Live Aid in 1985: Look back at the record-breaking concert event beamed across the globe

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Live Aid concert 1985

Live Aid in 1985: Feed the world

The goal of the Live Aid concerts was to raise money to help relieve the ongoing famine in Ethiopia, and was organized by Irish musician Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and Scotland’s Midge Ure (Ultravox) after the huge success of their “Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed the World)” single the previous December.

Live Aid concert - Philadelphia Inquirer - July 12, 1985

The main Live Aid concert venues were John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia (to an audience of 72,000) and Wembley Stadium in London, England (with nearly 100,000 in attendance) — however, a few broadcasts for other countries were added in, most notably INXS’ performance that day at Oz for Africa.

At the time, it was the most-watched TV broadcast ever, with an estimated 1.9 billion people tuning in from around the globe. Check out a few of the performances below!

Live Aid concert stadium - London 1985

Live Aid concert - Philadelphia Inquirer - July 14, 1985

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – American Girl (Live Aid 1985)


Elton John – Rocket Man (Live Aid 1985)

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Bob Dylan / Keith Richards / Ron Wood – Blowin’ In The Wind (Live Aid 1985)

At Live Aid in Philadelphia, the musicians were introduced by Jack Nicholson.


Kenny Loggins – Footloose (Live Aid 1985)

See more about the movie Footloose here!

80s music - Live Aid concert - Philadelphia Inquirer - July 14, 1985


Madonna: Holiday


Beach Boys: Good Vibrations


Live Aid concert - Philadelphia Inquirer - July 13, 1985

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U2: Sunday Bloody Sunday


David Bowie: Heroes


Queen performance including Bohemian Rhapsody


Simple Minds: Don’t You (Forget About Me)

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