The Band Aid Trust

The Band Aid Trust

The trust was set up in 1984 to administer funds to be raised by the recording of ” do they know it’s Christmas ” the iconic song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure The original hope was to raise £250,000 to help with the famine of biblical proportions in Ethiopia

The record sold 6 million copies and then led to
Art aid
Fashion aid
Sport aid
School aid
French school aid

July 1985 -Live aid ” seventeen hours of live music watched by more people than any other event in history”

July 2005 -Live 8 – concerts in Berlin, Eden (Cornwall ) Edinburgh, Johannesburg, London ,Moscow ,Paris ,Philadelphia ,Rome ,Tokyo ,Toronto

The successful outcome from the g8 summit in glen eagles

And now band aid 30 a recording to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the original recording – the new recording aims to bring focus awareness and some finance to the efforts to contain Ebola

The new recording was largely comprised of the new generation of artists who literally weren’t born when the 1984 recording was made!

Over the 30 years the aim has been to raise finance and awareness and to leverage governments and in particular the members of the G8 to step up to their responsibilities

On the financial side -230 million dollars (including usa live foundation 30 million dollars)has been raised and spent with no employees and very low expenses -with of course no remuneration for the trustees.

The focus for expenditure has been mainly ( but not exclusively ) 7 countries ( Eritrea ,Mali,Burkina faso,Chad ,Ethiopia ,Niger and Sudan )in Africa and 5 of these are now amongst the fastest growing economies in the world

Along the way an astonishing list of artists / presenters have provided their services for free ( with apologies for the many who have been omitted )


Adam Ant
Alex britti
Alicia keys
Alison moyet
Al jarreau
Andrea bocelli
Angelina Jolie
Annie Lennox
Ash ford and Simpson
Bill gates
Billy Joel
Beach boys
Bette midler
Billy Ocean
Black Ice
Black sabbath
Bob Dylan
Bon Jovi
Boy George
Brad Pitt
Brian Wilson
Bruce Springsteen
Bryan Adams
Bryan Ferry
Craig David
Chris Evans
Chris Martin
Chris Rea
Chris Tucker
Claudia Schiffer
clean bandit
Cliff richard
Crosby stills and Nash
Culture club
Candy Lauper
Damon Albarn
David beckham
Dave Mathews band
David Bowie
David Ruffin
David Walliams
Davina mccall
Dawn French
Def Leppard
Destinys Child
Die toten hosen
Dj jazzy Jeff
Don cheadle
Diana Ross
Dionne Warwick
Dire straits
Duran Duran
Eddie Izzard
Ed sheerhan
Ellie Goulding
Elton John
Elvis Costello
Emily Sande
Eric Clapton
Florent pagny
Four tops
Frankie goes to Hollywood
George clooney
George michael
Green day
Hall and Oates
Harry belafonte
Heaven 17
Herbert gronemeyer
Holly johnson
Howard Jones
Huey Lewis and the news
James brown
Jamie Callum
Jeffrey Osborne
Jennifer Connolly
Jimmy napes
Jimmy page
Jimmy smits
Jimmy Somerville
Joan Baez
Judas Priest
Kaiser Chiefs
Kanye west
Katherine jenkins
Keith Urban
Eddie Kendrick
Kevin godley
Kim carnes
Kofi Annan
Kylie minogue
LA toya Jackson
Linkin Park
Lisa stansfield
Marlon Jackson
Maroon 5
Michael Jackson
Randy Jackson
Tito Jackson
Josh groban
Joss stone
Katie Melua
Lenny Henry
Lindsey Buckingham
Lionel Richie
Keith Richards
Kenny loggins
Kenny rogers
Kool and the gang
Kylie Minogue
Marian Carey
Matt Lucas
Mick jagger
Ms dynamite
Naomi watts
Natalie Portman
Natasha bedingfield
Neil Young
Nelson Mandela
Neneh cherry
Nik kershaw
Nile rogers
Olly murs
one direction
Ozzy osbourne
Paloma faith
Patti la belle
Pat metheny
Paul Epworth
Paul Simon
Paul Young
Paul McCartney
Peter Blake
Pete Doherty
Peter Gabriel
Peter Kay
Pete waterman
Pet shop boys
Phil Collins
Pink floyd
Power station
Ronan keating
Quincy jones
Ray charles
Reo speedwaggon
Richard Gere
Rick Springfield
Ricky gervais
Rita Marley
Rita Ora
Rob Thomas
Roxy music
Stephen Marley
Robbie Williams
Rod Stewart
roger taylor
Robert plant
Ronnie wood
Sam smith
Sarah mclachlan
Scissors sisters
Sheila e
Simple minds
Smokey Robinson
Snoop dog
Snow patrol
Spandau ballet
Status quo
Stereo phonics
Stevie wonder
Style council
Susan Sarandon
Tears for fears
Teddy prendergrass
Thomas mapfumo
Tim McGraw
Tina turner
Thompson Twins
Toby Keith
The Black Eyed Peas
The Boomtown Rats
The Cars
The corrs
The cure
The darkness
The hooters
The Killers
The pointer sisters
The pretenders
The proclaimers
The thrills
Tina turner
The Who
Tom petty and the heartbreakers
Velvet revolver
Will young
Willie Nelson
Waylon Jennings
Wet wet wet
Will smith
Youssou n dour
Fashion designers Including

