Netherlands American Studies Review

Benefitting Benefactors:
Live Aid 1985 and the Rise of Celebrity Activist
Fieke van Houdt | Leiden University
This paper is based on a thesis written for
the MA in North American Studies

On July 13, 1985, an enormous audience of at least 1.9 billion people all over the world gathered around their televisions to watch Live Aid. The stage was shared by some of the biggest stars of the moment, including Queen, Tina Turner, Phil Collins, and many others. After seeing horrifying images from famine-stricken Ethiopia, musician Bob Geldof had started an initiative in 1984 called Band Aid. The idea was to release singles in co-operation with famous singers and artists, with the profits earmarked for humanitarian aid. Band Aid’s most well-known contribution was the 1984 track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” featuring Bono, Sting, and George Michael alongside other celebrities, who participated without getting paid. By emphasizing musical hits, Band Aid was able to unite people successfully through great popular appeal.[1] But Bob Geldof wanted to do more in terms of fundraising and had an even bigger idea: Live Aid, a worldwide telethon to raise funds from all over the world for Ethiopia.[2]

The concert was a unique moment in time, in which several developments of the 1980s, such as globalization and neoliberalism, came together and fundamentally transformed cultural humanitarianism. Live Aid permanently changed the character of humanitarian aid, initiating a new way of showing compassion and expressing sympathy for people in need around the world.[3] With its international character, the event marked the start of a new era in cultural humanitarianism: an era of increasing globalization and neoliberal influence, and with it a wave of modern celebrity activism. This paper focuses on the connection between neoliberalism, Live Aid, and celebrity activism. Specifically, I argue that the 1985 Live Aid concerts exemplified the 1980s and marked a turning point in the history of cultural humanitarianism, especially in how they transformed the character of celebrity activism.

The growing importance of the free market and increasing consumerism made Live Aid different from earlier fundraising events. The neoliberal focus on the individual led people to donate more easily, especially in a consumerist culture that gave them something in return for their donation. Consumerism sparked the rise of a philanthropic market, a phenomenon exploited and fueled by increasing celebrity humanitarian activism. However, Live Aid also marked a shift in motivation: the incentives of customers to donate were no longer solely based on the sincere wish to help others, but also on a desire to participate in popular culture. At the same time, the motives of celebrity activists were compromised now that fundraising concerts actively made use of advertising possibilities, mass media, and merchandise.

Many scholars make a connection between celebrity activism and the rise of the philanthropic market. In her book on celebrity philanthropy, political scientist Elaine Jeffreys argues that “humanitarianism only became a mass phenomenon when philanthropy became a commercial marketing venture.”[4] In other words, humanitarianism became bigger when the organizers of events like Live Aid started to treat donors as consumers. Likewise, social scientist Andrew Jones argues that Band Aid and Live Aid made clever use of the philanthropic-oriented market “as the globalized spectacle of Live Aid both satisfied and reinforced a consumer desire for charitable texts in the aftermath of the Ethiopian famine.”[5] In addition, historian Amy Edwards argues that Western governments like those of the United States and Great Britain began to consider consumerism as a basic part of active citizenship.[6] In this context, Jones argues, “consumer-led charity” emerged and grew, thanks to a decade of “advertising, branding, marketing and celebrity culture.”[7] The organizers of Live Aid cleverly exploited all of these phenomena. Media scholar Louise Davis, too, points out that the incentives and goals of famine relief initiatives such as Band Aid and Live Aid increasingly blurred the lines between several economic interests: those of the charities, the celebrity activists, the sponsors, and the media. At the same time, all of these stakeholders worked together to reach a wider audience and thus more donors.[8]

