This is the 26th anniversary of one of the most impressive music spectacles in our modern era. On July 13 in 1985, Bob Geldof oversaw Live Aid.
Live Aid was a rock concert that spanned the globe with multiple locations in an effort to raise support for the starvation epidemic in Africa.
The event was groundbreaking because it wasn’t held in just a single location or a single time. It was a 16 hour event linked by satellite feed to over a billion people worldwide with over 100 nations able to view the music.
Kicking off the event were Prince Charles and Princess Diana in London, but the most notable part of the concert was when Phil Collins performed in London, hopped a plane to Philadelphia, and performed again at the same concert on a different continent.
The mere geeky logistics of putting together a multi-nation stage in front of a worldwide audience is something that would still be a major undertaking with today’s technology, especially since Phil Collins doesn’t move as quickly as he used to. The success in pulling off such a staggering event has led to multiple sequels and even the debt of 18 of the world’s poorest nations being forgiven by the G8.
There’s still poverty and hunger in every single nation that the concert was held for. All the money and exposure in the world cannot free individuals from oppression and starvation at the hands of their own government, but the notoriety of the event brought about several good things including awareness for AIDS prevention and preventive disease control.
The nerdy combination of satellite feed, broadcast hook-ups, Run DMC, Madonna and Duran Duran caused what would have been a good concert in front of 75,000 fans in London to become an event raising over $175 million in famine relief and enough grain to offer help to thousands of people of hungry people because of the broadcasting ability on the cusp of pay-per-view media.
It’s also the only time you will ever get the opportunity to see Led Zeppelin with Phil Collins as the drummer…for now.
To watch a few of the highlights, follow the links below.