queen, Duran Duran, U2, le Who, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Eric Clapton. The majority of these artists performed at Wembley Stadium in London, where 70,000 spectators went, or at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, where 100,000 people watched. Thirteen satellites broadcast the event’s televised broadcast live to more than a billion viewers in 110 countries. More than 40 of these nations held telethons to relieve African famine during the broadcast.
A memorable concert performance was performed by Queen, especially singer Freddie Mercury, who unexpectedly stole the show with a fierce performance. As the band ran out of steam as they entered the early 1980s after a career of multiple successes, they gave the crowd an unforgettable 20-minute performance. Going from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “We Will Rock You” and ending with “We Are the Champions”, Queen captivated the audience with a journey through their hits, with Mercury at the helm.
Another highlight was that of Phil Collins in Philadelphia after flying by Concorde from London, where he performed at Wembley earlier today. He later played drums at a meeting of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin. Beatle Paul McCartney and Who’s Pete Townsend held Bob Geldof in the air on their shoulders during the London final, which included a collective performance of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Six hours later, the American concert ended with “We Are the World”.
Live Aid finally raised $ 127 million in famine relief for African countries, and the publicity it generated encouraged western countries to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis. in Africa. Geldof was then knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.
In early July 2005, Geldof organized a series of “Live 8” concerts in 11 countries around the world to help raise awareness of global poverty. The organizers, led by Geldof, have deliberately scheduled concert days before the annual G8 summit in an effort to increase political pressure on G8 countries to solve the problems facing the extremely poor around the world. Live 8 claims that approximately 3 billion people watched 1,000 musicians perform on 11 shows, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio stations. Unlike Live Aid, Live 8 was not intentionally presented as a fundraiser – Geldof’s slogan was: “We don’t want your money, we want your voice”. Perhaps in part because of the spotlight put forward by Live 8 on these issues, the G8 subsequently voted to cancel the debt of 18 of the world’s poorest countries, make AIDS drugs more accessible, and double the level of annual aid to Africa, at $ 50 billion.