Make Poverty History

Bob Geldof

Robert Frederick Zenon, better known as “Bob” Geldof, was born on 5th October 1951. He is an Irish singer, songwriter, author, actor and political activist. He became famous as the lead singer of the Irish rock band “The Boomtown Rats” in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Their biggest hits were “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays”. He co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, one of the best-selling singles of all time, and starred in Pink Floyd’s 1982 film “Pink Floyd The Wall”.
Geldof is very popular for his activism, especially for anti-poverty campaings in Africa. In 1984 he and Midge Ure founded the charity supergroup “Band Aid” to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Later they organised the charity super-concert “Live Aid” the following year and the “Live 8” concerts in 2005. Now, works as an adviser to the ONE “Campaign”, founded by an Irish humanitarian Bono Vox. Geldof has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was declared a knight by Queen Elizabeth II, and is a recipient of “the Man of Peace” title which recognises individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace”.

The Boomtown Rats – I Don’t LIke Mondays

Live Aid

In 1984 – Moved by images of young children in Africa dying of starvation, Bob Geldof organized, with Midge Ure, “Band Aid”, a “supergroup” of British musicians and singers which recorded the single “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. It became the fastest selling single in UK history and raised over £8 million worldwide in funds for emergency aid to Ethiopia.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?”

In 1985 – Using the popularity of “Band Aid”, the dual Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia were held on 13th July. Over a billion and a half people worldwide watched the 16 hour event on television, in which over 60 of the biggest star in rock music performed, and over £100 million was raised for African famine relief. Musical and political history was made.
Live Aid was was organised by Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, Harvey Goldsmith and the “Band Aid Trust”, in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. The main sites for these events were Wembley Stadium, London, attended by 72,000 people, and JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, attended by about 90,000 people, with some acts performing at other places like Sydney and Moscow. It was one of the largest scale satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts of all time – 1.5 billion viewers in 100 countries watched the live broadcast.

The concert was conceived as a follow-up 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.

Live Aid Highlights

Live 8

Live 8 was a series of concerts that took place in July 2005, in the G8 nations (USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan) and South Africa. They were timed to take place before the G8 Conference and Summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland from July 6th-8th, 2005. The concerts were held 20 years after “Live Aid”. The concerts were the continuance of “Make Poverty History” capmaing. The shows were planned to pressure world leaders to drop the debt of the world’s poorest nations, increase and improve aid, and negotiate batter trade rules in the interest of poorer countries. Ten simultaneous concerts were held on 2nd July and one on 6th July. On 7th July the G8 leaders pledged to increase aid to Africa by $25 billion by the year 2010.

More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks. “Live Aid” and “Band Aid” organiser Bob Geldof announced the event on 31th May 2005. A lot of old artists, and some new ones came together at these concerts.

Organizers of “Live 8” presented the “Live 8 List” to the world leaders at the G8 summit. This is a list of names of people from around the world who gave their support to the Live 8 mission to “Make Poverty History” Names from the list also appeared on the giant televisions.


There were ten concerts held on 2nd July 2005, most of them simultaneously. The first to begin in Japan, then the USA – Philadelphia, the UK – London, Germany – Berlin, Italy – Rome, France – Paris and Canada – Barrie (outside Toronto). There was also an event entitled “Africa’s Calling”, organised by musician Peter Gabriel, which featured an all African line up and took place at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The final event was held in Edinburgh on 6 July 2005 and went by the name Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push. It featured further performances from some of the artists from the other concerts, Geldof appeared at the Edinburgh show with his band, and performed two songs – “The Great Song of Indifference” and “Rat Trap”.

Live 8 Highlights


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