Massive live concert planned in the spirit of Live Aid

Notable benefit concerts
Live AidThis dual-venue concert on July 13, 1985, featured artists such as U2, Queen and Black Sabbath and raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia. The brainchild of Bob Geldof, the concerts were held simultaneously at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia and Wembley Stadium in London.

Thirty-five years after Live Aid rocked the world, a coalition of nonprofits, CEOs and government leaders is reviving a global effort to unite the world through music.

Dubbed “Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream,” the event, which is presented by nonprofit Global Citizen, aims to be the largest live broadcast in “cause event history,” according to a press release from organizers.

Slated for Sept. 26, 2020, Global Goal Live will be a 10-hour performance, spanning five continents in an effort to raise funds to support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Citizen, known for its efforts to end extreme poverty, teamed up with CEO advisory firm Teneo to secure top entertainers, lead production partner and promoter Live Nation, corporate chieftains and government leaders to bring the event to life.

At a press conference scheduled for Sept. 26 of this month, Global Citizen and Teneo will unveil the names of those who have already committed to participating, kicking off a year-long effort to enlist other partners in “getting the world back on track to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change and achieve the UN Global Goals.”

Global Goal is evoking the original 1985 Live Aid concert for a reason. It was the first of its size and impact, attracting about 170,000 concertgoers to a spectacle that was seen in more than 150 countries.

Irish singer and activist Bob Geldof and Scottish musician Midge Ure convened the world’s biggest entertainers — U2, Queen, Run-DMC and Led Zeppelin among them — to host dual concerts in London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Stadium. The event raised more than $200 million to combat famine in Ethiopia.

Global Citizen and Teneo are reviving the idea of a transcontinental event at a time of historic global unrest and division. It’s also a time when American companies and their CEOs are speaking up on issues ranging from gun violence to economic inequality and being called upon by their customers and employees to effect change.

“The campaign is being launched now because the next 18 months will shape the future of humanity — it’s the last chance to course correct to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change and reduce inequality in time to reach the 2030 Global Goals deadline agreed to by all world leaders in 2015,” according an announcement for the event.

Global Citizen estimates that an additional $350 billion will be needed annually to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the world’s 59 poorest countries. Organizers are seeking to close that funding gap by calling on companies, philanthropists and governments to contribute more. Teneo will lead the corporate effort.

It’s a daunting challenge, but Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans is undeterred.

“Live Aid took place in 1985, well before the advent of social and digital media. The platforms that exist today can enable us to reach every corner of the planet,” Evans said in a statement. “Our goal is to use this digital technology to inspire and motivate citizens across the globe to take action to achieve the UN Global Goals.”