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The broadcast of the biggest benefit concert in history, organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.

Director:

Vincent Scarza

Writer:

Bob Geldof (idea)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Bob Geldof ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bryan Adams ... Himself (at JFK Stadium)
Stuart Adamson Stuart Adamson ... Himself (as Big Country)
Mo Amin Mo Amin ... Himself - Photographer
Adam Ant ... Himself
Nick Ashford ... Himself
Joan Baez ... Herself
Tom Bailey ... Himself (as Thompson Twins)
Garry Beers ... Himself
Big Country ... Themselves
Black Sabbath ... Themselves
Bono ... Himself (as U2)
The Boomtown Rats ... Themselves
David Bowie ... Himself
Andrew Bown Andrew Bown ... Himself (as Status Quo)
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Storyline

This show features Live Aid, the biggest benefit concert in history. Taking place simultaneously in two seperate stadiums in the USA and the UK, many of the top contemporary rock music acts play many of their most popular songs to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. In addition, short films illustrating the crisis in Africa are run with the appeal for aid. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Global Jukebox See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Музыкальный фестиваль Live Aid See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

£150,000,000, 31 December 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During The Boomtown Rats performance of the song "Rat Trap", Bob Geldof accidentally yanked out the cord from his microphone and as a result the audience didn't hear him sing for a good portion of the performance. This resulted in the song not being included in the DVD release. See more »

Quotes

Bob Geldof: If there's a problem, you have to go out and solve it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In its original form, the concert ran 16 hours. There were two versions of the U.S. telecast - one incarnation aired complete on MTV, another produced by ABC was in two parts, part one (the first eleven hours) airing in syndication, part two (the final three hours) airing on ABC. In any case, the DVD version is edited to ten hours, leaving out many key performances, such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Power Station, The Hooters, The Four Tops, Rick Springfield, Bernard Watson, Santana, and Led Zeppelin. The DVD version also contains an aurally altered version of Paul McCartney's performance of "Let It Be" (due to a microphone problem in the first half of the song, McCartney had to re-record his vocals twenty years after the fact so that it could be included on the DVD). See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Music with a Message (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Won't get fooled again
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by The Who
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It Was Twenty Years Ago Today ...
12 July 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

... Give or take a few hours of course but I still have vivid memories of this ultimate concert . As soon as it was announced I wished I could have attended it but as you can imagine tickets for the Wembly gig were somewhat difficult to get your hands on . I did hear via a friend of mine Rab Kincaid that his sister Vicki got a ticket and would be going to London on the 13th of July , I did feel some self sorrow because the previous Summer my sister acting as courier wanted to know if I wanted to go out with Vicki but I turned her down . She was a very nice girl with a highly developed body for a teenager but from the neck upwards she looked disturbingly like Celtic footballer star Maurice Johnstone with a mullet hairstyle . i wasn't and never will be the sort of guy who'd ever go out with a girl for ulterior motives but it did flash through my mind in the early Summer of 1985 that if I'd been going out with Vicki I might have been able to get a Live Aid concert ticket

Still not to worry it was going to be broadcast live on television and I was really looking forward to seeing my musical heroes U2 perform . I kept rubbing my hands wondering what their set list was going to be while I played their live LP Under A Blood Red Sky to death , I was really hoping they were going to perform I Will Follow . So on the day of the concert I was wishing the dross supporting acts like Status Quo , Howard Jones , Paul Young and Adam Ant ( Who played the title track of his new album ! ) would just go away and let Bono and the boys show the audience how it's done . At 5 O'clock the transmission alternatively switched from Wembley to JFK Staduim Philidelphia where we saw the Bryan Adams set . Jack Nicholson said we're going back to London to hear a band who aren'1t afraid to speak their mind and U2 came on to perform the appropriate Sunday Bloody Sunday . Unfortunately their second track was Bad a song I've never taken to and Bono spent so much time jumping into the audience to get a girl to dance with him that they had to scrap their third track Pride . In fact I thought their whole set was a major disappointment that I couldn't believe the positive feed back they got in the press later and there was no one more surprised than the band themselves !

Major disappointment aside I still stayed in to watch the rest of the concert most of which I watched on my sister's portable black and white TV and it wasn't until a few days later that I started digesting what a monumental event it was where Queen stole the show with their medley , where Bob Geldof swore live on air ( In those days bad language on television was still very rare ) , the dominance of British music that saw every act at Wembly hail from the British Isles and where a third of the acts at the American concert were also British , and the strange fact within a couple of years many of the acts at Wembly had disappeared from the charts altogether . But without doubt the abiding memory for me was the entire lack of cynicism . Artists went out of their way to give a concert while people went out of their way to put their hands in their pockets . Even if you want to be cynical then you can't deny that money was raised and it went to humanitarian Non Governmental Organisations ( NGOs ) that saved countless human lives . That was the difference between Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005


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