|Founded by||Midge Ure and
|Date(s)||13 July 1985|
|Genre||Pop music, Rock music|
|Website||Live 8 Site|
Live Aid was a multi-venue rock music concert held on July 13, 1985Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. Billed as the 'global jukebox', the event was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium, London (attended by 72,000 people) and JFK Stadium, Philadelphia (attended by about 99,000 people). On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated 400 million viewers, across 60 countries, watched the live broadcast.. The event was organized by
The concert was conceived as a follow-on to another Geldof/Ure project, the successful charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?", performed by a collection of British and Irish music acts billed as 'Band Aid' and released the previous winter.
The concert grew in scope, as more acts were added on both sides of the Atlantic. As a charity fundraiser, the concert far exceeded its goals: on a television programme in 2001, one of the organisers stated that while initially it had been hoped that Live Aid would raise £1 million with the help of Wembley tickets costing £25.00 each, the final figure was £150 million (approx. $283.6 million). Partly in recognition of the Live Aid effort, Geldof received an honorary knighthood. Music promoter Harvey Goldsmith was also instrumental in bringing the plans of Geldof and Ure to fruition.
The concert began at 12:00 BST (7:00, EST) at Wembley Stadium, England. It continued at JFK Stadium, U.S., starting at 13:51 BST (8:51, EST). The UK's Wembley performances ended at 22:00 BST (17:00 or 5:00 PM, EST). The JFK performances and whole concert in the US ended at 04:05 BST July 14 (23:05 or 11:05 PM, EST). (See the full schedule of the concert here). Thus, the concert continued for 16 hours, but since many artists' performances were conducted simultaneously in Wembley and JFK, the total concert's length was much longer.
It was the original intention for Mick Jagger and David Bowie to perform an intercontinental duet, with Bowie in London and Jagger in Philadelphia. Problems of synchronization meant that the only remotely practical solution was to have one artist, likely Bowie at Wembley, mime along to prerecorded vocals broadcast as part of the live sound mix for Jagger's performance from Philadelphia. Veteran music engineer David Richards (Pink Floyd and Queen) was brought in to create footage and sound mixes that Jagger and Bowie could perform to in their respective venues. The BBC would then have had to ensure that those footage and sound mixes were in synch while also performing a live vision mix of the footage from both venues. The combined footage would then have had to be bounced back by satellite to the various broadcasters around the world. Due to the time lag (the signal would take several seconds to be broadcast twice across the Atlantic Ocean) Richards concluded there would be no practical way for Jagger to be able to hear or see Bowie's performance, meaning there could be no interaction between the artists, which would defeat the whole point of the exercise. On top of this both artists objected to the idea of miming at what was perceived as an historic event. Instead, Jagger and Bowie worked with Richards to create a video clip for the song they would have performed, a cover of "Dancing in the Street". The video was shown on the screens of both stadiums and also broadcast as part of many TV networks coverage.
Each of the two main portions of the concert ended with their particular continental all-star anti-hunger anthems, with Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" closing the UK concert, and USA for Africa's "We Are the World" closing the US concert (and thus the day's proceedings).
Concert organizers have subsequently said that they were particularly keen to ensure that at least one surviving member of The Beatles, ideally Paul McCartney, took part in the concert as they felt that having an 'elder statesman' from British music would give it greater legitimacy in the eyes of the political leaders whose opinions the performers were trying to shape. McCartney agreed to perform and has said that it was "the management" — his children — that persuaded him to take part. In the event, he was the last performer (aside from the Band Aid finale) to take to the stage and one of the few to be beset by technical difficulties; his microphone was turned off for the first two minutes of his piano performance of "Let It Be", making it difficult for television viewers and impossible for those in the stadium to hear him. He later jokingly thought about changing the lyrics to "There will be some feedback, let it be".
Phil Collins performed at both Wembley Stadium and JFK, utilising Concorde to get him from London to Philadelphia. UK TV personality Noel Edmonds piloted the helicopter that took Collins to Heathrow Airport to catch his flight. Aside from his own set at both venues, he also provided drums for Eric Clapton and the reunion of the former members of Led Zeppelin at JFK. On the Concorde flight, Collins encountered actress and singer Cher, who later claimed not to know anything about the Live Aid concerts. Upon reaching the USA however she did attend the Philadelphia concert and can be seen performing as part of that concert's We Are the World finale.
An official book was produced by Bob Geldof in collaboration with photographer Denis O'Regan.
"It's twelve noon in London, seven AM in Philadelphia, and around the world it's time for; Live Aid ...." Richard Skinner opening the show.
The concert was the most ambitious international satellite television venture that had ever been attempted at the time.
In Europe, the feed was supplied by the BBC, whose broadcast was opened by Richard Skinner, co-hosted by Andy Kershaw, and included numerous interviews and chats in between the various acts. The BBC's television sound feed was mono, but the BBC Radio 1 feed was stereo and was simulcast in sync with the TV pictures. Due to the constant activities in both London and Philadelphia, the BBC producers omitted the reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young from their broadcast. The BBC, however, did supply a 'clean' feed to various television channels in Europe.
ABC was largely responsible for the US broadcast (although ABC themselves only telecast the final three hours of the concert from Philadelphia, hosted by Dick Clark, with the rest shown in syndication through Orbis Communications, acting on behalf of ABC). An entirely separate and simultaneous US feed was provided for cable viewers by MTV, whose broadcast was presented in stereo, and accessible as such for those with special receivers of the time, as there were very few stereo sets in the summer of 1985, and few television stations were able to broadcast in stereo. While the BBC telecast was run commercial-free (as it is a public broadcaster), both the MTV and syndicated/ABC broadcasts included advertisements and interviews. As a result, many songs were omitted due to the commercial breaks, as these songs were played during such times.
The biggest caveat of the syndicated/ABC coverage is that the network had wanted to reserve some of the biggest acts that had played earlier in the day for certain points in the entire broadcast, particularly in the final three hours in prime time; thus, Orbis Communications had some sequences replaced by others, especially those portions of the concert that had acts from London and Philadelphia playing simultaneously. For example, while the London/Wembley finale was taking place at 22:00 (10:00 pm) London time, syndicated viewers saw segments that had been recorded earlier, so that ABC could show the UK finale during its prime-time portion.
The ABC Radio Network broadcast the American domestic feed of the concert, and later broadcast many of the acts that were missing from the original live radio broadcast.
At one point midway through the concert, Billy Connolly announced he had just been informed that 95% of the television sets in the world were tuned to the event, though this can of course not be verified.
In 1995, VH1 and MuchMusic aired a re-edited ten-hour re-broadcast of the concert for its 10th Anniversary.
Queen opening to massive cheers with "Bohemian Rhapsody", and the antics of lead singer Freddie Mercury who got the entire Wembley crowd clapping in unison to "Radio Ga Ga" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" before singing along, word-for-word, to "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions". The band's performance, also including "Hammer to Fall", led to Queen's slot being voted in a 2005 poll as the 'Greatest Live Gig Ever'.
The Coldstream Guards band opened with the "Royal Salute", "God Save the Queen". Status Quo started their set with "Rockin' All Over the World", also playing "Caroline" and fan favourite "Don't Waste My Time". This was to be the last appearance by the band to feature bassist and founder member Alan Lancaster, and drummer Pete Kircher who had joined the band three years earlier.
Bob Geldof himself performed with the rest of the Boomtown Rats, singing I Don't Like Mondays he stopped just after the line: "The lesson today is how to die" to loud applause with the lyrics taking on a whole other meaning. He finished the song and left the crowd to say the final words.
Elvis Costello appeared singing a simple but touching version of the Beatles "All You Need is Love", which he introduced by asking the audience to "help [him] sing this old northern English folk song".
Another moment that garnered a huge crowd response was when David Bowie performed "Heroes" and dedicated it to his young son, as well as "all our children, and the children of the world".
U2's performance established them as a pre-eminent live group for the first time — something for which they would eventually become superstars. The band played a 14-minute rendition of "Bad", during which lead vocalist Bono jumped off the stage to join the crowd and dance with a girl. The length of their performance of "Bad" limited them to playing just two songs; the third, "Pride (In the Name of Love)", had to be ditched. In July 2005, the girl with whom he danced revealed that he actually saved her life at the time. She was being crushed by the throngs of people pushing forwards; Bono saw this, and gestured frantically at the ushers to help her. They didn't understand what he was saying, and so he jumped down to help her himself.
The transatlantic broadcast from Wembley Stadium suffered technical problems and failed during The Who's performance of their song "My Generation", immediately after Roger Daltrey sang "Why don't you all fade..." (the last word was cut off when a blown fuse caused the Wembley stage TV feed to temporarily fail). The Who were playing with Kenney Jones on drums, who was still an official member of The Who at this time, although this was their first performance since they'd officially disbanded after their 1982 'farewell' tour. The Who's performance included an at times shambolic, but still blistering version of "Won't Get Fooled Again", which was extremely popular with the audience in Wembley Stadium. The band's performance was described as "rough but right" by Rolling Stone magazine, but they would not perform together again until the 1988 BPI Awards.
At the conclusion of the Wembley performances, Bob Geldof was raised heroically onto the shoulders of The Who's guitarist Pete Townshend and McCartney — symbolising his great achievement in unifying the world for one day, in the spirit of music and charity.
At the very beginning of the televised portion of the Philadelphia concert, Joan Baez announced to the assembled crowd (and the viewing audience) that "this is your Woodstock, and it's long overdue", before leading the crowd in "Amazing Grace" (paired with a couple of verses of "We Are the World").
When Madonna got on stage, despite the 95°F ambient temperature, she proclaimed "I'm not taking shit off today!" referring to the recent release of early nude photos of her in Playboy and Penthouse magazines.
During his opening number, American Girl, Tom Petty flipped the middle finger to somebody off stage about one minute into song. Petty stated the song was a last minute addition when the band realised that they would be the first act to play the American side of the concert after the London finale and "since this is, after all, JFK Stadium".
When Bob Dylan broke a guitar string, Ronnie Wood took off his own guitar and gave it to Dylan. Wood was left standing on stage guitarless. After shrugging to the audience, he played air guitar, even mimicking The Who's Pete Townshend by swinging his arm in wide circles, until a stagehand brought him a replacement. Although this moment was left off the DVD, the performance itself was included, featuring footage focusing solely on Keith Richards.
The JFK portion included reunions of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the original Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne, and former members of Led Zeppelin, with Phil Collins and Chic member Tony Thompson sharing duties on drums (although they were not officially announced by their group name from the stage, but were announced as Led Zeppelin on the VH1 10th Anniversary re-broadcast in 1995).
Also, Duran Duran performed a four-song set. The five original band members would not perform together publicly again until 2003. Their set is also memorable for an inadvertent falsetto note hit by frontman Simon Le Bon during "A View to a Kill", an error trumpeted by some media outlets as "The Bum Note Heard Round The World". Simon later recalled that it was the most embarrassing moment of his career.
Throughout the concerts, viewers were urged to donate money to the Live Aid cause. Three hundred phone lines were manned by the BBC, so that members of the public could make donations using their credit cards. The phone number and an address that viewers could send cheques to were repeated every twenty minutes.
Nearly seven hours into the concert in London, Bob Geldof enquired how much money had been raised; he was told £1.2 million. He is said to have been sorely disappointed by the amount and marched to the BBC commentary position. Pumped up further by a performance by Queen that he later called 'absolutely amazing', Geldof gave an infamous interview in which he used the word fuck. The BBC presenter David Hepworth, conducting the interview, had attempted to provide a list of addresses to which potential donations should be sent; Geldof interrupted him in mid-flow and shouted: "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers!" (not as is commonly misquoted "Give us your fucking money"). Private Eye made great capital out of these outbursts, emphasising Geldof's accent which meant the profanities were heard as "fock" and "focking". After the outburst, giving increased to £300 per second.
Later in the evening, following David Bowie's set, a video (Edited by Colin Dean) shot by CBC, was shown to the audiences in London and Philadelphia, as well as on televisions around the world (though notably neither USA feed, ABC or MTV chose to show the film), showing starving and diseased Ethiopian children set to the song "Drive" by The Cars. (This would also be shown at the London Live 8 concert in 2005.) The rate of giving became faster in the immediate aftermath of the moving video. Ironically, Geldof had previously refused to allow the video to be shown, due to time constraints, and had only relented when Bowie offered to drop the song Five Years from his set as a trade-off.
As Geldof mentioned during the concert, the Republic of Ireland gave the most donations per capita, despite being in the throes of a serious economic depression at the time. The single largest donation came from the ruling family of Dubai. They donated £1m in a phone conversation with Geldof.
The next day, news reports stated that between £40 and £50 million had been raised. Now, it is estimated that around £150m has been raised for famine relief as a direct result of the concerts.
Bruce Springsteen declined an invitation to play at Live Aid despite his huge popularity in 1985, later stating that he "simply did not realize how big the whole thing was going to be". He has since expressed regret at turning down Geldof's invitation to appear at Live Aid stating that he could have played a couple of acoustic songs had there been no slot available for a full band performance. If he had appeared he would have been the only American artist on an otherwise UK-centric bill.
Michael Jackson and Prince also did not play (although Prince did send a pre-taped video of an acoustic version of "4 the Tears in Your Eyes", which was played during the concert. The original version appears on the We Are the World album, while the video version was released in 1993 on Prince's compilation The Hits/The B-Sides.)
Billy Joel, Boy George, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Tears for Fears, and Stevie Wonder, along with Huey Lewis and the News and Paul Simon, were all included in the initial promotional material for the Philadelphia concert, but failed to appear at the show itself. The final poster for the Philadelphia show features the acts Peter, Paul and Mary and Rod Stewart, neither of whom actually appeared (though Peter, Paul and Mary can be spotted taking part in the concert's finale).
Tears for Fears did not appear at the Philadelphia leg of the concert, though listed on the bill. According to band member Roland Orzabal, Bob Geldof "gave us so much gip for not turning up at Live Aid. All those millions of people dying, it was our fault. I felt terrible. I tell you, I know how Hitler must have felt." The group made up for the absence by contributing a re-recording of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (entitled "Everybody Wants to Run the World") for Geldof's Sport Aid charity event in 1986.
Cat Stevens wrote a song for the Live Aid concert, which he never got to perform — had he done so, he would have made his first public concert appearance since converting to Islam and changing his name to Yusuf Islam. Though he had written a song especially for the occasion, his appearance was skipped when Elton John's set ran too long.
Cher was one of the singers in the final concert while largely unnoticed her voice was easy to pick up.
A reunited Deep Purple were also due to appear from Switzerland via satellite, but pulled out after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore refused to take part in the event. Eurythmics were slated to play Wembley but cancelled after Annie Lennox suffered serious throat problems. Huey Lewis and the News and Paul Simon both accepted requests to play the Philadelphia concert but later issued press statements stating they had chosen not to appear after all, citing disagreements with promoter Bill Graham. Deep Purple appeared at Geldof's Live 8 sequel 20 years later, performing at the Toronto leg of the event.
It was also rumoured at the time that George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would reunite as The Beatles; making it the first time the trio had performed together in over 15 years. The rumours at the time also were based around the possibility that Julian Lennon would join the Liverpudlian trio, taking over his late father John Lennon's role. In the end only McCartney appeared at the event.
Bob Geldof also invited Def Leppard to perform at the event, but due to Rick Allen's car accident and uncertain future of the next album, they turned it down.
Bob Dylan's performance generated controversy for his comment:
"I hope that some of the money…maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe…one or two million, maybe…and use it, say, to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks…"
"Wouldn't it be great if we did something for our own farmers right here in America?"
In his best-selling autobiography, Is That It? (published in 1986), Geldof was extremely critical of the remark; he states:
"He displayed a complete lack of understanding of the issues raised by Live Aid…. Live Aid was about people losing their lives. There is a radical difference between losing your livelihood and losing your life. It did instigate Farm Aid, which was a good thing in itself, but it was a crass, stupid, and nationalistic thing to say."
Although a professed admirer of Geldof's generosity and concern, Fox News television host Bill O'Reilly has been critical of the Live Aid producer's oversight of the money raised for starving Ethiopian people, claiming (in June 2005) that much of the funds were siphoned off by Mengistu Haile Mariam and his army. O'Reilly believes that charity organizations, operating in aid-receiving countries, should control donations, rather than possibly corrupt governments.. Tim Russert, when interviewing Bono on Meet the Press shortly after O'Reilly's comments, addressed this concern of O'Reilly and others to the singer. Bono responded that corruption, not disease or famine, was the greatest threat to Africa, agreeing with the belief that foreign relief organizations should decide how the money is spent. On the other hand, the singer said that it was better to spill some funds into nefarious quarters for the sake of those who needed it, than to stifle aid because of possible theft. Other critics have likewise argued that donations to charity organisations often end up being used by corrupt governments. Much of the money raised by Live Aid went to NGOs in Ethiopia, some of which were under the influence or control of the Derg military junta. Some journalists have suggested that the Derg was able to use Live Aid and Oxfam money to fund its enforced resettlement and "villagification" programmes, under which at least 3 million people are said to have been displaced and between 50,000 and 100,000 killed.
The Live Aid concert in London was also the first time that the BBC outdoor broadcast sound equipment had been used for an event of such a scale. In stark contrast to the mirrored sounds systems commonly used by the rock band touring engineers, with two 40 channel mixing consoles at the front of the house, and another pair for monitors, the BBC sound engineers had to use multiple 12 channel desks. Some credit this as the point where the mainstream entertainment industry realised that the rock concert industry had overtaken them in technical expertise.
Geldof was apparently not happy about The Hooters being tacked onto the bill as the opening band in Philadelphia. He felt pressured into it by Graham and local promoter Larry Magid. Magid, promoting the concert through Electric Factory Concerts, argued that the band was hugely popular in Philadelphia, despite their first major label album Nervous Night being released less than three months beforehand. Geldof let his feelings be known during an interview for Rolling Stone saying: "Who the fuck are The Hooters?" The Hooters did get their revenge in December, 2004, when Geldof appeared on the bill with the Hooters in Germany as their opening act.
In March, 2010, Martin Plaut of the BBC reported that a large amount of the money was spent on weapons instead of food, due to rebels posing as merchants. He quotes people associated with the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, who claim aid organizations such as the Relief Society of Tigray were used to funnel money to the rebels. He interviewed Gebremedhin Araya who claimed he posed as a merchant selling grain, got money from Christian Aid, and gave it to the TPLF. Plaut also interviewed Aregawi Berhe who claimed the TPLF and allies 'fooled' aid workers, and that large amounts of money were spent for weaponry and political activities. Plaut also quotes a 1980s CIA report entitled 'Ethiopia: Political and Security Impact of the Drought', which claimed aid money was being diverted to military uses. 
Berhe, who is a high-ranking TPLF commander living in exile in The Netherlands, told Deutsche Welle that “the rebel movement, TPFL, had received the money under false pretences – through its development arm, the so-called ‘Aid Association of Tigray’ (MARET). But MARET belonged to the party. So after the aid from donors and aid charities was collected, it was made available through the budget of the party’s central committee – for logistics and financing of the resistance.”  
(In order of appearance, times given are British Summer Time and indicate the start time of the performance. Key: W - London Wembley Stadium, JFK - Philadelphia JFK Stadium)
The German counterpart was Band für Afrika.
When organiser Bob Geldof was persuading artists to take part in the concert, he promised them that it would be a one-off event, never to be seen again. That was the reason why the concert was never recorded in its complete original form, and only secondary television broadcasts were recorded. Following Geldof's request, ABC even erased its own broadcast tapes. However, before the syndicated/ABC footage was erased, copies of it were donated to the Smithsonian Institution and have now been presumed lost. MTV decided to keep recordings of its broadcast and recently located more than 100 tapes of Live Aid in its archives, but many songs in these tapes were cut short by MTV's ad breaks and presenters (according to the BBC). The BBC also decided to keep its broadcast recordings, but many performances from the US were not shown on the BBC, and recordings of these performances are missing.
An official four-disc DVD set of the Live Aid concerts was released on November 8, 2004. It contains 10-hour partial footage of the 16-hour length concert. The DVD was produced by Geldof's company, Woodcharm Ltd., and distributed by Warner Music Group.
The decision to finally release it was taken by Bob Geldof nearly 20 years after the original concerts, after he found a number of pirate copies of the concert on the Internet (see full story here). There has been controversy over the DVD release because a decision had been taken for a substantial number of tracks not to be included in this edited version.
The most complete footage that exists is from the BBC, and it was the main source of the DVD. During production on the official DVD, MTV lent Woodcharm Ltd. their B-roll and alternate camera footage; this was an additional source of the US footage that appears on the official DVD.
Working from the BBC and MTV footage, several degrees of dramatic license were taken, in order to release the concert on DVD. For example, many songs on the official DVD had their soundtracks altered, mainly in sequences where there were originally microphone problems. In one of those instances, Paul McCartney had re-recorded his failed vocals for "Let It Be" in a studio the day after the concert (14 July 1985) but it was never used until the release of the DVD. Also, in the USA finale, the original 'USA for Africa' studio track for "We Are the World" was overlaid in places where the microphone was absent (in fact, if you listen closely, you can hear the vocals of Kenny Rogers and James Ingram, two artists who did not even take part in Live Aid).
