The Global Jukebox
The most extraordinary
musical event of the 1980's was Live Aid. The event was organized by Bob Geldof
and Midge Ure in order to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.
Seven months after
the success of the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”,
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure had convinced more than 60 popular musicians to donate
for their time and services to an event that could raise money and bring
awareness to the famine in Ethiopia.
Billed as “The Global Jukebox”; this 16 hour event was held simultaneously from
Wembley Stadium in London, and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on July 13, 1985.
The event was viewed by a live audience of 162,000 (90,000 in Philadelphia and
72,000 in London). The event, simulcast on television and radio, featured a live
hook-up between Britain and the USA, and was broadcast and telecast live around
the world to an estimated 1.9 billion TV viewers in 150 countries across the
world. Wembley Stadium and JFK Stadium were equipped with identical revolving
stages and giant video screens that allowed the audience to view each others
A concert held the night prior in Sydney, Australia called
Oz for Africa was
included as part of the final broadcast.
Sidenote: Live Aid was originally intended to link all three continents
together, but due to Time Zone differences, it was decided that the Oz for
Africa material would be used to fill in gaps.
Live Aid included video clip contributions and live video feeds from foreign
countries including Köln, Vienna, Moscow, Belgrade, Australia, Japan, and
This concert was the most ambitious international satellite television endeavor
ever. It was broadcast in the UK by the
BBC; while abc
was largely responsible for the U.S. broadcast (consequently abc telecast only
the final three hours of the concert from Philadelphia, hosted by Dick Clark,
with the rest shown in syndication).
An entirely separate and simultaneous U.S. feed was provided for cable viewers
Each of the two main segments of the concert ended with their particular
continental all-star anti-hunger anthems. The UK event closed with Band Aid's Do
They Know It's Christmas and the US event closed with USA for Africa's We Are
At last count, Live Aid raised an estimated $160 million to fight hunger in