Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Live Aid and LDC's

Dear All

as a summary to the work we have done so far this year on LDC's and the reasons for current levels of development, I though some persepective would help you to place our current studies in context.

Many of you will have heard of Live Aid and some of you may have even been one of the 3 billion people who in 2005 watched one of the 10 live concerts, but how much do you really know about the cause, the history, and the success of this unique campaign?

To start, the originl Live Aid was broadcast in 1985, following the release of the Band Aid single, which in case you havent heard it, here is the original:

Formed in 1984, the single was released on 25th November 1984, but re-recorded in 1989 and 2004, topping the charts each time, and is so named as a play on the name "Band Aid" or the plaster company, and is a little self deprecating as the artists at the time recognised that monies raised are like using a bandaid to stem a major wound. Each time this British/Irish super group formed, it collected leading artists of the time, and estimates out the amount of money raised from november 1984 to January 2004 as £75 Million.

A summary of Band Aid charitable activities till 2004

The Live Aid concerts took place the year after the release of the first single, taking place on three continents, and countless countries. But to understand why, in a time before the internet and email, live streaming and Facebook, whose idea was it, and why did it happen?

The answer can be seen by watching any news broadcast of the current crisis in East Africa, but one report, by Michael Buerk, highlighted the famine of 1984 more clearly than any other, and had a profound impact on the coverage and attention the crisis received. It was one of the first, and certainly one of the most emotional, and remains to this day, some of the most moving news footage on record:

So, what was Live Aid? A collection of the best and brightest artists performing in Philadelphia and Wembley, with Concorde on standby to chauffeur Phil Collins from the first concert in London to play in the second. My favourite from the performance, the everlasting, enigmatic and energetic Freddy Mercury, with a fabulous performance:

The freddie Mercury Tribute Concert:

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