The organizers behind Band Aid 30 – the latest incarnation of Bob Geldof’s charitably minded supergroup Band Aid – have issued an “Ice Bucket Challenge”–style viral video call to action to music fans. Using a free iOS app called WholeWorldBand, Band Aid 30 would like people to record themselves singing Bono’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” line, “Tonight we’re reaching out and touching you,” and then nominate three friends to do the same on social media. The U2 frontman delivers the line at the 1:52 mark in the song’s official video.
The app allows users to create a video mix of themselves and up to five other people singing along with the song, which can be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #BandAid30. The organization will collect £1.40 (about $2.20) for every person who participates in the challenge and put it toward the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
“We need to keep up momentum,” Geldof said in a statement. “I want us to raise about £5 million but we need people to understand that we’ve only got three weeks to make a difference.”
Geldof and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” co-writer Midge Ure released a new version of the iconic 1984 hit, under the Band Aid 30 moniker, last month. In addition to Bono, the new version also features Coldplay’s Chris Martin, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Angelique Kidjo, Seal, Sinéad O’Connor and many more artists performing the tune.
Ure recently spoke with Rolling Stone about why they decided to resurrect Band Aid. “It was the hideous synchronicity of the Ebola crisis and the way it’s escalated, and the fact that we had this 30th anniversary coming up that everybody was asking us about,” he said. “A month ago, this wasn’t in the cards. Then Bob got a call from the U.N. saying, ‘Can you do it again?'”
Regarding introducing a new generation to the song, Ure contended that they already knew it “because they’ve heard it blasting out of radios every Christmas since they were born.” The hard part would be getting them involved in the charitable side of the cause. “All we can do is hope that Ed Sheeran and One Direction and everyone else plead with the fans not to stream this, not to download this for free,” he said.