If you’ve heard of Queen, which I highly believe you do, you would be aware that they were also part of one of history’s biggest charity events. The 1985 Live Aid benefit concert’s main goal and focus were to raise money to feed the millions of people starving in Africa.
Queen guitarist, Brian May, says he is hoping for another large concert like the 1985’s Live Aid but instead for the cause of battling climate change. Fun fact for all of you: Brian May’s famous guitar, as he lovingly calls it, “Red Special” or “Old Lady” is actually handmade. Apparently, the guitar was crafted by May himself together with his father. And not just that, the wood used to create this particular guitar is actually taken from a two-hundred-year-old wooden mantelpiece.
The Live Aid concert, in benefit of Ethiopian famine relief, was broadcasted live for 16 hours and it was the first truly universal concert with connected performances at two stages: London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium.
The worldwide TV broadcast, which is known as the most-watched event in television history, reached over a billion people in more than 100 countries. An estimated audience of 1.9 billion attended this event. In total, 40% of the world participated while it was broadcasted.
Aside from the iconic and classic rock band, Queen, the others who took part in the concert included legendary artists and bands such as U2, Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, Madonna, Elton John, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and many others.
Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage
As the concert went on, viewers were deeply encouraged throughout the whole broadcast to donate money for the concert’s cause. As reported, the BBC members had manned 300 phone lines so people could transfer and donate through their credit cards. A contact number and address were also on the screen every 20 minutes so people would be aware of where to send cheques to.
Raising an estimated value of $245 million
, it was the first benefit concert of its size which created an everlasting effect on Africa’s history. In the Oscar-winning film that was recently shown, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen’s role was heavily highlighted in the Live Aid concert. Their real performance for the event ran for as long as 19-minutes.
Although, May admits that music festival or concerts have changed in recent times so it might not be the same as was back then. “It probably would take the younger generation to take that bull by the horns,” May shares with The Daily Mirror. “We’d help in any way we can, but I think that’s what it would require.”
Would you go to a concert battling climate change? Let us know in the comments!