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"We are the Champions"


Presentation by Leslie MARTY

Live Aid concert


Actual impact on famine relief?What did people truly came for?

"The biggest event in the history of music"

A brief introduction

- held on July 13, 1985- two places: London (72 000 people) and Philadelphia (90 000 people)- a benefit concert: raising money for famine relief in Ethiopia- many famous artists: Queen, David Bowie, Dire Straits, U2, etc. - broadcasted worldwide: audience of 2 billion people

  1. Positive aspects: why was Live Aid so attractive ?
  2. Did the event truly reach its purpose?
  3. The power of music in conveying a message and raising awareness

To what extent did Live Aid become a key moment in the history of music, even if one may question its actual impact on famine relief or even the public's mindset?

- organised by the Irish singer and activist Bob GELDOF + Midge URE- news report about Ethiopia in 1984- Geldof wrote "Do they Know It's Christmas?"single recorded (Band Aid) in November - 3000 copies sold - Geldof (and Ure) came up with the idea of Live Aid

The origins of Live Aid:

I) The event of the century, undoubtedly successful in attracting people

Phil Collins
Paul McCartney

Among all the names, a few stand out:

An alluring programme: famous artists people did not want to miss!

People tend to remember how a huge concert it was, but not what it was for

Because huge bands: people only caring about seeing them?double-edged intiative: massive crowd but at the risk of them forgetting about famine relief

A huge cultural event, overshadowing the initial cause

II) But did it truly reach its purpose?

"It raised a lot of money that ended up in the hands of war lords, ultimately doing more harm than good"

- short-term relief: 140 million dollars- long-term relief: not really, but did raise awareness

Did Live Aid truly make a change regarding famine relief?

- false philanthropy, hypocrisy:defining oneself as generous, compassionate and selfless, when it is the contrary

False behaviour, only to feel better about oneself?


An easier, more gentle way to tackle important issues?
Music as a universal language but with hidden meanings

But a song can carry a message on its own

Songs perfomed at Live Aid: conveyed their message as a whole

Music is never just about music

1992: tribute to Freddy Mercury, again at Wembley Stadium + concert to raise awareness about AIDS syndrom

Live Aid paved the way for other benefit concerts

III) How music can be used to make a change on different levels

-> thanks to music, a cause can prevail through time
Reference to MLK's death and his devotion to the Civil Rights Movement

"One man come in the name of loveOne man come and goOne man come he to justifyOne man to overthrow...............Early morning, April fourShot rings out in Memphis skyFree at last, they took your lifeThey could not take your pride"

The example of Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2

- Do you think a concert at the image of the Live Aid would be a good way to stand for a cause today?- Do you have one particular song in mind that conveys a message about an important topic? If so, which song and topic?- have you ever taken part in a fundraising event ? if so, what were the funds for, and do you think your action made a change?

Now your turn:

Thanks for Listening!