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Why don’t celebrities put their money where their mouths are and live-stream a new Live Aid?

Micah Curtis
Micah Curtis

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

Why don’t celebrities put their money where their mouths are and live-stream a new Live Aid?
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, celebrities have been annoying everyone with their tone-deaf antics. Here’s something they could do that would actually have meaning – reprise the legendary concert of 34 years ago, a digital Live Aid.

It’s not an easy thing, living in the time of a pandemic. It seems like economies have completely ground to a halt, as have everyone’s personal lives. Many people are frightened, and rightfully so. Though not the most lethal pandemic in history, it’s easily the most publicised in many peoples’ lifetimes due to the digital age. However, digital age problems can also have digital age solutions – or at least digital ways to cope. We’ve already seen сhurches and other places of worship use livestreams to let people worship at home, and apps come out so people can be as social as possible during this time of social distancing.

With that said, the technology could be put to much better use – as could the massive personal stockpile of both wealth and popularity accumulated by celebrities whose behavior has so far been mildly annoying at best. The recent “rendition” of John Lennon’s Imagine among other silliness doesn’t exactly paint a lot of them in a positive light, especially when they could be doing much more. I’m not trying to virtue signal even more – these people are performers. They should be performing, but they could be using those artistic talents for more than just making people smile (or cringe) as we all deal with this current crisis. Let’s recall something that has been done before, and can be done more easily with the tech we have now.

In the year 1985, a legendary two-venue concert was done to help with famine relief in Africa called Live Aid. It spawned several concerts that went on simultaneously and was broadcast to and watched by 40 percent of the world’s population. This was the Live Aid show that saw the reunion of Ozzy with Black Sabbath, and of Led Zeppelin (which didn’t turn out that great) and is the location of one of Queen’s most incredible performances. Though it obviously wasn’t perfect (funding from the concert was infamously not directed properly) but given current issues, the cause is much more specific, and the way to do it is unique.

Recently, the punk band Dropkick Murphys did a livestream concert because they didn’t want to completely cancel due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Understandable, but it could be so much more than just one stream. This should have sparked something for bands all across the world. Imagine a live stream of some of the best musical acts in the world playing from their studios to millions of people online. All with the purpose of raising funds for Covid-19 research and relief. Each band or act could have a specific charity or place the funds were going to, that way there is less of a question of who is getting the funding and what it’s going towards.

Also on rt.com The Covid-19 pandemic has spawned another epidemic, of incessant celebrity attention-seeking

Beyond that, the set-up wouldn’t be incredibly difficult. The hardest part would likely be simply scheduling what acts for what time frame, but each set wouldn’t have to be long (most of them at the original gig were only 4-5 songs each) and you could simulcast to Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and also have them on cable if networks would be willing to give time to the show. Some of the acts from the original concert could return as well, with bands like U2, Judas Priest, Elton John, Madonna, members of the Rolling Stones, and others still performing to this day. To continue with tradition, celebrities could introduce each band just as they did originally, and help plug the concert to help with relief efforts.

It has to be acknowledged that some artists did get together to do another live concert like the Dropkick Murphys did, and it did feature some big acts. Billy Eilish, the Backstreet Boys, and others contributed for a one hour show.Though it’s a nice little effort, it’s not even close to what a larger event could do. Imagine how much could be raised if you did an all-day show? How many people would watch? Plus if there are several different genres of music, not just pop acts, it broadens the reach. One hour with a few pop acts just isn’t enough.

In this day and age, people want action instead of words. Virtue signaling is something people are sick of, and this would be the best way to see the entertainment industry do something that they should be doing. Entertain. Plus use it for a good cause and help those who need it. 

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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