Advertisement

Live Aid 2019 – Freddie Mercury’s Queen return to the stage

The legacy of the famous Live Aid concert is now being carried on in the Global Citizen Festival with the likes of Queen and Adam Lambert performing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

AFP |

Legendary group Queen along with Adam Lambert will headline New York’s 2019 Global Citizen festival, an event aimed at drumming up support for preserving international aid to eradicate extreme poverty.

Entertainment mogul Pharrell Williams, pianist Alicia Keys, pop group OneRepublic, R&B prodigy H.E.R. and singer-songwriter Carole King will also play the September 28 festival in Central Park, organizers announced Tuesday.

Taking place each year since 2012 as world leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, Global Citizen distributes tickets for free to supporters who pledge to take actions such as sending letters to their governments in support of development aid.

“After next year we will have only ten short years to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Hugh Evans, the CEO of Global Citizen.


“The policies and progress that we make this year, and into 2020, will determine whether we successfully eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, and failure is not an option for the world’s poor.”

Among its 2019 goals, Global Citizen said it would urge the US government to enact the “Keeping Girls in School Act” aimed at addressing obstacles that keep girls out of school like child marriage and difficulty accessing sanitary products.

The festival will be hosted by Australian acting couple Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, with co-hosts to include Forest Whitaker and Rami Malek.

Live Aid Concert – A historic legacy which is now being misused
(Added by GVS News Desk)

Live Aid was a dual-venue benefit concert held for the first time on Saturday 13 July 1985, and is an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine.

Billed as the “global jukebox”, the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people).

On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany.

It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time; an estimated audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast, nearly 40% of the world population.


The impact of Live Aid on famine relief has been debated for years. One aid relief worker stated that following the publicity generated by the concert, “humanitarian concern is now at the centre of foreign policy” for western governments.

Geldof states, “We took an issue that was nowhere on the political agenda and, through the lingua franca of the planet – which is not English but rock ‘n’ roll – we were able to address the intellectual absurdity and the moral repulsion of people dying of want in a world of surplus.”

Read more: Bohemian Rhapsody – a film that fails Mercury

He adds, Live Aid “created something permanent and self-sustaining”, but also asked why Africa is getting poorer.

The organizers of Live Aid tried, without much success, to run aid efforts directly, so channeled millions to the NGOs in Ethiopia, much of which went to the Ethiopian government of Mengistu Haile Mariam – a brutal regime the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wanted to “destabilize” – and was spent on guns.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

Latest

India’s eternal flame for soldiers extinguished

The flame of the immortal soldier was installed at the India Gate in New Delhi following the conflict, which eventually led to the creation of independent Bangladesh. It had burned ever since fuelled first by cylinders of liquified petroleum gas and later with piped gas.