On 13th July 1985, Live Aid – a dual-venue concert – was held in Wembley Stadium, London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. Championed and created by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, this world-famous charity concert was orchestrated to benefit those starving in the Ethiopian famine. 31 years later, Live Aid is still known globally and is considered a game changer in music and charity.
Over three decades later, Live Aid is still a talking point. The concert raised a massive $245 million and attracted a global audience of 1.9 billion, making it one of the greatest charitable successes in the whole of human history. Such a huge audience practically guaranteed a success, and when the Beach Boys took to the stage in the United States, 22,000 pledges were received in just five minutes.
This was the first open-air charity concert, and the first time that the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) had used its outdoor recording equipment for such a large event. Since then, there have been countless charity concerts and celebrity events designed to raise money for everything from tsunamis to storms and poverty.
One such Live Aid-inspired concert was Hope for Haiti Now, a concert held on January 22nd 2010 which was organized by Joel Gallen, Wyclef Jean and George Clooney. Anderson Cooper, popular US news anchor, also provided reports from Haiti that were shown during the concert, and by the end, the event had raised a huge $61 million. The album that was released soon after even became the biggest one-day pre-order for an album in iTunes history.
As well as Hope for Haiti Now, there have also been Farm Aid, Concert for New York City, Concert for Hurricane Relief, LIVE 8 and a great deal more than have raised millions for charity. So, 31 years on, let’s thank Geldof and Live Aid for giving us an entirely new way to heal the world.