Bruce old field
Issey miyake
Jasper conran
Jean Muir
Yves saint Laurent


It really feels fundamentally wrong not to list every artist who performed at live 8 ( for example ) but even with this limited list we have gone well over 200 names !



a combination of emergency and long term projects

“Trees and dams and fields and cows and camels and trucks and schools and health clinics,medicines ,tents ,blankets,clothes ,toys,ships,planes,tools,wheat,sorghum,beans,research grants…There are thousands upon thousands of people in a bitter and blasted part of this planet who were helped ”

” there is no glamour no pain,no nobility in hunger ,no pride in suffering ”

” we never pretended we could stop it . We wished to do something. We did. We wanted to make a point .We made it .We tried to take an issue,nowhere on the political agenda and place it right on the top.We placed it there ”

Bob g


Environmental protection
Income generation
Institution building



Band aid ships to save on transport costs
Band aid trucks to break local cartels


Accommodation for medical staff
Agricultural machinery
Brick manufacturing
Cereal banks
Cleft lip surgery
Club leg surgery
Construction of gravity fed pipelines
control of locust infestation
Credit schemes
Eye surgery
Family reunification projects
Food for work projects
Grinding mills
Health Centres
Literacy programmes
Malaria control
Micro finance initiatives
Mosquito nets
Nutrition screening programmes
Plumpynut to treat severely malnourished children
Recruitment and retention of teachers
Research relating to trachoma and glaucoma
Rehabilitation of boreholes
Rice cultivation
Refugee support
Sanitation projects
Seed distribution
School furniture and equipment
Small boats
Spray planes
Support for those who were hiv positive
Training programmes
Tree planting
Medical supplies
Veterinary and poultry
Water pumps
Water supplies
Projects were followed up on and evaluated


for the early story you can read bobs autobiography “is that it ”

Otherwise the story of the 30 years is a story of two chapters

Chapter one

1984 to 1992 – this is charmingly and clearly encapsulated in a booklet ” with love from Band Aid ” -available on request

This was a message of information and thanks to the public – at the time we all thought it was all over so this was a closing down statement

By that time an astonishing 144 million dollars had been spent including monies from the usa foundation

The trustees knew that some money would dribble in from royalties and legacies from wills but the expectation was that it would be a trickle so this wasn’t supposed to be a chapter one but really 99 per cent of the story BUT !

