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Live Aid to be turned into a musical at London’s Old Vic theatre

'It better not be s**t,' said Live Aid founder Bob Geldof.

By Nick Reilly

Freddie Mercury at Live Aid (Picture: YouTube)

The story of Live Aid will be transformed into a musical staged in London next year.

The show, titled Just For One Day, will document the story of how the 1985 Wembley Stadium event – which saw memorable sets from the likes of Queen and David Bowie – became the most famous charity gig in history.

Bob Geldof and Ultravox’s Midge Ure were the architects of the gig on July 13, 1985, which was held to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. A sister show was held in Philadelphia on the same day, with both events raising a staggering $140 million.

Now, Geldof has given the thumbs up to a musical about the gigs, which will run at London’s Old Vic Theatre from January 26, 2024 to March 30, 2024.

While the show will feature songs from the likes of Elton John, Queen and Sting, Geldof has dished out one ultimatum.

“It better not be shit,” he told The Guardian.

Speaking to BBC News, Geldof also added it would not be an imitation of the gig.

“This isn’t a tribute thing. I wouldn’t have anything to do with that,” he said. “So, there isn’t a person dressed up as Freddie wearing a crap moustache. The songs drive the drama along.”

The show is named after a line in David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ and will examine the genesis of the events, as well as a central love story based on true events.

“The story is based on actual testimony from the day,” Geldof said. “It’s real people telling their story throughout this. So it’s complex theatre.”

The Band Aid Charitable Trust will also receive 10 percent of every ticket sale for the show, which was written by John O’Farrell, who wrote the Mrs Doubtfire musical. He conceived the idea with & Juliet musical director Luke Sheppard.

Craige Els, meanwhile, will play the role of Bob Geldof.

“Let me be completely blunt. It’s bad enough being Bob Geldof. It’s slightly worse seeing someone else pretending to be you,” Geldof told the BBC. “The one upside for me is that he’s got an amazing voice, stage Bob, so that people will think I actually sing as good as that.”

Live Aid famously attracted an estimated global TV audience of 1.9billion people from across 130 countries. A similar set of concerts, titled Live8, were held by Geldof and Ure in 2005.