Best Benefit Concerts In History
Benefit Concerts - We've grown to expect rock artists to respond when calamity occurs, whether caused by nature or humanity.
And when they do, they've offered us unexpected collaborations, moving versions of familiar songs, and methods to jointly express our loss in addition to raising money and awareness.
A benefit concert, sometimes known as a charity concert, is a performance, event, or gala that features musicians, comedians, or other performers for a philanthropic cause, usually to address a specific and current humanitarian problem.
The goals of benefit concerts can be both subjective and concrete.
Subjective goals include raising awareness about a problem like poverty in Africa and helping a nation recover from a calamity.
Raising funding and influencing legislation are two concrete goals. After George Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh in 1971, benefit concerts became increasingly common.
However, the model in which most concerts are now performed was only developed after Bob Geldof's Live Aid.
The Live 8 and the Live Earth, both with billions of attendees, were the two largest benefit concerts of all time in terms of size.
Scholars argue that the rise in concert attendance after Live Aid is due to promoters attempting to make their concerts as large as the catastrophe at hand, in the hopes of gaining legitimacy.
In February 1970, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary) helped arrange a successful multi-artist benefit performance at Madison Square Garden to collect money for anti-Vietnam War political candidates.
On August 6, 1970, the 25th anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima, he and his partners planned something even greater for Shea Stadium.
The latter event was said to be a letdown at moments, with planes arriving and departing from nearby JFK Airport disrupting sets and a bored party audience booing Paul Simon off the stage. Credence Clearwater Revival, Steppenwolf, Miles Davis, and Janis Joplin (in one of her final performances) were among the headliners on the bill.
We can only speculate on the sound of Janis' duet with Dionne Warwick on "What the World Needs Now Is Love," as none of it was apparently captured or videotaped.
When Ravi Shankar approached George Harrison with the notion of putting together a benefit performance for the refugees, more than 7 million Bengalis had already fled to India from the horrific war conducted against their cause for freedom.
In response, Harrison staged a once-in-a-lifetime event: the two performances at Madison Square Garden on August 1, 1971, were the first-ever rock fundraisers of this magnitude.
Shankar played traditional Indian music, while Harrison led a supergroup that included Leon Russell, Billy Preston, his former bandmate Ringo Starr, and a drug-addicted Eric Clapton. At the last minute, even Bob Dylan decided to perform.
The concert raised $250,000 for UNICEF, and a three-LP collection of recordings of the performances would raise much more.
"What we demonstrated was that musicians and people are more humanitarian than politicians," Harrison subsequently said.
Save the Children and the Ad Council have partnered to launch the Every Beat Matters campaign for newborn and child survival in mid-September, coinciding with the release of the band's new track.
The song was written by OneRepublic lead vocalist Ryan Tedder, who was inspired by recordings of children's heartbeats in isolated settlements in Malawi and Guatemala.
Every Beat Counts seeks to provide basic life-saving health care to children all across the world, allowing millions more to live.
More than 7 million babies and children die before reaching the age of five each year, most of them from avoidable and curable diseases including pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.
Every Beat Matters promotes frontline health worker training and assistance as the best investment for improving children's health in the world's poorest and most remote communities.
This January 2010 telethon, hosted by Wyclef Jean, featured performances in both Los Angeles and New York, as well as news from Haiti, where a massive earthquake had killed over 200,000 people just 10 days before.
The evening featured a heavy dose of pre-rock music, with Mary J. Blige and the Roots performing "Hard Times Come Again No More," John Legend singing "Motherless Child," and Bruce Springsteen performing "We Shall Overcome."
The event's highlight, though, was Rihanna's performance in London with Jay-Z, Bono, and the Edge of a fresh new song, "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)."
In December 2004, a tsunami caused by the third-largest earthquake ever recorded in the Indian Ocean killed 230,000 people in 14 nations.
This all-star response, modeled after the United States: The next month, A Tribute to Heroes broadcast.
Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton both made appearances on the show, which was hosted by George Clooney. Elton John, Annie Lennox, Sheryl Crow, Madonna (it was her turn to claim "Imagine"), and Roger Waters and Eric Clapton, who joined up for "Wish You Were Here," were among the performers.
Two significant musical concerts helped America mourn our losses and commemorate our heroes in the confusing and emotionally charged days following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
On September 21, the four major US television networks broadcast America: A Tribute to Heroes, a telethon-style benefit concert for the victims, featuring Bruce Springsteen's "My City of Ruins" ("A prayer for our fallen brothers and sisters," he called it), Neil Young's pensive rendition of "Imagine," and Willie Nelson's gorgeous "America the Beautiful."
The Who delivered a devastating concert, and the Beatles' own John Lennon closed the night with six songs, including "Yesterday," "Let It Be," and a new song called "Freedom."
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys learnt more about the Tibetan people's silent fight for independence from the authoritarian Chinese government while studying Buddhism in Nepal in the early 1990s.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Björk, Smashing Pumpkins, Cibo Matto, Rage Against the Machine, and De La Soul were among the musicians that joined Yauch and his fellow Beasties in rallying for Tibetan independence.
Tibetan Freedom concerts took place in the following six years, the most current in 2012 and the most ambitious in 1999, when four Free Tibet gigs took place on the same day in Wisconsin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Sydney.
U2, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., the Foo Fighters, and others have exploited the events to bring attention to a cause that would have gone unnoticed if it hadn't been for the occurrences.
On July 13, 1985, a new era of all-star charity performances started. The previous winter, British rockers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure arranged two full-day spectacles at London's Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia's JFK Stadium, which were aired live to over two billion people across the world. Nothing has ever happened like this before.
From contemporary musical successes like Duran Duran and Madonna to vintage rockers like Bob Dylan (joined by the Stones' Keith Richards and Ron Wood) to a revived Led Zeppelin, almost everyone appeared prepared to sign on.
On July 2, 2005, nearly 20 years later, Geldof would stage Live 8, a less historic but arguably even more ambitious event that included performances in nine nations.
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could help our own farmers here in America?" During Live Aid, Bob Dylan requested from the stage.
In reaction to Dylan's comments, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young organized Farm Aid, a 1985 fundraiser in Champaign, Illinois, for American family farmers. Billy Joel, B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty played that day, in addition to the organizers and, of course, Dylan.
And there have been 28 Farm Aid concerts since 1992. Farm Aid has successfully pushed Congress on behalf of family farmers and now offers a catastrophe assistance fund for them.
A concert to raise money for charity or humanitarian reasons.
The concert, which was organized by Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure of Ultravox, drew an estimated 1.5 billion television watchers and earned millions of dollars for Ethiopian famine relief.
A benefit concert is intended to remind individuals that their narrative matters, that they are significant.
The event may appear to be similar to any number of other concerts you've attended, but the invitation is for more than just music.
A benefit concert is intended to remind people that their narrative matters, that they are significant.
Provides excellent publicity for the organization and raises awareness of its cause. The organization can raise funds for its initiatives.
The public benefits from concerts, contact, and networking, among other things. Businesses can sponsor the event to promote their brand, demonstrate social responsibility, and support a worthwhile cause.
Did you know about benefit concerts? Did you support any? Tell us your experience with benefit concerts in the comments.