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Oz for Africa was an Australian concert held on 13 July 1985 at the Sydneymarker Sports and Entertainment Centre. It was broadcast locally and internationally as part of the worldwide Live Aid performances to raise money for famine relief in Africa. The concert featured 17 bands performing some of their best-known songs. All groups donated their services and the concert helped raise $10 million throughout Australia.


The original concert for famine relief in Ethiopiamarker, called East Africa Tragedy (EAT) Appeal Concert, was held at the Myer Music Bowlmarker, Melbournemarker on 27 January 1985. The concert was organised by Bill Gordon with major assistance from Zev Eizics of Australian Concert Entertainment. Band Aid co-founder Midge Ure was brought to Australia to head the day long televised performances. Live satellite crosses to fellow co-founder Bob Geldof and other Band Aid performers were included. The concert raised $1 million which was paid to the Red Crossmarker.

Bill Gordon floated the idea of a UK concert with Midge Ure utilising all of the performers of Band Aid's charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Gordon visited Geldof and the Band Aid Committee in London in April 1985 to secure a place for Australia in the planned event. The idea grew to become the Live Aid concept, which was to have concerts in UK, USA and elsewhere (including Australia).

Concert details

Due to time zone differences the Oz for Africa concert began twelve hours before the Wembley Stadiummarker, Londonmarker leg and was thus the first Live Aid concert.

Oz for Africa was organized by furniture dealer Bill Gordon and music producer Brian de Courcy, in co-operation with Geldof and the Band Aid trust. Gordon sold his furniture business to use the cash to support the concert. It was compered by Ian Meldrum, musical director of Australian Broadcasting Corporation’smarker TV pop show Countdown.

The four-hour concert / telethon was broadcast on two Australian television networks Channel 7 and Channel 9. Sections of it were seen internationally during the world-wide live broadcast of Live Aid, some songs by INXS were shown on BBC in UK and other songs by Men at Work and Little River Band in United States on ABC. An edited version of Oz for Africa was broadcast on MTV from late at night on 12 July. Two INXS songs from the BBC broadcast are contained on Live Aid's four DVD boxed set released in 2004.

About 11,000 spectators paid $18.50 each, in order to see Oz for Africa. The concert / telethon and the associated Sport Aid Oz raised ten million Australian dollars for the International Disaster Emergency Committee in Australia.

Performance sequence

Song sequence with total set time for each band in brackets.

^ broadcast by abc (American Broadcasting Company)

% broadcast by BBC later on Official 4-dvd box set 20th anniversary Live Aid (2004)

Australia and Live 8

It was announced by Geldof, in 2005, that he was preparing Live 8, a new project similar to Live Aid but for world poverty. Meldrum was approached for his opinion on a Live 8 concert in Australia: "I'm hoping, he’ll [Geldof] do it, we will have the acts."

After his efforts remained fruitless to develop an Australian version of Live 8, Meldrum with ex-Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes compered, on Australian television, a Preview of Live 8.


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