Live Aid was organised by punk-rockers who wanted to raise funds for relief in Africa by having a huge concert with the biggest artists of the time. The event was held simultaneously at the Wembley Stadium in the UK & the JFK Stadium in Pennsylvania, USA. It was broadcasted across the world with an estimated global audience of almost 2 billion people (read more).

One of the best performances of all time took place

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters remembers the day:

Queen smoked ’em.
They just took everybody. They walked away being the greatest band you’d ever seen in your life, and it was unbelievable.

And that’s what made the band so great; that’s why they should be recognised as one of the greatest rock bands of all time because they could connect with an audience.”


Bono sported a pretty epic mullet

He opened the performance with "We're in an Irish band – we come from Dublin City, Ireland".

Interestingly U2 initially believed they'd messed up the performance. When people started taking note of it – they thought they were being mocked.

"It was a great day, but I thought I had fucked it up"
– Bono to the Rolling Stone magazine on his performance at the 1985 Live Aid

U2's 12 minutes that made them

"It really took us by surprise when people started talking about U2 as one of the noteworthy performances of the day. I thought they were joking, I really thought we were crap.

But looking back, as I did a week later, I started to see what it was. It was the sense of real, total jeopardy, which is always very exciting for a live event, and Bono's complete determination to make physical contact with the crowd and eventually getting there after two minutes of struggling over barriers.

I think there was something about the effort he had to put in to do it that somehow made it even more powerful."
Band member The Edge explains:

Interestingly some of the perceived "mistakes they did" was what made the performance even more powerful; namely making Bad (video) song really long (by including tributes to Lou Reed – who was so touched, he cried) & audience interaction (literally saving girls' lives). The mistake of course being that due to this extra time – they ran out of time before playing their hit single Pride (in the name of love).

and Bowie

and this collab was aired

Jagger & Bowie performed on opposite sides of the Atlantic, with Bowie in the UK & Jagger in the States. They wanted to achieve a cross-continental performance. Given the technology at the time, that was simply not feasible – so instead they created this video covering Motown classic "Dancing in the Street".

Jagger's performance also included a duet with icon Tina Turner.


The pair effectively pulled off the first on-stage "wardrobe malfunction". Jagger later explained why he chose to perform at the event, reported by the Rolling Stone magazine at the time.

"To raise a lot of money. That was the main thing — draw attention to the hunger in the world. Down the line, people can appreciate what can be done by an event of this magnitude. It was really a relatively nice, well-meaning event.

The World's First 'Wardrobe Malfunction'