Bob Geldof says the internet “breaking down the world into individualism” means another Live Aid couldn’t happen today

Geldof believes we've "reduced ourselves" through our use of the internet

Bob Geldof, creator of Live Aid, says he believes another event of its kind could never happen today.

The charity event took place at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1985, and was watched by nearly two billion people worldwide, over 40% of the world’s population. It raised $127 million for famine relief in Africa.

Another concert series of a similar kind, Live 8, took place in eight different locations in 2005, but Geldof believes another event on the Live Aid scale would be impossible today.


Speaking to CBC, the Boomtown Rats singer spoke of the 1985 event, saying: “We had a huge lobby: 1.2 billion people, 95 per cent of the television sets on Earth watched that concert.

”Things do change, but that instrument of change is no longer plausible,” he added. “Rock and roll was the central spine of our culture for 50 years. The web has broken down the world into individualism and that’s easy for authoritarians to use.

Live Aid
Live Aid 1985. Credit: Getty Images.

“A machine says if you like this, you like that, so you never move outside the ghetto of the self, the preference of your own, you never find a contrary opinion or something weird musically that you suddenly hear that you never knew expanded your brain and takes you off in whole direction.”

Geldof adds that he believes the internet to have created a “reductionist” society. “[The internet] sped [society] up beyond our understanding so the whole thing collapses with greed, puts millions out of work, puts thousands into suicide, wars erupt as a result, millions are on the move to find new work or to escape war, and we throw up our walls and our barriers.

“We’ve reduced ourselves. The 21st century is reductionist and it’s using the great tool of reductionism, the Internet, and we need to know how to use this thing, which is the most powerful tool ever invented.”


Last year, Queen guitarist Brian May stated his desire for another Live Aid to be organised in order to tackle climate change. The band played a set as part of the original 1985 gig.