Most of us old enough to remember July 13th 1985 were perched in front of TV screens with 1.5 Billion others all over the globe to witness the biggest live music event in history called Live Aid. Simultanious concerts took place in Wembley Stadium London and JFK Stadium Philadelphia where 162 thousand fans reveled in the ultimate orgy of music. Queen, Bryan Adams, Sting, Dire Straits, The Beach Boys, U2, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan - Basically anyone who was anyone in music at the time performed.
The event was held to raise money for victims of the famine that was sweeping across Africa at the time raising an incredible $250 Million dollars. Now twenty years later Bob Geldof the mastermind of the event is doing it all over again. This time the concerts are set to coincide with this summers G8 summit in Scotland on July 8th. This year there will be five massive concerts held in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome and Philadelphia. Five of the G8's most powerful nations.
The goal of the events: To put pressure on world leaders to drop third world debt, the focus of the Make Poverty History Campaign headed by Bono. Bob Geldof former lead of Irish Band "The Boomtown rats" recently said another Live Aid would happen "over my dead body" While secretly planning this summers massive event.
So many of you are probably sitting there a little perplexed, "Who cares anyway?" well you have to understand that in the Mid-1980's the music world was radically different than it stands today. We were not being bombarded by manufactured pop acts and two-bit rappers. The charts actually reflected the music people wanted to hear, it was a period dominated by massive world conquering Rock bands like Queen and U2, MTV still in its infancy was actually showing music videos and there was a general excitement about new bands and new genres exuberance that has vanished from the industry in recent years. An event such as this can only help to re-juvenate peoples intrest in music and give those who don't remember how it once was a taste of what musical culture should be. But that isn't the whole point of 'Live 8' now is it?
Geldof said the event was "not for charity but Political justice", adding that organisers had "scrambled like crazy" to stage the concerts to highlight the plight of Africa. "This is to finally, as much as as we can, put a stop to that," said the legendary campaigner and musician. Geldof has even asked for Pope Benedict XVI to attend: "I think he should turn up. It would be his first gig," he said.
The Line ups for each event have still to be finalised and many more performers will joing the throng that has already assembled including believe it or not the re-formed Spice Girls:
Hyde Park, London
Sir Elton John
Sir Paul McCartney
Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Will Smith (host)
The Dave Matthews Band
Eiffel Tower, Paris
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Crosby, Stills and Nash
Die Toten Hosen
Circus Maximus, Rome
Artists TBC & Location of Performance TBA
The Rolling Stones
The Manic Street Preachers
The Chemical Brothers
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
All the concerts will be free to attend and tickets are already very much in demand. the UK has already launched a text message lottery with those lucky enough to be drawn at random receiving two tickets to the Hyde Park show. No details are known regarding the ticket allotment for the other cities.
So predictably the burning question on everyones lips: How can Live8 compare to 1985's event. Well in truth it can't, 1985 was a different era in Music. there is no performer alive today who could entertain a crowd like Freddie Mercury, there is no young band that is going to propel themselves to the top of the world like U2 did. People feel dissillusioned with music today but hopefully Live8 will help to bring some of that fiery interest back while at the same time re-energising the world to make a stand against third-world poverty.