Debates on the philanthropic sphere connect consumerism to a sense of individual morality. Sociologist Chris Rojek, for example, argues that global benefit events contain “a high level of self-gratification,” because they grant consumers the feeling that they have done their share in alleviating the burden of those who suffer.[9] The power of global events is that they encourage civic responsibility and stimulate people from different backgrounds to care for a global cause.[10] Global events achieve this engagement by “posit[ing] the consumer as the agent of social change,” according to anthropologist Anne Meneley.[11] Davis makes a similar point: when Pepsi became one of Live Aid’s sponsors, consumers came to consider Pepsi as related to the famine. Suddenly, drinking Pepsi had become an indirect act of providing aid.[12] The Western public, Jones argues, became “both an actor and a spectator in its own humanitarian performances.”[13] Celebrity activism and neoliberalism have since been entwined on multiple levels and their convergence has led to philanthropy as we know it today.

Taking place during the 1980s, Live Aid appeared in a world that had essentially moved to the political right. In addition to the economic climate of free market capitalism, government regulation was decreasing rapidly during Ronald Reagan’s first term. [14] Both Band Aid and Live Aid perfectly matched this climate: because these events offered consumers something popular (music) in return for their donations to famine relief, they are perfect examples of a marketized society. Furthermore, the “corporate climate of the 1980s” influenced the cultural humanitarian tradition in new ways.[15] For example, it gave rise to a philanthropic market, in which fundraising events such as Live Aid were not merely about the goal but also about the desires of the consumer. The new importance of the consumer also provided the celebrities involved with a new objective: making a name for themselves and earning money.

The music was great, the turnout was huge with a live crowd of over 70,000 people, and money was spent on food, drinks, merchandise, and donations. After all, the latter was the main purpose of Live Aid: to raise money for the victims of the horrible famine in Ethiopia. However, apart from some performers mentioning the situation in Africa and the continent’s silhouette in Live Aid’s logo, there was little visible indication of the motivation and the goal of the concert, which was the outcome of neoliberal trends of the 1980s.

The 1980s saw the acceleration of trends toward deregulation, market liberalization, and privatization that had started in the 1970s. President Gerald Ford had already committed himself to a conservative economic approach by the mid-1970s, for example by promising reduced government involvement in the economy.[16] The ingredients for free market capitalism had been present for some time and they now became the foundation of a dominant and persistent way of life in Western countries. The rise of this type of capitalism happened when far-right politicians Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher came to power. Schaller writes that the Reagan administration “worked to shrink the social welfare system [and to] reduce government regulation of business.”[17] Similarly, Jones argues that Thatcher pushed for privatization and a common attitude of “hard work, discipline, self-reliance, and philanthropy.”[18] Marketization – the exposure of firms and industries to market forces – was stimulated by privatization. According to Jones, a “neoliberal ethos of individual responsibility” was emerging, tying into the deregulation of business and the rise of a free market.[19]  These developments all started from the notion of individuality and made Live Aid what it was: an event aimed at getting individual people to take their responsibility by donating money.

Considering that Live Aid touched upon countless cultural developments such as new technology, new media, and the emergence of a global community, it was bound to be influenced by neoliberalism. Neoliberalism commodified every aspect of life, such as sports, music, non-profit organizations and so on, reshaping people’s lives around ideas of profit maximalization, competition and privatization. According to Jones, Live Aid took place at a time when “market values [were extended] to all aspects of social life,” which “aligned with a broader trajectory of free market discourses penetrating into the public sphere.”[20] The impact of the free market set Live Aid apart from previous charity events.

