Five Concerts With A Cause We Love

manjhunath, Amnesty International India
10 January 2018 9:37 pm

Music and art have always been powerful partners in the fight for justice because they possess an ability to stir something deep within us. They help us look beyond borders and see what unites us.

When the world seems very bleak, music can light a path to hope. Few places are better suited to generate hope than at a concert with a cause.

Since the early 70s, benefit concerts have been bringing art and activism together, uniting people for worthy causes – channeling the power of solidarity for a better tomorrow. Here are five concerts with a cause that we love and that demonstrate that together, we are powerful.


1. The Concert for Bangladesh (1971)

In 1971, to raise awareness and relief funding for refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) fleeing Bangladesh’s War of Independence, lead guitarist George Harrison of the Beatles teamed up with the renowned sitar master Ravi Shankar to host two benefit concerts along with UNICEF. A total of 40,000 people attended the concerts, and around USD 250,000 was raised to support the refugees.


2. Human Rights Concerts (1986 – 1998)

Amnesty International organised a series of 28 rock concerts, collectively called the “Human Rights Concerts”, between 1986 and 1988 to raise awareness about the vital human rights work being carried out by the movement. Jack Healey, then Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, was instrumental in bringing together the world’s biggest musicians to champion the cause. The four distinctive sets of concerts in the series were, “A Conspiracy of Hope”, “Human Rights Now!”, “An Embrace of Hope” and “The Struggle Continues…”.

The Human Rights Concerts tripled the movement’s worldwide membership. 


3. One Love Manchester (2017)

In a public show of unity, in June 2017, Ariana Grande returned to Manchester with a star-studded lineup for a benefit concert called “One Love Manchester”, after a suicide bomber detonated a nail bomb at an earlier concert. All proceeds of the concert were donated to the people affected by the attack.


4. Give A Home (2017)

Nearly 21 million refugees do not have a home – and that is not okay. “Give A Home”  was a massive global concert series that Amnesty International organised with Sofar Sounds. On 20 September 2017, thousands of people across the world opened up their homes, hosting “Give A Home” gigs in their living rooms, a symbolic commitment of solidarity with refugees. We organised “Give A Home” concerts in seven cities in India – all the funds raised went towards our work on the global refugee crisis.


5. Backdoors (2018)

Last but not least, we’re excited about Backdoors 2018!

We are collaborating with The Humming Tree to host Backdoors 2018 – two stand alone concerts in Bengaluru (February 14) and Mumbai (February 17)  featuring some of the biggest artists in the world standing up against gender based violence. Including Anderson Paak and The Free Nationals along with Wolf Alice, Watsky, Danny Goeffy, Prateek Kuhad, When Chai Met Toast, DIVINE.

Each aspect of the festival is uniquely interconnected, the great lineup, the opportunity for all of us to unite for a meaningful cause and the unforgettable experiences that await all who attend.

All proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards supporting our work on gender based violence. RSVP here for city wise lineups and other updates: