Queen are the champions! The rock band’s legendary Live Aid performance is voted the most memorable festival moment of all time in a nostalgia-tinged poll
- A Specsavers poll was won by Queen’s 20-minute Live Aid performance in 1985
- Other entries included Adele, Elton John and even Greta Thunberg’s speech
Queen’s legendary 20-minute performance at Live Aid in 1985 has been voted the most memorable festival moment of all time, according to a new poll.
It beat Elton John’s last UK gig headlining Sunday night at Glastonbury this year (29 per cent) into second place while Adele’s show-stopping Glastonbury performance in 2016 (15 per cent) came third.
Bob Marley performing two days after being shot at Smile Jamaica in 1976 (12 per cent) and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain taking to the stage in a wheelchair and hospital gown at Reading in 1992 (eight per cent) also make the iconic list.
Even activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at Glastonbury in 2022 makes an appearance along with Beyonce in 2011.
And Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Kylie Minogue’s Sunday Legends set at Glastonbury 2019 are among the moments to make the top 30 poll.
Winner: Queen’s legendary 20-minute performance at Live Aid in 1985 has been voted the most memorable festival moment of all time, according to a new poll
The majority of Brits (83 per cent) think that festivals are the greatest way to see live music, with over half (56 per cent) saying that it is one of the main things they like doing in the summer.
Under 30s are planning to go to the most festivals this summer – at least three – with some admitting to doling out as much as £722 on the experience.
But according to the poll commissioned by Specsavers, the majority of Brits (81 per cent) admit they often leave such events with their ears ringing, which could be damaging their hearing.
It’s not surprising then that almost half of those surveyed (46 per cent) are convinced that their hearing has been damaged because of the loud noise.
Simon Baker was a successful DJ/producer and had releases on labels such as Kompa Kt, Cocoon and Last Night On Earth.
He developed tinnitus due to over-exposure to loud noise, he says: ‘I had what you could call a dream career. Working in the music industry as a touring DJ, music producer and sound engineer, I had been surrounded by loud music for years and never thought much of it.
‘I wasn’t particularly taking that much care of my health in my early days, and I wasn’t too aware of the impact my lifestyle could have been having on my health, and then I developed tinnitus which led to a lot of stress.
‘My tinnitus started low level but increased over time, it really made me worry about the impact it could have on my life and career. Now, I want to encourage everyone to be aware of how to prevent tinnitus.
Putting on a show: Freddie Mercury’s performance with Queen topped the list with 35 per cent of the vote
Rocket man: It beat Elton John’s last UK gig headlining Sunday night at Glastonbury this year (29 per cent) into second place
Surprise feature: Even activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at Glastonbury in 2022 makes an appearance
‘The most important things are to wear ear protection in loud places and get your ears tested regularly.’
A whopping 92 per cent of those questioned didn’t know that it can take just five minutes for hearing damage to occur at a festival, with a further 52 percent admitting they have never had a hearing test.
But as festival season gets under way, Brits love attending festivals for the atmosphere (68 percent), memories it creates (56 per cent), meeting new people (32 per cent) and dancing (32 per cent), while one in five (19 percent) love the sheer noise.
An astonishing 16 percent saying there is nothing better than the feeling of the bass running through their bones, so much so that 11 per cent of under 30s say they always stand next to the speakers at a gig or festival.
Research also revealed that only one third (32 per cent) say they have worn or wear ear plugs or ear defenders at a festival or a concert.
In fact, protecting hearing was at the bottom of a list of festival essentials for those surveyed, with only 19 per cent saying they would bring ear plugs and even fewer (12 per cent) saying they would prioritise taking ear defenders.
The top essentials on the festival packing list included, water bottles (67 per cent), sunscreen (59 per cent), sunglasses (59 per cent), wet wipes (56 percent) and toothbrush (56 per cent). A half (49 per cent) always pack a hat, while 44 per cent never forget painkillers.
Pillows (39 per cent), first aid kit (33 per cent) and ear plugs (19 per cent) also appear on the list, along with glitter (15 per cent) – which is more of a priority than ear defenders (12 per cent).
Wow: Adele’s show-stopping Glastonbury performance in 2016 (15 per cent) came third
Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain taking to the stage in a wheelchair and hospital gown at Reading in 1992 (eight per cent) also made the iconic list. Pictured backstage at the festival
Gordon Harrison, chief audiologist at Specsavers, said: ‘Hearing loss affects people of all ages and unfortunately the longer we leave hearing issues, the worse they can become.
‘Therefore, it is vitally important to look after your hearing, especially when at festivals, gigs, concerts or anywhere just in general where’s there’s with loud music or noise.
‘Wearing hearing protection, such as ear defenders can really help, and having regular hearing checks can help identify and manage of hearing loss symptoms and minimise any long-term impact.’
The 30 most iconic festival moments ever, according to Brits:
1. Queen’s Live Aid in 1985 – 35%
2. Elton John’s last UK gig headlining Sunday night at Glastonbury 2023 – 29%
3. Adele’s show-stopping Glastonbury performance in 2016 – 15%
4. Oasis’s first Glastonbury performance in 1994 – 12%
5. Bob Marley performing two days after being shot at Smile Jamaica in 1976 – 12%
6. The Rolling Stones Glastonbury debut in 2013 – 11%
7. Beyonce being the first black, female solo artist to headline Glastonbury in 2011 – 11%
8. Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 – 10%
9. Jimi Hendrix singing ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock in 1969 – 10%
10. Kylie Minogue’s Sunday Legends set at Glastonbury 2019 14 years after she was originally set to appear – 9%
11. The Foo Fighters making a surprise appearance at the 2023 Glastonbury as ‘The Churn Ups’ – 9%
12. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain taking to the stage in a wheelchair and hospital gown at Reading in 1992, in what would be their last performance in the UK – 8%
13. Eminem and Rihanna duetting at V Festival in 2011 – 8%
14. Stevie Wonder wishing Glastonbury a happy 40th birthday in 2010 – 8%
15. Beyonce bringing out Destiny’s Child at Coachella in 2018 – 7%
16. Led Zeppelin’s three hour and five encore set at the Bath Festival in 1970 – 7%
17. Greta Thunberg’s speech at Glastonbury in 2022 – 6%
18. Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 – 6%
19. Jay Z bringing hip-hop to Glastonbury in 2008 for the first time – 6%
20. Jay Z bringing Michael Jackson on stage at Summer Jam in 2001 – 6%
21. Radiohead headlining Glastonbury in 1997 – 6%
22. Eminem returning to the stage at Lollapalooza in 2011 – 5%
23. Billie Eilish headlining Reading and Leeds in 2019 – 5%
24. Rage Against The Machine appearing naked with their mouths taped at Lollapalooza in 1993 – 4%
25. 2Pac resurrected at Coachella in 2012 – 4%
26. Lana Del Rey playing Latitude in 2019 – 4%
27. Stone Roses bad set at Reading Festival in 1996 – 4%
28. Kanye West’s 11-minute monologue at the Big Chill in 2011 – 3%
29. Avicii bringing out Madonna at the Ultra Music Festival in 2012 – 3%
30. Daft Punk’s Pyramid set at Coachella in 2006 – 3%
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