Live Aid benefited from the rise of the free market, especially because limits for charity spending fell away. The loss of these boundaries meant that even greater amounts of money could be collected through events like Live Aid. The organizers repeated their call for donations over and over again, most notably Bob Geldof with his bold statements. This type of boldness was unprecedented in these kind of events. For example, Nancy Banks-Smith wrote in The Guardian:

Geldof appeared intermittently during the 16-hour show, looking understandably wild and white and demanding money with menaces: ‘We want to get a million pounds before 10 o’clock tonight. You’ve got plenty of money or, if you’ve got none, get on the phone’ (presumably to pledge it on a credit card).[21]


Furthermore, journalist Jon Pareles quoted Geldof in the New York Times saying “I don’t need Paul McCartney to put in half a million dollars. (…) I need him to sing Let It Be, because that will bring in more money.”[22] Geldof’s money-oriented approach and methods are evident, and might have been dismissed as rude and overly bold if the times were different. However, these were the 1980s, in which a marketized society was dominant and this type of action was popular. As a result, Geldof could appeal to people’s purses as much as he wanted. After all, doing so would simultaneously appeal to people’s desire to consume. The public proved eager to spend money, as this was stimulated throughout society. As Geldof himself later admitted, he never saw Live Aid as a concert, but merely as a TV show with the sole aim of making money.[23]

Live Aid definitely succeeded in reaching that goal: the concert eventually raised the unbelievable amount of 127 million dollars, an unprecedented sum at the time.[24] In a decade marked by increasing globalization, Live Aid made use of more and different opportunities to raise money. On the one hand, Live Aid was able to draw money from traditional sources like donations (127 million dollars), television broadcast rights fees (10 million dollars), and ticket sales (5.6 million dollars).[25] On the other hand, because of the rising trend of consumerism, Live Aid also raised money by advertising and selling merchandise.

Live Aid not only exploited the possibilities of neoliberalism, but also made its central ideas commonly accepted. By contributing to the trends of marketization and consumerism that rose to a high point in the 1980s, the concert helped to make neoliberalist principles inherent to the public’s way of thinking and acting. For example, the concert appealed to consumers by offering merchandise. In the Western world, which was taken in with marketization and consumerism, having the ability to buy things was very attractive. By anticipating this trend, Live Aid contributed to the acceptance of neoliberalism as a perfectly normal way of life. As philosopher Wendy Brown argues, neoliberalism started to influence the way people viewed virtually every part of life, from events like Live Aid to sports to government.[26] Brown’s argument underscores how neoliberalism encouraged people to view their entire lives through a marketized lens. Jones, similarly, argues that “Band Aid [and Live Aid were] ultimately all about maximizing their own fundraising potential, to raise money which could then be spent on aid projects.”[27] Considering the way Live Aid shaped its goals in relation to monetary ends, the concert clearly fits within Brown’s argument.

Consumerism occupies an important position in Brown’s theory, because the desire to spend money characterizes the marketization-inspired perspective and way of life. Consumerism, especially in relation to Live Aid, was popular for two reasons. First, consuming made people aware of their role and impact as citizens. Second, having a souvenir from the “Greatest Show on Earth” and “the biggest concert ever,” as journalist Richard Harrington described it, certainly gave the audience a sense of pride for having attended.[28] In this sense, merchandise was an extremely appealing possession that tied in perfectly with the desires of consumers. Just like people at rock concerts could buy shirts featuring all locations from the current tour, people at Live Aid could purchase a range of items. The options included concert footage, concert programs, books, clothes, and press passes.[29] Harrington told readers of The Washington Post to expect “a glut of Live Aid merchandising featuring the official logo,” which everyone who followed the news would recognize.[30] Taking into account all these developments related to marketization, Band Aid and Live Aid exemplified, in Jones’s words, “a shift towards consumer-led charity.”[31] This shift in turn led to the philanthropic market.

“The price for saving a life this year is a plastic record,” Bob Geldof said upon receiving the Congressional Arts Caucus Award for his work with Live Aid.[32] He captured the essence of one of Live Aid’s legacies in this sentence: the rise of the philanthropic market. Not coincidentally, the philanthropic market mainly originated in a decade characterized by increasing marketization. Live Aid brought market thinking to philanthropy, which then led to the creation of a new tradition within cultural humanitarianism.

