Rock-music festival

The world rock-music festival to help the famished in Africa was watched by over a billion TV viewers, the largest audience ever.

The concert took place at the Wembley Stadium in London and the Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The performances by 72 groups from eight countries were projected onto huge screens erected at the stadiums. It took 14 satellites to telecast the concerts to 70 states, including the USSR. The USSR was represented by the group Autograph broadcast from Moscow.

Robert Dalrymple, a US producer, said that the festival's success exceeded all expectations. Both stadiums, which seat 80,000 and 90,000 respectively, were sold out, and a ticket in Philadelphia, for instance, cost 75 dollars.

"I must say that the interest in the concert mounted considerably," he said, "when people learned that Soviet musicians would also be taking part. I’m an Autograph fan myself and I was very pleased when the guys hit it off with viewers receiving a thunderous applause."

"It was an important moment in my life," says Alexander Sitkovetsky, leader of Autograph. "To perform in the same concert as Billy King, Tina Turner and Phil Collins and the Beach Boys group to such a huge audience was fantastic. I wanted to cry out, 'Stop the clocks!' And the main thing is that 1 realized (and I hope even the skeptics and pessimists did too) that even if music cannot repair the world then it can make it better. It can unite everyone in the world, no matter what state they belong to, and irrespective of their political convictions and religious creeds. It can unite people to help their brothers in trouble."

Moscow News, July 21st, 1985