Vintage Campaigns

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Live Aid Life before Peaches

Believe it or not, Bob Geldof was once (quite) famous for a being a rock star; now he’s mainly famous for having a daughter. In between those two things, however, he was very famous indeed for campaigning.

A concerted effort

He organised Live Aid, a 16-hour concert taking place in two continents and watched by 1.5 billion people worldwide. At one point in the proceedings, Billy Connolly told everyone that 95% of the world’s televisions were tuned into the concert. We’re not sure what the other 5% were watching, but they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Piling on the pounds

Even more impressive is that they initially hoped that Live Aid would raise £1 million for the famine in Africa; in the end, it raised over £150 million. The ruling family of Dubai alone matched that original figure: they donated a million quid whilst on the phone with Bob. He can be quite persuasive.

The Mercury prize

People who attended the concert often say it was the best day of their lives, reporting an incredible spirit of camaraderie. You can just about get a feel of it from Queen’s ludicrously stirring performance of Radio Ga Ga. Have a watch: