The July 13, 1985 it is a historic date, the one in which almost two billion people in the world stopped in front of the TV to watch live the Live Aida major global musical gathering that took place at Wembley Stadium in London and John Fitzgerald Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia.
It was not a “normal” concert/event but a gathering of great music stars, whose presence was free of charge, who decided, under the artistic direction of Bob Geldof And Midge Ure (formerly Ultravox), to meet with the aim of raising funds for Ethiopia hit by a serious famine.
Two performances from that event remain memorable: that of Queen and that of David Bowie who carried out his “Heroes” dedicating it to his son.
A line from that song now becomes the title of a musical, “Just For One Day”, which retraces, in two and a half hours of show, that memorable day, told through the vision of Bob Geldof, the enthusiasm of Mercury, Elton John and U2, who were among the protagonists of that event.
From January 26th to March 30th on the stage of Old Vic Theatre of London a cast of 26 young actors, led by the director Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, The Little Big Things), on a text written by John O’Farrellnovelist, comedian, screenwriter and with the collaboration of the same Bob Geldolf. Above all, the soundtrack composed of great hits, as happened on 13 July 1985.
10% of the proceeds will be donated directly to Band Aid Charitable Trusta charity that still works for the prevention or relief of poverty and famine relief.
“This musical aims to be a dialogue between those born in this century and those who saw and experienced Live Aid live, because I believe that today’s young people will find their own way of addressing these issues, which are otherwise unresolved,” said the author O’Farrell. While the director underlined: “I believe that today music’s ability to unite and inspire is the same as in the 1980s”.
Regarding the collaboration with Geldolf and some “writing” choices made by him, the author said: “He is not someone who is easy to work with. He doesn’t hide his ideas and he hasn’t refrained from criticizing us often, but after all he has every right to do so: I tried to listen to him where I could, but in the end I know that he is proud of the show if he invited a hundred stars to the premiere.”
Live Aid numbers:
Nearly two billion viewers in one hundred and fifty different countries watched the concert live
It lasted 16 hours
70 artists took part in the event
Halfway through the concert, 95% of the world’s television networks were tuned into the event
Through the concerts spectators were invited to donate money to the Live Aid cause. Three hundred telephone lines were set up by the BBC so that it was possible to make donations by credit card.
Today the total amount raised thanks to the concerts is estimated at 150 million pounds.
The concert was not released commercially until November 2004 when a 4-DVD edition, although not complete, was released.