Sunday 22 January 2017

Flashback: Anybody remember this? It's been 30 years since Bob Geldof's Self Aid 1986

Published 16/05/2016 | 12:38

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats on stage during Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats on stage during Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

Who would have thought it? It has been 30 years since Bob Geldof's Self Aid concert hit the stage at the RDS, Dublin.

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The event, fronted by the Boomtown Rats, was described as the "greatest celebration of popular music the country had ever seen".

Organised by Tony Boland, the gig pledged to fight the staggering unemployment rates for young people in Ireland at the time by raising funds and creating jobs.

Statistics from the Irish Independent painted a pretty grim picture for Irish youth in 1986; 71, 260 of under 25s were unemployed, with 17.3 of the overall workforce in the same situation.

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats on stage during Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats on stage during Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

With 30,000 people in attendance, 12 hours of continuous music and nearly 30 bands, the concert was a raging success but particularly poignant one for Geldof and The Rats for whom it was their final show until they reformed 27 years later.

The line up included U2, Van Morrison, Christy Moore, Chris de Burgh, Rory Gallagher, In Tua Nua, The Pogues and Thin Lizzy fronted by Bob Geldof, as well as the Boomtown Rats.

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats on stage during Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats on stage during Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

As they played their final song, Geldof saluted the crowd and signed off saying “It’s been a very good 10 years. Thank you very much. Rest in peace.”

Click here if you're interested in purchasing these exclusive Independent Archives photos

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats with his daughter Fifi Trixibelle Geldof at the Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats with his daughter Fifi Trixibelle Geldof at the Self-Aid benefit concert in the RDS, 17/05/1986 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

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