The influence of marketization on the creation of the philanthropic market can be defined as a shift in the legitimacy of philanthropy. Jones characterizes this as the shift “away from state-led welfare solutions towards more individualized and market-driven forms of action.”[33] These forms of actions were, as Jones argues, “articulated through the realms of consumption and culture.”[34] Because of this change in legitimacy, Geldof could address the public directly and make immodest requests for larger donations. Charity was no longer solely dependent on solutions by the state or other established parties, such as aid organizations, but also on the individual. Marketization undoubtedly contributed to this change, because it stimulated individualized action and non-state charitable aid provision. Individualism is a complex phenomenon in relation to changing the world, Geldof said in an interview with filmmaker Errol Morris: “The paradox at the heart of individualism (…) is that it only works when we act in concert for the common good.”[35] In saying so, he acknowledged the importance of the public in charity and fundraising events. Geldof did still appeal to governments for substantial funds, for instance asking Congress to provide additional aid for Africa.[36] However, the role of the public in charitable causes became increasingly important during the early 1980s. After all, because of the emphasis that marketization placed on individualism, the general public now represented a group of potential consumers.

The free market legitimized consumerism as a way to get involved in global affairs for both celebrities and the public.[37] For the public, this involvement meant that by actively participating in cultural affairs, they made a satisfactory contribution to easing other people’s suffering. By paying for Band Aid records or Live Aid tickets, for example, consumers felt they had contributed to relief efforts for crises such as the Ethiopian famine. This ethical consumer market, as Davis calls it, “was both identified and unified through acts of consuming and purchasing within the famine relief site.”[38] By participating in famine relief in the form of attending fundraising concerts such as Live Aid, or donating in another way, the public contributed to a structure that enabled people to buy off the call for aid. Jones argues something similar when he writes that “western consumers could position themselves as activists and donors, (…) compatible with an emerging neoliberal ethos of individual responsibility” by participating in Band Aid and Live Aid.[39] This way, consumerism allowed the individual to fulfil their perceived responsibility in the wake of a humanitarian crisis.

Live Aid clearly tapped into consumerist desires, and the merchandise available to visitors was only one aspect of that. Indeed, the entire set-up of the concert served as an example for consumerism. The essence of the concerts was that people would donate money by buying a ticket, and get a place at the concert in return for their donation. As scholar Kevin Rozario puts it, “donors began to be treated and courted as consumers who had to be entertained” in order to raise money for charity.[40] Again, Brown’s argument about neoliberalism affecting society to its core holds true: people who donated money were no longer simply donors. This change, I believe, exemplifies a broader shift in humanitarianism toward a kind of trading system in how people donate to good causes.

Rather than characteristic consumerism, Live Aid more closely resembled barter. Providing aid became primarily a transactional venue: visitors paid money to have some fun, while that same payment contributed to feeding starving people. Many consumers undoubtedly wanted to contribute to aid programs supported by Band Aid and Live Aid. Considering the time in which they were living, it is not strange that they made use of existing structures and events, like Live Aid and the philanthropic market. Therefore, consumerism became more prominent in notions of humanitarianism over the 1980s and especially after Live Aid, in events like Live Earth and Live 8. The same way that donors became consumers, donations became trading tools to acquire access to entertainment

The entertainment side is where celebrity activism becomes relevant. Celebrities very much act within the realm of consumerism and they often enjoy an international public. They are therefore very useful to humanitarianism, because they attract worldwide attention – and donations. Celebrities also enjoy great popular appeal, which enables them to reach and convince a wider public. The organizers of Live Aid made clever use of the power of consumerism and celebrity appeal in order to make more money. Only when philanthropy was transformed into a commercial market tool did humanitarianism grow into a mass phenomenon.[41] By combining philanthropy with the market, Live Aid renewed humanitarianism and made it bigger than ever before.

