On November 23, 1991, Freddie Mercury announced to the world he was suffering from AIDS. The star revealed in a statement that he hoped the world would join him in the “fight against the terrible disease”. The following day, on November 24, 1991, Freddie died, aged 45.
Just a few months later, in February 1992, the rest of the members of Queen announced plans to hold a tribute concert in honour of the singer.
On this day, April 20, in 1992, the remaining members of Queen and a massive amount of rock and pop stars from around the world played at the concert at Wembley Stadium.
This year marks 30 years since the tribute concert, and the Freddie Mercury estate is holding an online screening of the iconic event. In the past, the concert has been released on VHS, DVD and Digital, but this online screening is open and free to all fans for 48 hours.
A similar online version of the show was played in 2020 to raise money for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The official Freddie Mercury Instagram account announced where fans could watch the concert today, along with information about a brand new charity, The Mercury Phoenix Trust.
The post read: “TODAY: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert – 30th Anniversary YouTube Screening! Today we mark the 30th Anniversary of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and the launch of The Mercury Phoenix Trust.”
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert 30th Anniversary Screening will air at 7pm BST on YouTube.
You can watch the screening here at 7pm BST.
An incredible number of artists attended the tribute concert and performed alongside Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. But the final guest, Elizabeth Taylor, made the event even more special.
Elizabeth took to the stage after all the musicians had put down their instruments to give a speech about Freddie’s death. She also took the opportunity to encourage the tens of thousands of attendees to practise safe sex.
The emotional Hollywood star grabbed the attention of the concert-goers by announcing: “I have something to say.”
She said: “We are here to celebrate the life of Freddie mercury, an extraordinary rock star who rushed across our cultural landscape like a comic shooting up across the sky. We are here also to tell the whole world that he like others we have lost to AIDS died before his time.”
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Elizabeth continued: “The bright light of his talent still exhilarates us even now, that his life has been so cruelly, extinguished. It needn’t have happened. It shouldn’t have happened. Please. Let’s not let it happen again.”
She also said: “There’s 70,000 people in this stadium tonight. Look at yourselves, look at how many you are! In just two short weeks there be as many new infections as there are people here tonight.
“Please don’t let it happen to you. You are the future of our world. You are the best and the brightest. You are the shining light that will illuminate a better world tomorrow. Protect yourselves. If you have sex, every time you have sex, use a condom. Every single time, straight sex, gay sex, bisexual sex, use a condom, whoever you are. And if you share drugs, don’t share a needle.”
72,000 tickets were made available for the concert which sold out in just three hours – despite the fact the line up had not yet been announced. Included in the line up was George Michael, Metallica, Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi, Seal, Annie Lennox, David Bowie, and many more. The bands and singers played cover versions of Queen’s biggest hits.
Watch the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert 30th anniversary on YouTube at 7pm.