World Rock Day Date in the current year: July 13, 2024

World Rock Day Despite its name, World Rock Day (Dia Mundial Do Rock) is observed mainly in Brazil. It was created to celebrate rock music and commemorate the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert that helped raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.

The term “rock music” refers to a broad genre of popular music that evolved in the United States as rock and roll and has since developed into an impressive range of subgenres, many of which are vastly different from one another but have enough similarities to be classified as rock music.

Rock and roll evolved in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Its British counterpart began to emerge in the late 1950s and played a key role in the so-called British Invasion of the mid-1960s. Over the next few decades, difference subgenres of rock music began to evolve, ranging from folk rock to glam rock to punk rock.

The worldwide popularity of rock music resulted in a profound social impact. Famous rock musicians have used their music to raise awareness of various causes and issues, including environmental issues, racism, armed conflicts, and many others. Some of them used their fame to raise money for charity. One of such charity concerts is commemorated on World Rock Day.

It all began in 1984, when Irish musician, actor and political activist Bob Geldof and Scottish musician and producer Midge Ure organized Band Aid, a charity supergroup, to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. They started with recording the single “Do They Known It’s Christmas?”, which became a global hit and raised over $24 million worldwide, and went on to organize the Live Aid charity concert.

The concert was held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia on July 13, 1985. Performers at the London concert included Status Quo, Elvis Costello, Sade, Sting, Phil Collins, Bryan Ferry, Paul Young, U2, Dire Straits, Queen, David Bowie, The Who, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Band Aid, and others, while the Philadelphia concert line-up included Billy Ocean, Black Sabbath, REO Speedwagon, Judas Priest, Bryan Adams, The Beach Boys, Santana, Madonna, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Led Zeppelin, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and more.

During the concert, Phil Collins expressed his desire that the date of the concert would become a “World Rock Day”. In the mid-1990s, two rock radio stations based in São Paulo, 89 FM A Rádio Rock and Energia 97, began to mention the date in their programming and promote World Rock Day. The holiday was well-accepted by listeners and soon became popular in Brazil, but it never went truly global.

Some music specialists think this date as arbitrary and have offered alternatives they consider more fitting such as July 5 (the day when Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black recorded an up-tempo version of Arhur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right Mama” in 1954), February 9 (the anniversary of the first concert performed by The Beatles in the United States in 1964), or April 12 (the day when Bill Haley & His Comets recorded their hit single “Rock Around the Clock”.

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World Rock Day, cultural observances, holidays in Brazil, Dia Mundial Do Rock, Live Aid