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Live Aid

Live Aid was a multi-venue rock music concert held on July 13, 1985. The event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in order to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. Billed as a "global jukebox", the main sites for the event were Wembley Stadium, London, and JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, with some acts performing at smaller venues. It was the largest scale satellite link-up and TV broadcast of all time.


The concert was conceived as a follow-up to another Geldof/Ure project, the successful charity single "Do They Know it's Christmas" performed by a collection of British music acts billed as "Band Aid" and released the previous winter.

The concert grew in scope as more acts were added on both sides of the Atlantic. As a charity fundraiser, the concert far exceeded its goals: on a television programme in 2001 one of the organisers stated that while initially it had been hoped that Live Aid would raise 1 million ($1.64 million), when the money raised was finally totted up, it has raised more than 150 million (approx. $245.4 million) for famine relief. Partly in recognition of the Live Aid effort, Geldof subsequently received an honorary knighthood.

Bob Dylan's comments

Bob Dylan's performance generated controversy for his comment - "It would be nice if some of this money went to the American farmers". (He is often misquoted, as on the Farm Aid web site[1] , as saying "Wouldn't it be great if we did something for our own farmers right here in America?"). In his biography Bob Geldof was extremely critical of the remark; he states - "He displayed a complete lack of understanding of the issues raised by Live Aid.... Live Aid was about people losing their lives. There is a radical difference between losing your livelihood and losing your life. It did instigate Farm Aid, which was a good thing in itself, but it was a crass, stupid, and nationalistic thing to say."


In 1986 the anarchist band Chumbawamba released the album Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, intended as an anti-capitalist critique of the Band Aid/Live Aid phenomena. They argued that the event was primarily a cosmetic spectacle designed to draw attention away from the real political causes of world hunger.

Roger Waters

The success of Live Aid inspired Roger Waters' song "The Tide is Turning".

Live Aid Performers

(in order of appearance):