Queen or Green Day.
Madonna or Mariah Carey.
REO Speedwagon or Good Charlotte.
On July 13, 1985, Bob Geldolf and Midge Ure put together the mother-of-all concerts with the mother-of-all line-ups of the time, on two different stages across the world. Queen, Status Quo, Style Council, Boomtown Rats, U2, Dire Straits, Elton John, David Bowie, The Who, Paul McCartney and many more performed at Wembley Stadium in London – while Billy Ocean, Black Sabbath, Run D.M.C., REO Speedwagon, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger and much more performed at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The purpose was to create awareness and raise money to stop the Ethiopian famine. The performances were broadcast across the world simultaneously to an audience of roughly 1.9 billion.
In 2004, Geldolf released a 4 Disc DVD set of the concert, but with some performances omitted due to personal requests or loss of footage, as the original masters were erased due to Geldolf’s request at the time. So existing footage was compiled together from other television station masters. However, this boxset is now out-of-print, but lucky for us, most of the release is now available for free on YouTube, with ad revenue going directly to charity. So, you can enjoy the full performance of Queen without worrying about being a naughty pirate.
Fast forward to 2005, twenty years after the first Live AID, and this time, Geldolf promises to make it even bigger, better than ever. While the Ethiopian famine has partially subsided, the new and improved Live 8 concert was designed to raise money for the UK’s ‘Make Poverty History’ and the ‘Global Call for Action Against Poverty’ campaigns, all synced in with the international G8 summit.
On July 2, 2005 and across 11 locations, Green Day, Deep Purple, Mariah Carey, Good Charlotte, Robbie Williams, Chris Martin, Pink Floyd, Audioslave, Annie Lennox, R.E.M., Black Eyed Peas and a lot more performed their famous wares, along with various guests to go on stage and spruik the cause. A 4 Disc DVD set was released in November that year, but is now out of print. However, once again, we can magically re-live the performances for free and legally on YouTube.
So find yourself a few spare hours to kick off your shoes, put your feet up, sit back and enjoy the melodies and memories. Just turn off your ad blocker so they get the revenue.