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Benefit concert

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Benefit concert

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A benefit concert is a concert featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose, often directed at a specific and immediate humanitarian crisis. Such events raise both funds and public awareness to address the cause at issue.

Benefit concerts typically feature popular performers working for little or no pay. The largest such effort in recent memory was the multi-venue Live 8 concert organized by Bob Geldof, who has arranged a number of similar events. Benefit concerts were also arranged following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Hurricane Katrina. America: A Tribute to Heroes was a benefit concert organized in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon by the four major United States television networks.

Albums or video recordings of performances at benefit concerts can provide additional revenue for the charitable cause to which the event is directed. Furthermore, the importance of the cause can lead musicians to put aside long-held grudges. Examples of this include the brief reunion of Roger Waters with Pink Floyd for their Live 8 performance; and the first post-break-up reunion of Simon and Garfunkel at a 1972 concert in support of presidential candidate George McGovern.

Notable benefit concerts

Other notable benefit concerts have included the following:

December 28, 1791 - a benefit concert is held in Prague for the family of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
December 22, 1808 - Ludwig van Beethoven held a benefit concert which was over four hours long and included the premiers of the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, along with Piano Concerto No. 4 and pieces of the Mass in C.
8 February 1847, Johann Strauss II premiers his 'Explosions-Polka' written for the 'Lust-Explosionsfest' (Joyful Explosions Festival), a benefit concert held in the Sträussl-Säle of the Josefstädter Theater.
January 16, 1853 - Johann Strauss II recovers from an illness in order to premier his new waltz, Phönix-Schwingen at a benefit concert.
In 1955, Dorothy Buffum Chandler organizes a concert featuring Dinah Shore, Danny Kaye and Jack Benny that raised $400,000 towards building a performing arts center for Los Angeles.
On August 1, 1971, partially at the behest of Ravi Shankar, George Harrison hold the Concert for Bangladesh in Madison Square Garden, featuring Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Klaus Voormann, and Badfinger.
On January 18, 1973 - The Rolling Stones raise over $350,000 for victims of an earthquake that had destroyed Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, on December 22, 1972.
January 9, 1979 - The Music for UNICEF Concert is held at the United Nations General Assembly and broadcast worldwide to raise money for UNICEF and mark the International Year of the Child.
December 26-December 29, 1979 - Concerts for the People of Kampuchea is held at the Hammersmith Odeon, benefitting the citizens of Cambodia who were victims of the tyrannical reign of dictator Pol Pot
January 13, 1980 - The Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Starship headline a concert at Oakland Coliseum for the benefit of the people of Kampuchea (now Cambodia).
July 13, 1985 - The Live Aid benefit concert takes place in multiple venues, including London, Philadelphia, Sydney and Moscow.
September 22, 1985 - the first Farm Aid concert, organized by Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp to raise money for family farmers in the United States is held in Champaign, Illinois.
On July 30, 2003, 450,000 spectators see The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Guess Who, and others at the largest concert in Canadian history, the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, held to prove that the city is safe from SARS.

Parodies and other references

Like other notable cultural phenomena, benefit concerts have been the subject of parody. For example, a South Park episode, Chef Aid, features a concert held for the benefit of Chef, featuring performances by Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, and Meat Loaf.


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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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