Memorable Benefit Concerts in Music

In the music scene, holding a benefit concert to raise proceeds for a particular organization for charity, especially out of a large scale catastrophe, is not uncommon. On May 22, 2017, at the Manchester Arena, twenty-two people were killed, and over one hundred injured during a planned bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.  Grande and more than a dozen artists participated with the British Red Cross and Manchester City Council to hold One Love Manchester. Aired on television and live streamed, the concert raised over 13 million dollars worldwide for the We Love Manchester Emergency Funds, for the victims and their families. One Love is not the first concert of its kind, so here are other memorable benefit concerts in music, showcasing a variety of performers and their support for a particular cause.

Live Aid (1985)
An idea born out of the Band Aid released “Do They Know it’s Christmas,” from artist Midge Ure and Bob Geldof and the some of the biggest acts of the decade, held two concerts on July 13, 1985 and aired on ABC. The first was in Philadelphia at the John F. Kennedy Stadium, and the other at Wembley Stadium in London. Both concerts were held to publicize the Ethiopian famine. At the Wembley Stadium, a wide variety of budding and established artists performed including Queen, Sade, U2, Elton John, Sting and Phil Collins, to name a few. Geldof himself, Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney, performed as well. At JFK, performers included: The Beach Boys, Santana, The Cars, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, and Madonna were also part of the lineup.

Despite much of the concert not being recorded due to audio issues, disagreements with Geldof, and actual donated proceeds, the concert was hailed for a number of the collaborations, and reports of over $200 million dollars in donations.

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