We Are The World: Collecting Benefit Concert Posters

by Daniel Paiz

benefit-concerts-1-192x300 We Are The World: Collecting Benefit Concert PostersA benefit concert is not the first thing I think of when it comes to live music. Any kind of cause you want to support, there’s been a show for it. These shows take a lot of planning. So, while there are plenty to choose from, there are a few posters that are just a bit more memorable than others.


Looking back on the Live Aid concert series

The 1980s kind of come off as a time of well-intentioned actions that came up short. For example, there was the 1985 Live Aid concert series. Two shows happened in 1985; one in London, England, and the other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organized these shows with the goal of fundraising and bringing about awareness for the famine in Ethiopia. Several concert posters came out from these two shows. However, one in particular grabs my attention:

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This one grabs my attention because of who signed it. Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen signed this poster, as did both members of Ashford & Simpson. That’s a very unique set of signatures to get in one place. The price seems fair at around $500, but it’s also very hard to get. This particular poster was found on an auction site; unfortunately at this time, it’s not available. Perhaps looking for benefit posters sans autograph is the smarter path to take.

We Are The World doesn’t have to cost so much

Benefit concerts don’t require so many famous acts on one stage. To be honest, especially in hindsight it almost looks more like a ploy good PR over really caring. That’s a somewhat cynical approach; a less cynical approach is looking for those “We Are The World” collectibles out and about. In 1985, activist Harry Belafonte had an idea for superstar musicians in the US to show their concern for events in Africa as well. Written by both Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, We Are The World was a supercut of epic proportions.

While not technically an actual concert event, this recording would’ve been perfect for Twitch today. In addition to Jackson and Ritchie, other singers on the track include Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, and many more. This poster is a bit easier to acquire than the Live Aid poster previously mentioned.

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There are plenty of options on eBay for this event. This one in particular is an original and goes for just under $75. If you were alive when this song came out, it’s a bit of nostalgia. If you happened to be younger than this event, it might be a curious historical pop culture event. It would be hard to find an event with all of these acts in one place. Michael Jackson alone is an extremely popular person to collect; every other person shown in the picture above also commands a considerable cost to obtain.

If like me, you didn’t live through these events, they are curious ways to go about engaging in increasing awareness. It is important however to recall the level of technology available at this time compared to present times. Either way, there are plenty of benefit concert posters to add to your collection; find the ones that best fit your particular taste.

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