Judicious decisions were also made on which acts would be included and which ones would not, due to either technical difficulties in the original performances, the absence of original footage, or for music rights reasons. For example, Rick Springfield, The Four Tops, The Hooters, Power Station, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were among those acts that were left off the DVD. Many of the artists' songs that were performed were also omitted. For example, Madonna performed three solo songs in the concert, but only two were included on the DVD ("Love Makes the World Go Round" was omitted). Phil Collins played "Against All Odds" at both Wembley and JFK but only the london performance of the song was included and the JFK performance was included on Phil Collins' Finally...The First Farewell Tour DVD
There were also issues with the artists themselves. Two such performers were left off at their own request: Led Zeppelin and Santana. The former defended their decision not to be included on the grounds that their performance was 'sub-standard', but to lend their support, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have pledged to donate proceeds from an upcoming DVD release of Led Zeppelin to the campaign, and John Paul Jones has pledged proceeds from his current American tour with Mutual Admiration Society.
In 2007, Queen released a special two-disc DVD set Queen Rock Montreal. Disc one is their 1981 concert from The Forum in Montreal, Canada, and disc two is their complete Live Aid performance, along with Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing Is This The World We Created...? from the UK finale, all of which is mixed into DTS 5.1 by Justin Shirley-Smith. Also on the disc is their Live Aid rehearsal, and an interview with the band, from earlier in the week.
Because the Live Aid broadcast was watched by billions of people, most of the footage was recorded on home consumer video recorders all around the world, in various qualities. Many of these recordings were in mono, because in the mid 1980s most home video machines could only record mono sound, and also because the European BBC TV broadcast was in mono. (As mentioned previously, the US MTV broadcast, the ABC Radio Network and BBC Radio One simulcasts were stereo). These recordings started to circulate among collectors 20 years ago, and in recent years have also appeared on the Internet in file sharing networks. Since the official DVD release of Live Aid includes only partial footage of this event, unofficial distribution sources continue to stay the one and only source of the most complete recordings of this important historical music event.
The official DVD is the only authorized video release in which proceeds go directly to famine relief, the cause that the concert was originally intended to help.
Live Aid was a charity rock concert that took place in more than one stadium. It was held on July 13, 1985. It was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for Africa, whose citizens were not getting enough food. Live Aid was held in two places at the same time: Wembley Stadium in London, and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The concert raised over $280 million.
|Woodstock||Woodstock Festival (1969) • Woodstock '79 • Woodstock '89 • Woodstock '94 • Woodstock 1999|
|Other early festivals||Monterey Pop Festival (1967) • Atlanta International Pop Festival (1969) • Atlantic City Pop Festival (1969) • Isle of Wight Festival 1969 • Altamont Free Concert (1969) • Festival Express (1970) • Bath Festival (1970) • Atlanta International Pop Festival (1970) • Isle of Wight Festival 1970 • Wattstax (1972) • Summer Jam at Watkins Glen (1973) • California Jam (1974)|
|Benefit concerts||The Concert for Bangladesh (1971) • Concerts for the People of Kampuchea (1979) • Live Aid (1985) • Farm Aid (1985) • Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute (1988) • The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (1992) • The Concert for New York City/America: A Tribute to Heroes (2001) • Tsunami Aid (2005) • Live 8 (2005) • A Concert for Hurricane Relief/Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast/From the Big Apple to the Big Easy (2005) • Concert for Diana (2007) • Live Earth (2007) • World Peace One (2007)|
|Benefit/political tours||A Conspiracy of Hope (1986) • Human Rights Now! (1988) • Vote for Change (2004)|
|Other festivals and tours||All Tomorrow's Parties • The Bamboozle • Big Day Out • Bonnaroo • Coachella • Download • Family Values • Glastonbury • Isle of Wight • Lilith Fair • Lollapalooza • No Nukes (1979) • Ozzfest • Pentaport Rock Festival • Projekt Revolution • Przystanek Woodstock • Radio 1's Big Weekend • Reading and Leeds Festivals • Rock am Ring • Rock in Rio • Sasquatch! Music Festival • Telluride • US Festival • Virgin Festival • Wacken Open Air • Warped Tour • Wave-Gotik-Treffen • WOMAD|