With Summer just around the corner and concerts, festivals and weddings filling up our calendars, a new survey reveals the top historical events Brits wish they could revisit.  

Following a 1,900% increase in interest for the term ‘events to attend’ in the past 12 months¹, a new study from event specialists AYRE Event Solutions delves into the top ten historical events people wish they could have attended if they could go back in time. 

The results reveal the top ten events Brits wish they could have seen for themselves, and spoiler alert, 1985’s Live Aid takes the top spot²: 

  1. Live Aid – 1985 (25%)
  2. World Cup Final – 1966 (20%)
  3. The Beatles ‘Rooftop Concert’ – 1969 (17%)
  4. Queen’s Coronation – 1953 (13%)
  5. Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s Wedding – 1981 (12%)
  6. Woodstock Festival –  1969 (12%)
  7. Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip’s Wedding  – 1947 (12%)
  8. Adele at Glastonbury – 2016 (11%)
  9. First Olympic Games – 1896 (11%)
  10. David Bowie at Glastonbury – 2000 (11%) 

The insight indicates that 3.5 million UK adults³ wish they could have attended the Live Aid concert in 1985. With star-studded performances from Freddie Mercury, Elton John, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Madonna and the Beach Boys, it’s no surprise that Live Aid 1985 ranks number one on AYRE’s new list. To date, Queen’s iconic performance of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at Live Aid has a staggering 136 million YouTube views⁴. 

Ranking second is the World Cup Final of 1966, with 10.8 million UK adults wishing they could have attended this match (20%). Played at Wembley Stadium, London, this football match saw England win 4-2 against West Germany – a victory that remains the pinnacle of football achievement in England.

One of the most popular bands of our lifetime, The Beatles, played an unannounced concert on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters in Savile Row, Central London, in 1969. Police famously shut the concert down, however, over 9 million Brits still wish they could have been there to witness the iconic and spontaneous set by the Liverpudlian band, as the event ranks third on AYRE Event’s new list (17%). The iconic concert has received a massive 382 million views on YouTube⁵, showing how loved the band still is. 

The Queen’s Coronation (13%) and Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding (12%) also rank in AYRE’s new list. Just over 7 million people wish they could have attended the Queen’s coronation, and nearly 6.5 million wish they could have seen Prince Charles and Princess Diana tie the knot. This is also highlighted on YouTube, with the Queen’s coronation (2.5 million) and wedding (38 million) having millions of views to date⁶. 

Other historical events Brits wish they could have attended include: Woodstock Festival in 1969 (12%), Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding in 1947 (12%), Adele headlining Glastonbury in 2016 (11%), the first Olympic Games in 1896 (11%), and David Bowie’s headline slot at Glastonbury in 2000 (11%). 

Managing director of AYRE, Chris Ayre, comments on the study: “Concerts, weddings, and festivals are some of the best places to make the most unforgettable memories.

“It’s really interesting to see the historical events Brits wish they could have gone to. With the pandemic taking away nearly two years of our lives, it’s great to see more people attending events similar to those mentioned above.  

“The events mentioned in our new survey didn’t just involve iconic acts and performances, but the staging and production of the events are what really set them apart from other events. For example, Adele’s 2016 Glastonbury performance took place in the evening, creating a magical atmosphere. The lighting, audio, and background visuals make this performance one of Glastonbury’s best.

“Whenever we attend an event, we take inspiration from iconic events of the past like the ones mentioned in our new ranking to ensure we are truly giving our clients a top tier experience.” 

To find out more about the historical events Brits would most like to attend if they could go back in time, please visit: https://www.ayre.events/live-aid-named-as-the-historical-event-brits-wish-the-could-relive/ 

  1. Search volume data for the search term ‘events to attend’ correct as of April 2022
  2. Survey of 1,000 UK based adults conducted in March 2022
  3. Calculated using the following formula: 25% (survey result) of 54 million (number of adults in the UK) = 3,500,000
  4. YouTube views taken from  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbvyNnw8Qjg 
  5. YouTube views taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCtzkaL2t_Y 
  6. YouTube views taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJEUtX2_GwI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17vYiDOIGFM

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