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World benefit concerts for crisis


Agence France-Presse

Paris, France  /  Fri, February 22, 2019  /  01:03 pm
World benefit concerts for crisis

British Newspaper The Sun reporting on the charity live music event, Live Aid held at Wembley Stadium, London, July 13, 1985. The event was organised by Sir Bob Geldof (Shutterstock/Lenscap Photography)

Richard Branson's planned Venezuela Aid Live is modelled on other international concerts through history that raised money and awareness for world causes, the first major one nearly 50 years ago.

Here is a recap of some of the previous benefit gigs.

1971: Bangladesh

The first of its kind, The Concert for Bangladesh was organised by former Beatle George Harrison to help refugees from the country's war for independence from Pakistan who were struck by famine and flooding.

With two performances in New York's Madison Square Garden, it featured Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan.

It took 11 years for the UN children's fund UNICEF to receive the tens of millions of dollars collected.

1985: Live Aid for famine

Irish rocker Bob Geldof's dual-venue Live Aid brought together the world's top performers to mobilise aid for people suffering from famine in Ethiopia.

Held simultaneously at London's Wembley Stadium and John F. Kennedy Stadium in New York, it featured David Bowie, U2, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and Queen.

It was watched by more than 1.5 billion people across 150 countries, according to organisers.

1988: Free Mandela

The 11-hour Wembley concert for South Africa's then-jailed anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela billed 83 top acts such as Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Sting, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder.

Broadcast to nearly 60 countries, it was watched around 500 million people. 

1988: Universal rights

Amnesty International staged 19 concerts over a six-week worldwide Human Rights Now! tour to raise awareness on the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2001: 9/11 heroes

Held 10 days after the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington, the America: A Tribute to Heroes show was broadcast live by major US television networks to raise money for victims of the atrocities and their families.

2003: AIDS

As part of a campaign to combat the worldwide health threat posed by HIV/AIDS, Mandela -- former president of South Africa -- hosted a massive gig in Cape Town that featured Bono, Johnny Clegg and Beyonce.

Named for his prison number, the 46664 Concert was watched on television by millions.

2005: Asian tsunami

This concert in Cardiff raised more than two million dollars in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami that caused massive death destruction in Indian Ocean countries.

Around 20 British performers such as Eric Clapton and the Manic Street Preachers went on stage in front of an audience of about 60,000. 

Read also: Oprah honors Mandela ahead of global charity concert

2005: Live 8 for Africa

These 10 concerts, held simultaneously in cities across four continents, were aimed to pressuring the Group of Eight (G8) powers to strike a deal on African debt in a bid to relieve poverty -- which they eventually did.

Also organised by Geldof, it was the biggest and most ambitious series of rock concerts ever held and featured Pink Floyd, Sting, U2, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Elton John, Youssou N'Dour and Stevie Wonder.

2007: Live Earth

At the initiative of former US vice president and environmental activist Al Gore, Live Earth events were staged around the world -- including London, New York, and Rio -- to raise awareness of climate change and global warming.

Performers included Madonna, The Police, Keith Urban, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lenny Kravitz.

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