Prior to Live Aid, celebrity activism already had an impressive resume. Ever since World War I, according to Rozario, numerous charity organizations, such as the Red Cross, understood and used the opportunities that came with the new “mass culture of movies and mass-circulation newspapers” in order to persuade people to take humanitarian action.[42] During World War II, a number of well-known New York actresses set up a charity fund called Stage Women’s War Relief.[43] These women understood that their names were able to attract substantial attention to a good cause. Jones also acknowledges that “[m]any humanitarian agencies understood the advantages of being associated with popular culture” in the decades before Live Aid.[44] Celebrity activism and popular engagement were not new, but Live Aid marked a significant transformation. The concerts boosted a new kind of celebrity activism, which was affected not only by transnationalism, TV and other forms of mass media, but also by the new emphasis on free-market thinking and consumerism.[45]

Ultimately, Live Aid celebrity activism was distinct from previous forms because the drive to look out for one’s own interests and fame had increased over the years. The transnational nature of the event and the fact that it was widely publicized made Live Aid an appealing boost for artists’ musical careers. Live Aid’s Executive Producer Michael Mitchell told The Washington Post that there were so many celebrities who wanted to participate in Live Aid that the organization had been forced to “shrunk several sets down to 10 minutes” in order to give everyone a chance to perform.[46] Mitchell said, “A lot of people who’ve never sung together are going to sing together, just so they can be involved.”[47] Performing was not only a way to help, but also a means of showcasing one’s talent. As Davis argues, “compassion was redirected away from the famine victim toward the celebrity singing on behalf of the victim.”[48] New technology and the growth of a transnational community thus offered more and faster ways to profit and gain additional fame. Telethons brought in the most money and that is why it made sense for celebrities to get involved.[49] Technology was an essential tool for celebrities to make their 15 minutes on stage memorable since the concert was to be shown on a plethora of television screens.

Like their audience, celebrities were also motivated by consumerism. Their efforts as humanitarian actors became increasingly connected to both consumerist desires and the sense of feeling good about their provided aid. The attention celebrities attracted as humanitarian activists translated to higher record sales and a more prominent place in popular culture. Furthermore, as mentioned previously, attending events meant doing something about humanitarian issues and alleviating the suffering of others comes with an inherent feeling of self-gratification. If that is true for the public, it is certainly true for the artists who are employed to entertain the donating consumers.[50] The celebrity on stage felt good because they were donating precious time, talent, and well-deserved money. The celebrity was fulfilling the consumers’ needs, as the public had bought tickets to see them perform, but by performing for free, the reward for this work went to a good cause.

However, there is more to this side of the story. By performing at Live Aid, celebrities also enjoyed worldwide fame. For example, after experiencing some difficult years in which they had not been together, Queen’s performance at Live Aid renewed the band’s popularity.[51] Queen’s success does not necessarily mean that their commitment to the cause of famine relief was not sincere, but singer Freddie Mercury himself admitted that he was not participating for the good of others. In fact, Mercury declared:

“Iʼm doing it out of pride, pride that Iʼve been asked as well as that I can actually do something like that. (…) And so basically Iʼm doing it out of feeling that one way all the hard work that Iʼve actually done over the years has paid off, because theyʼre actually asking me to do something to be proud of.”[52]

Even though many celebrities present at Live Aid wanted to contribute to humanitarian aid, for most of them their own interests also played a large role. Like Mercury, other celebrities at Live Aid also mainly recalled what they gained from it. Tina Turner, for example, said in an interview with Carl Wilkinson for The Guardian that “the only thing I remember of the day is stabbing Mick in the foot with my high heels in the middle of ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’. And then they put us on the cover of Life magazine!”[53] Similarly, the band U2 gained huge momentum during Live Aid, as they had been relatively unknown until that point.[54] In fact, after Live Aid they became known for their involvement in humanitarian causes. They participated in numerous charity projects and fundraising concerts in subsequent decades.[55] For several stars, the event seemed to overshadow the cause altogether, which is illustrated by the fact that a potential duet between Madonna and Rod Stewart could not be realized. According to Richard Harrington, “they couldn’t agree on a song.”[56] Personal objectives clearly weighed more strongly if artists were not willing to put such differences aside for the sake of a humanitarian cause.