CHAPTER 2 1992 –

The trickle of money ended up not being a trickle – in 1985 revenues had been 64 million dollars ( including usa foundation monies ) in 1986 they were 25 million and then by 1991 they had fallen to 1.6 million dollars

During the 12 years 1992 to 2003 nearly 5 million dollars came in without us trying – an average of 400 000 dollars a year – small by comparison with peak years but money which was welcomed and spent

Even though we were spending quickly but cautiously and sensibly the interest on monies on deposit generated significant sums which were put to good use.

A small illustration of the cash generating ability of the trust was that in 2004 we suffered a fire in the unit where we stored band aid property – the loss of the property was mitigated by a cheque for £234 ,000 Soon spent on new projects !

In spite of that, the theme was the trusts most important days were behind us ” the activities of the trust continue to wind down as the balance of funds available for relief is reduced by the grants made ” ” future activities will be limited ”

And then there were new leases of life – first band aid 20

– a re-recording of ” Do they know it’s Christmas ” and then the release of a DVD of LIVE AID

– And then there was live 8 and the DVDs of those concerts and whilst live 8 was about raising awareness not monies revenues soared again

The decision to “stage ” live 8 was made an hour after A definitive decision to finally bring the trusts activities to an end at the 20 th anniversary – there was even a discussion of where the venue should be for a farewell dinner for the trustees !

One thing we learnt was the trust seemed to have a life and momentum of its own independent of the trustees


– 2004 – 7.6 million dollars

– 2005 – 49.3 million ( donations ,vat refund,interest ,royalties especially live aid dvd and band aid 20,sponsorship and various live 8 income )

– The second biggest year for income 20 years after we started and 13 years after we were supposed to be closing down

– 2006 -7.1 million dollars

– 2007 -13 a total of 11.6 million dollars an average of 1.65 million dollars in each year

– During this period accounts were of course filed with a report of income and expenditure but in summary

– The trust spent another 65 million dollars on projects

– Each trustee carefully considering each project before casting their vote -every payment required signature by two trustees

– The trust continued to operate with no staff or office of its own – its main expenses were essential accounting fees and insurance premiums

– The ten live 8 concerts were watched by an estimated 3 billion people

– what was already a challenging project was made interesting from an economic point of view when bob decided the concerts should be free of any ticket cost ! By the skin of our teeth (timing wise ) the costs were covered ( and more ) by a text lottery ,sponsorship and merchandising income

– In a sense the pinnacle of achievement during this period was the outcome of the 2005 g8 summit in gleneagles – undoubtedly there has been some reneging on the undertakings but the net “delivery ”

– Was of huge importance and is attributable in no small part to live 8 and the make poverty history campaign- the cancellation of poor countries debt ,the doubling of aid and an increase in the levels of commitment to the poorest people in the world had a value of many billions in what was actually delivered let alone promised

– “Gleneagles commitments put 40 million more children in school,gave life -saving drugs to 6 million people with hiv/aids and halved malaria in eight countries ” ( Paul Vallely – independent on sunday )

– As we continued to fund projects we insisted on strict reporting obligations so we could evaluate how well money was being put to use

– At all times we were able to respond quickly to emergency situations (including Niger,Darfur ,east Africa ) we are able to make decisions in 24 hours and implement almost immediately

– For the 25th anniversary there was a specific visit by bob geldof and john kennedy ( both founding trustees ) to Ethiopia to review progress on many projects we had funded but also to meet politicians , aid agencies and community leaders and generally to review the big picture of progress

– In march 2010 the bbc broadcast a programme on the world service programme making astonishing allegations about how band aid monies had been mis spent – after a painful battle the trust s complaint against the bbc was upheld resulting in an unprecedented apology including the main 6pm and 10 pm news being delayed whilst the apology was made including an admission the allegations “should not have been broadcast ” and an apology for ” the misleading and unfairimpression which was created ”

– You can imagine how much scrutiny our affairs were put under by journalists before the reluctant apology was given ———november 2014