The Concert for Bangladesh (or Bangla Desh, as the country name was misspelled originally) was the name for two benefit concerts organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at noon and at 7pm on Sunday, 1 August 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The shows were organised to raise international awareness and fund relief efforts for refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) following the 1970 Bhola cyclone and atrocities during Bangladesh Liberation War. The event was the first ever benefit concert of such a magnitude. It featured a supergroup of performers that included Harrison himself, fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the band Badfinger; in addition, Shankar and another legend of Indian music, Ali Akbar Khan, performed a separate set. Decades later, Shankar would say of the overwhelming success of the event: "In one day, the whole world knew the name of Bangladesh. It was a fantastic occasion, and I think it was the first of its kind."
A bestselling live album (a boxed three-record set) was released later in 1971 and a concert film opened in cinemas in the spring of 1972, with later releases for home video. In 2005, the film was re-issued on DVD accompanied by a new documentary.
The concert raised US$243,418.51 for Bangladesh relief, which was administered by UNICEF. Sales of the album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
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