Held in the U.K and the U.S, it featured a never before seen parade of Pop and Rock artists
The spectacular Live Aid took place on this day in 1985
Organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine, the spectacular Live Aid was held on July 13, 1985 at simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England and at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. In The U.K the even was attended by 72,000 people and in the U.S by about 100,000 people. The non-stop Rock and Pop star parade was also one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time; an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations watched the event live worldwide. This would be nearly 40% of the world population at the time. The concert was conceived as a follow-on to the successful charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, and the idea came originally from Boy George. This was after a Culture Club concert on 22 December 1984 when an impromptu gathering of some of the other artists from Band Aid joined Culture Club on stage at the end of the concert for an encore of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. George was so overcome by the occasion he told Geldof that they should consider organizing a benefit concert. Phil Collins, was the only artist to play both venues, travelling on a fast concorde plane to the U.S after playing London. Also from the Live Aid event, one of the 1980’s most unique duets that generated a memorable worldwide hit was created. “Dancing In The Street” by Mick Jagger and David Bowie, a cover of an original 1960’s Motown classic. Despite both Jagger and Bowie playing Live Aid, they did it in separate venues, Bowie in London and Jagger in Philadelphia. The original idea was to put them singing together using the satellite technology, but due to predictable problems, the music video for the song was aired instead. On the Wembley Stadium, London, another band saw one of their most triumphant moments, Queen remain the act that owned the 1985 Live Aid Festival. Their performance was so brillant that is still remembered as one of Rock’s seminal moments. Freddie Mercury’s performance at Live Aid is often considered the highest moment of his career. Also the surprise appearances of Black Sabbath, featuring all four original members and Led Zeppelin, are considered highlights of the festival. In London, the concert ended with all the artists on stage performing as Band Aid the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time”, this line up included among many many others: Nik Kershaw, Sade, Sting, Phil Collins, U2, Dire Straits, Queen, David Bowie, Culture Club, The Who, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Wham! In Philadelphia, the concert ended the same way but with artists performing as USA For Africa the song “We Are The World”. Among the line up of the concert were The Four Tops, Black Sabbath, Run–D.M.C., Judas Priest, Tina Turner, The Beach Boys, Bryan Adams, Santana, Madonna, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.
Look back at the 1985 Live Aid finale at Wembley, London
Look back at the 1985 Live Aid finale at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia
Watch the highlight of the festival, the historical Queen performance
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