News > Live Aid finally gets DVD release

Added on 08-Mar-2004

The 1985 Live Aid concert, one of the defining events in modern music, is to be released on DVD for the first time. Organisers will auction the rights to release the DVD after pirate copies were found for sale on the internet.

They are hoping to raise "a few million pounds" for charity and are aiming for a Christmas release.

The concert, split between London and Philadelphia, brought together stars including U2, Queen and Madonna - but has never come out on CD, video or DVD.

Organisers have decided to allow the DVD release after realising bootleggers were making money from it - but none was going to charity.

Geldof (right) met Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Live Aid

Proceeds from the DVD release will go to the Band Aid Trust, which still exists to relieve poverty and hunger in Ethiopia and the surrounding area.

Bob Geldof "sees it as an asset of the people of Ethiopia" that was not being fully utilised, according to fellow founding Band Aid trustee John Kennedy.

"It's a surprise to all of us that we're still here 20 years on spending and receiving money," he told BBC News Online.

"But because of piracy, it's becoming available without earning any money."

The successful bidder will have to get the permission of every artist - but "we don't expect any of them to be anything other than co-operative", he said.

Geldof organised Live Aid and the Band Aid single in response to famine in Ethiopia, in which 1.2 million people starved to death in 1984 and 1985.

Music marathon

Live Aid saw 72,000 pack into Wembley Stadium in London to see artists such as David Bowie, Wham! and Dire Straits.

The 16-hour music marathon was completed at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium with acts including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Mick Jagger.

Live Aid eventually raised £40m. Half of the money was spent on food and half on long term development.

The DVD plan comes after pirated DVDs were found on sale over the internet for £110 for a 10-disc set.

After a tip-off from Geldof himself, police raided a property in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and arrested a man.


Submitted by: Richard Orchard

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