Online | Georgian Live Aid

40 Brunswick Square London WC1N 1AZ
19 Nov 2020 — 31 Dec 2021
  • Talks
Who were the real beneficiaries of eighteenth-century benefit concerts? In this online talk, researcher Lizzy Buckle introduces her work with the Foundling Museum’s Gerald Coke Handel Collection.

In May 1750, London’s beau monde flocked to the Foundling Hospital for a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Although ostensibly organised for philanthropic causes, such occasions were also opportunities for performers to demonstrate their virtuosity, for patrons to exhibit their wealth, and for members of the burgeoning bourgeoisie to network.

By comparing eighteenth-century benefit concerts to modern-day charitable schemes, Buckle identifies the winners and losers of these events and ask, was Handel the Bob Geldof of his day?

Find out more about Lizzy Buckle’s PhD exploring concerts, commerce and charity in Georgian London.

This event was part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 12–22 November. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information please see