Live Aid / Band Aid Trust Collection

Scope and Content

This collection features administrative papers, promotional materials, sound recordings of the charity single Do They Know Its Christmas and contact sheets relating to fund-raising events organised by the Band Aid Trust; Band Aid (1984), Fashion Aid, Actor Aid and Live Aid (1985), Band Aid 20 (2004) and Live8 (2005)

Administrative / Biographical History

The Band Aid Trust was formed in 1985 with the mission of relieving hunger and poverty in Ethiopia and the surrounding area. The organisation exists to administer funds generated by Band Aid and its spin-off events and products. Band Aid was a charity supergroup founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for the relief of famine in Ethiopia. Performers included members of Boomtown Rats, Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, Wham!, Duran Duran and Bananarama. The group released Do They Know It's Christmas?, written by Geldof and Ure, on 25 November 1984. The song became the UK Christmas number 1, and raised £8 million. The song was re-recorded in 1989 and in 2004. The 2004 version, by a brand new group of artists known as Band Aid 20, sought to raise money for the Darfur region in Sudan. It became the UK's biggest seller of 2004 as well as the Christmas Number 1. Performers on this version included members of U2, Travis, Keane, The Darkness and Sugababes.

Live Aid was a dual-venue concert on 13th July 1985. Organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief, it was billed as the "global jukebox" and was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium (London, UK - with an audience of 72,000 people) and JFK Stadium (Philadelphia, US - with an audience of 100,000 people). Performers included Queen, U2, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Bowie, Madonna, Beach Boys and Neil Young. Phil Collins played at both Wembley and at the JFK Stadium, using a Concorde to fly from London to Philadelphia to appear in both venues. The concerts occasioned one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time, with a global audience of 1.9 billion, watched across 150 nations. Parallel concerts were staged in other countries, including Germany ( Band für Afrika in Cologne).

The previous year had seen Fashion Aid, a star-studded fashion gala held at the Royal Albert Hall, with Actor Aid following in 1985; an improvisation performance held at Donmar Warehouse on 20 October, both also fund-raising events.

Live 8 was a string of ten benefit concerts in support of the aims of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty. They took place on 2nd July 2005, timed to precede the G8 conference and summit and the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. The main Live 8 concert was held in Hyde Park (London, UK) and drew an audience of over 200,000 people. Performers included Coldplay, R.E.M, Robbie Williams and The Who.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Part purchase and part donation from the Band Aid Trust, 2012.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Access to some items and all audio materials is restricted due to preservation reasons.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Material relating to Bob Geldof and Midge Ure may be found in several collections, including the biographical and photographs files.

Please ask for details.