Live Aid. John F. Kennedy Stadium, City and County of Philadelphia, State of Pennsylvania 19148

Saturday July 13, 1985 (3:21 p.m. to 3:39 p.m.)

About the Show



About the Show

The Venue

John F. Kennedy Stadium (formerly Philadelphia Municipal Stadium and Sesquicentennial Stadium) was an open-air stadium in Philadelphia that stood from 1926 to 1992. The South Philadelphia stadium was on the east side of the far southern end of Broad Street at a location now part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. Designed by the architectural firm of Simon & Simon in a classic 1920s style with a horseshoe seating design that surrounded a track and football field, at its peak the facility seated in excess of 102,000 people.

Six days after the Grateful Dead's 1989 show, then-Mayor Wilson Goode condemned the stadium due to multiple findings by city inspectors that the structure was structurally unsafe and a potential fire hazard. Just hours before the concert, city inspectors had discovered piles of combustible materials, numerous electrical problems, and crumbling and/or falling concrete: the Grateful Dead were only allowed to perform due to strict no-smoking regulations that had been enacted some time before. While renovation and repairs of the stadium were discussed, this was quickly rejected due to the exceedingly high costs, and it was demolished on September 23, 1992. The Wells Fargo Center now stands on the site, which is part of the complex that also includes Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park.

Live Aid was a benefit concert held on Saturday 13 July 1985, as well as a music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise further funds for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia, a movement that started with the release of the successful charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in December 1984. Billed as the "global jukebox", Live Aid was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, UK, attended by about 72,000 people and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, attended by 89,484 people.

On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative were held in other countries, such as the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany. It was one of the largest satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time; an estimated audience of 1.9 billion, in 150 nations, watched the live broadcast, nearly 40 percent of the world population.

Live Aid. JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA Saturday July 13, 1985


Poster #1
Poster #2 © Steve Maher
Poster #3
Ticket #1
Ticket #2
Pass #1
Pass #2
Pass #3
Program #1
Program #2
Show Schedule


The Band: Santana #34

(left to right) Alex Ligertwood (guitar/vocals), Graham Lear (drums), Alphonso Johnson (bass), Chester Thompson (keyboard/vocals), Sterling Crew (keyboard), Orestes Vilato (percussion/vocals), Armando Peraza (percussion/vocals), Raul Rekow (percussion/vocals), Greg Walker (vocals), Carlos Santana (guitar/percussion/vocals)


Pat Metheny (guitar)(1)

Santana #34 with guest Pat Metheny (guitar)
Live Aid. JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA July 13, 1985
Santana #34 with guest Pat Metheny (guitar)
Live Aid. JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA July 13, 1985

Exact Set List

Brotherhood - Primera Invasion - Open Invitation - By The Pool/Right Now (1)


Broadcast live worldwide. An official four-disc DVD set of the Live Aid concerts was released on November 8, 2004. A 52-minute compilation was later released as a limited edition DVD in July 2005 titled "20 Years Ago Today: Live Aid". The box set contains 10-hour partial footage of the 16-hour length concert. The DVD was produced by Geldof's company, Woodcharm Ltd., and distributed by Warner Music Vision. The DVD has since been out of print and no longer available in stores. The decision to finally release it was taken by Bob Geldof nearly 20 years after the original concerts, after he found a number of unlicensed copies of the concert on the Internet. Some artists did not want their performances to be featured on the DVD. At their own request, Led Zeppelin and Santana were omitted.

2004 4DVD
No Santana Music Featured
2005 DVD
No Santana Music Featured


Photos by Various Authors/Uncredited Photos

© Frank Micelotta
© Paul Natkin
© Paul Natkin
© Paul Natkin
© Ebet Roberts

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