Unlike these celebrities, Geldof himself emphasized the cause of Live Aid in interviews throughout the 1980s. In an interview with The Irish Times, he said that “the reason for the event is more important than the event itself.”[57] This comment illustrates the difference between Geldof’s view and those of the celebrities who participated in Live Aid. Geldof appealed to the desire of celebrities to be famous by promising them that Live Aid would be huge. This promise, however, seems to appeal more an artist’s professional aims rather than a genuine desire to provide aid. When inviting Queen to perform, for example, Geldof reportedly told Freddie Mercury “itʼs going to be the biggest thing ever,” knowing that he would react to this.[58] Seeing the situation in Ethiopia inspired Geldof to organize Band Aid and Live Aid, but he did not use the same motive to convince celebrities to participate. Instead, he used promises of fame and gain to draw them in.

As such, Live Aid transformed celebrity humanitarian activism by making their motives more transparent. This transformation, I have argued, finds its roots in neoliberal marketization. Because the market was a dominant factor in society, various cultural areas – including music, advertising, and events – adjusted to this perspective, and charity was no longer an exception. As a result, celebrities were no longer solely humanitarian actors when they contributed to a cause, because their motives were essentially compromised in a marketized and money-oriented society.

By exploiting celebrities as attention grabbers, the neoliberalist branch of celebrity activism that originated in the 1980s changed the tradition of cultural humanitarianism fundamentally in a way that is still visible today. Band Aid and Live Aid, according to researcher and World Peace Foundation director Alex de Waal, sparked a pattern of “publicity-driven emergency responses” in which “[t]he market for emergency relief is set by those who pay the bills, not those who eat the food, and donors wish to see their brand names on television when journalists arrive to cover the disaster.”[59] Live Aid was a key development in the rise of this emergency relief market. With celebrities acting as spokespersons in the humanitarian arena, public participation in the philanthropic market became very fashionable.[60]  This innovation is one of Live Aid’s biggest legacies: celebrity philanthropy as a popular and effective means for charity organizations.

To conclude, marketization and consumerism were essential for Live Aid’s success: the concert very much relied on consumers, the power of merchandise, and the marketized culture of the 1980s. Furthermore, Live Aid was an indispensable landmark event in the rise of the philanthropic market: it gave this market significant room to develop by bringing together celebrity appeal, famine relief, and concert merchandise. In this way, Live Aid combined humanitarianism with philanthropy, and renewed the humanitarian tradition in the process. Another way in which Live Aid altered cultural humanitarianism was by transforming celebrity activism. Live Aid as a product of marketization influenced the world around it, causing celebrity activism to be compromised from then on. Now that the world had become a global community, fame was within reach with every act of goodwill. Live Aid put celebrities on global television, making sure the world could see what they were doing for charity. In this respect, Live Aid has been essential for changing the motivations behind celebrity activism, and ultimately in transforming cultural humanitarianism. This transformation involves an ever-expanding, long-lasting legacy in which fame and famine, adoration and aid are closely connected.



1 Andrew Jones, “Band Aid revisited: humanitarianism, consumption and philanthropy in the 1980s,” Contemporary British History 31.2 (2017): 199.

[2] Michael Goldberg, “Live Aid 1985: The Day the World Rocked,” Rolling Stone, August 16. 1985,

[3] Tanja R. Müller, “The Long Shadow of Band Aid Humanitarianism: Revisiting the dynamics between famine and celebrity,” Third World Quarterly 34.3 (2013): 474.

[4] Elaine Jeffreys, “On Celebrity Philanthropy,” in Celebrity Philanthropy, Elaine Jeffreys and Paul Allatson, eds. (Bristol, England: Intellect Ltd, 2015): 31.

