Live Aid, one of the most iconic concerts in history, is set to be transformed into a stage musical in London next year. The event, organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1985, aimed to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. The musical, titled Just For One Day, will feature songs performed by acts such as Queen, U2, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Sting. The production will run at London’s Old Vic Theatre from 26 January to 30 March.
Geldof emphasizes that the musical will not be a tribute act, with no impersonators of the original singers. Instead, the songs will drive the drama of the show. Just For One Day will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the organization of Band Aid and Live Aid, along with a love story inspired by real events. The story is based on actual testimonies from the day, making it a complex theatrical experience.
The musical has received full permission from the Band Aid Charitable Trust, which will receive 10% of every ticket sale. The idea for the show was initially presented by John O’Farrell, the writer of the Mrs Doubtfire musical, and Luke Sheppard, the director of the musical & Juliet featuring the songs of Max Martin.
Geldof admits that watching someone portray him is not enjoyable, but he praises Craige Els, the actor who will play his role, for his amazing voice. He also mentions the accuracy of the language used in the musical, referencing his famous swearing during the Live Aid broadcast.
Live Aid had a massive impact, with an estimated TV audience of 1.5 billion and millions of dollars raised for famine relief. The concert also set a precedent for future all-star charity events and helped spark discussions on humanitarian relief.
This is not the first time Live Aid has been dramatized, with Queen’s performance recreated in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Just For One Day will provide a new perspective on the iconic event, offering audiences a unique theatrical experience.