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Bob Geldof on Lady Gaga’s One World: Together At Home show – “What was it they wanted?”

By | Published on Monday 8 June 2020

Lady Gaga

Back in March, Bob Geldof was confidently predicting that the internet meant there would never be another Live Aid-style concert. Then COVID-19 lockdown happened and the internet went ahead and enabled so many bloody Live Aid-style concerts. Not least Lady Gaga’s ‘One World: Together At Home’, which Geldof now says was good. And also bad. Mainly bad.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme on Saturday, he said that didn’t watch the show because he “wasn’t interested”, adding “well done her and everybody for doing it, but I don’t understand the purpose”.

“The snatches I saw”, he went on, “there was no emotional response from me. Gaga was correct to try and do it. She’s an artist, she felt a responsibility, she got the others to come to the party. [But] then there had to be a political agenda behind it, which would achieve… what? What was it they wanted?”

Had Geldof properly watched it all, he would have almost certainly seen that the aims of the event were pretty clear: to celebrate frontline workers risking their lives during lockdown and to raise money for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

As for Gaga needing a wider political agenda, what would be the one thing to focus on? Some governments have certainly managed their response to COVID-19 badly, and there are many arguments that could be made for structural changes to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Though many of those things have become much more clear since the virtual concert took place and the ‘One World: Together At Home’ brand has not really lived on beyond that show. Perhaps that’s Geldof’s point.