[5] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 200.

[6] Amy Edwards, “’Financial Consumerism’: Citizenship, Consumerism and Capital Ownership in the 1980s,” Contemporary British History 31.2 (2017): 215.

[7] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 202.

[8] H. Louise Davis, “Feeding the World a Line?: Celebrity Activism and Ethical Consumer Practices From Live Aid to Product Red,” Nordic Journal of English Studies, 9 (2010): 95.

[9] Chris Rojek, “Leaderless Organization, World Historical Events and Their Contradictions: The ‘Burning Man City’ Case,” Cultural Sociology 8.3 (2014): 361.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Anne Meneley, “Consumerism,” Annual Review of Anthropology 47, (2018): 123.

[12] Davis, “Feeding the World a Line?” 96.

[13] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 201.

[14] Michael Schaller, Right Turn: American Life in the Reagan-Bush Era 1980-1992 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006): 127.

[15] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 201.

[16] Schaller, Right Turn, 24.

[17] Ibid., 51.

[18] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 197.

[19] Ibid., 200.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Nancy Banks-Smith, “Money makes the world go around: Nancy Banks-Smith experiences the joys and trials of Live Aid,” The Guardian, July 15, 1985, 9.

[22] Jon Pareles, “Hunger Telethon to Be Heard Round the Globe,” New York Times, July 7, 1985, 35.

[23] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 198.

[24] “Live Aid concert raises $127 million for famine relief in Africa,”, November 24, 2009,

[25] Goldberg, “Live Aid 1985.”

[26] Wendy Brown, “Neo-liberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy,” Theory & Event 7.1 (2003).

[27] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 198.

[28] Richard Harrington, “The Greatest Show On Earth, Tomorrow: ‘Beatles’ May Reunite for the Global Concert Live Aid Concert,” The Washington Post, July 12, 1985.

[29] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 202.

[30] Richard Harrington, “Geldof’s Plea for the Starving,” The Washington Post, July 24, 1985.

[31] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 202.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 191

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ted Mills, “Bob Geldof Talks About the Greatest Day of His Life, Stepping on the Stage of Live Aid, in a Short Doc by Errol Morris,” Open Culture, August 11, 2016,

[36] Harrington, “Geldof’s Plea.”

[37] Davis, “Feeding the World,” 103.

[38] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 200.

[39] Rojek, “Leaderless Organization,” 361.

[40] K. Rozario, “”Delicious Horrors”: Mass Culture, the Red Cross, and the Appeal of Modern American Humanitarianism,” American Quarterly 55.3 (2003): 419.

[41] Elaine Jeffreys, “On Celebrity Philanthropy,” 31.

[42] Rozario, “Delicious Horrors,” 423.

[43] Jone Johnson Lewis, “Women Celebrities of World War II,” ThoughtCo, 27 February, 2019,

[44] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 195.

[45] Ibid., 200.

[46] Harrington, “The Greatest Show.”

[47] Ibid.

[48] Davis, “Feeding the World,” 98.

[49] Joe Breen, “Live Aid: countdown to blast-off,” The Irish Times, July 13, 1985.

[50] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 200.

[51] Queen at Live Aid: the real story of how one band made rock history,” Louder, November 12, 2018,

[52] “Queen at Live Aid.”

[53] Carl Wilkinson, “Live Aid in their own words,” The Guardian, October 17, 2004,

[54] Ibid.

[55] Zachary Laird, “U2’s Charity Work: Global Relief,” The Borgen Project, September 11, 2020.

[56] Harrington, “The Greatest Show.”

[57] “Channelling the vitality of rock to feed hungry,” The Irish Times, July 13, 1985.

[58] “Queen at Live Aid.”

[59] Alex de Waal, “The Humanitarian Carnival: A Celebrity Vogue,” World Affairs 171, no. 2 (2008): 52.

[60] Jones, “Band Aid revisited,” 200.


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