This week Queen guitarist Brian May expressed his hope for another large concert like 1985’s Live Aid but this time to combat climate change. As CNN reported, “the classic rock band was a large part of the iconic concert that also featured U2, Phil Collins, Madonna, Elton John, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and many others. The benefit for Ethiopian famine relief was the first true global concert and linked performances at London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium to reach an estimated TV audience of 1.5 billion people. The 1985 spectacle was seen in more than 150 countries and raised an estimated $245 million.”
May told The Daily Mirror that “It probably would take the younger generation to take that bull by the horns. We’d help in any way we can, but I think that’s what it would require.”
Live Aid helped bring national attention to the famine happening in Ethiopa and as some aid workers explained, put humanitarian concern at the center of foreign policy
. For many people around the world, the concert was the first time they stopped to think about crises and development gaps in Africa and perhaps a Live Aid for climate change could help do the same. As Joanna Macrae, the former coordinator of the humanitarian policy group at the Overseas Development Institute, told the Guardian
, “Ethiopia would not have got the attention it did without Live Aid.
Imagine what a show featuring the likes of Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, and Queen could do for putting climate change at the center of current foreign policy?
Why This Matters:
A concert like this could help propel climate change to the forefront of issues that people care about. Just look at the success that rapper Lil Dicky’s recent single Earth
had, it debuted at #17 on the Billboard chart and was the highest debut single
for that week. Making climate change a part of pop culture is key to getting more people to care and talk about it and perhaps one of the best ways to do that is to bring the world’s top artists together for Live Aid Part II. Queen’s in, how about you Taylor?
May 10, 2019 » climate change, Live Aid, pop culture, Queen