The Beatles – Shea Stadium 15th August 1965
The first concert ever in a stadium was very far removed from the slick stadium shows with massive screens we are accustomed to today. Using the PA system that was used for announcing players (Shea Stadium was a Baseball Stadium). In front of the 55,600 crowd, the band couldn’t hear each other, all you could hear was girls screaming and the band themselves admit they couldn’t hear anything they were playing, but it created an entirely new type of concert, was filmed and broadcast round the world and pretty much cemented The Beatles belief that they couldn’t play live anymore, giving them the drive to spend time in the studio. Once they embarked on their studio period they released the groundbreaking Revolver and arguably the most influential album in history, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Woodstock – August 15-18 1969
Nearly half a million people came to White Lake New York for what has been called by some as the defining moment of the 1960s. The high water mark of the hippy era had a host of legendary performances including Jim Hendrix, The Who, Ten Years After, The Band, Joe Cocker, The Grateful Dead, Santana, The Incredible String Band, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and Ravi Shankar. With so many legendary acts and legendary performances – think Joe Cocker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends and Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner – this has to rate as one of if not the most important concert of all time.
Live Aid – 13th July 1985
The idea of Boy George, organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for famine victims in Africa, this two venue concert spanned two continents and took place in Wembley Stadium in London UK and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia USA. With a total runtime of 16 hours across the two stadiums it was a mammoth event. In London most of the top acts of the 1980s performed including Queen, Status Quo, U2 and Dire Straits as well as legendary performers David Bowie, The Who, Elton John and Paul McCartney. In Philadelphia 80s superstars Billy Ocean, Hall and Oates, Brian Adams and The Pretenders were joined by legends The Beach Boys, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, who were joined on drums by Phil Collins. The concerts raised an estimated £150 million for famine relief in Africa.