With Summer just around the corner and concerts, festivals and weddings filling up our calendars, our 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, our team of event experts delve into the top ten historical events people wish they could have attended if they could go back in time. 

Our 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%)

Live Aid - 1985

Our 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 our new list. To date, Queen’s iconic performance of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at Live Aid has a staggering 136 million YouTube views⁴. 

The unforgettable Live Aid concert opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana raised a whopping $120 million for famine relief in Africa. With this in mind and the iconic acts that attended, cities like Birmingham (26%), Belfast (21%), Brighton (17%), Cardiff (37%), Edinburgh (24%), Glasgow (33%), Leeds (36%), Liverpool (26%), Manchester (21%), Newcastle (22%), Plymouth (35%) and Sheffield (19%) voted this event as their number one choice to revisit if they could.

World Cup Final - 1966

Ranking second is the World Cup Final of 1966. 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.  

A whopping 10.8 million UK adults wish they could have attended this match (20%), but out of those we surveyed, men are 47% more likely to want to attend this event than women. In terms of the age groups keen to revisit the 1966 game, over 55s (47%) would love to go back to see the legendary hat-trick scored by Geoff Hurst.

The Beatles ‘Rooftop Concert’ - 1969

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 our new list (17%). 

The iconic concert has received a massive 382 million views on YouTube⁵, showing how loved the band still is. In terms of the staging and production of this event, the show was put together quickly, with little effort made into how the rooftop looked. However, we can imagine that the event audio was excellent, with fans across London saying they could hear the band performing from their houses.

Royal events - 1953 & 1981

The Queen’s Coronation (13%) and Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding (12%) also make the top five events people wish they could have attended the most. Cameras captured the two events across the globe, and with both taking place before the 90s, it’s no surprise that people wish they could revisit them. 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. 

Out of those surveyed, women would be most likely to attend the Queen’s Coronation (50%) and Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding (151%).

Woodstock Festival -  1969

Taking place in 1969, Woodstock was a music festival held on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Our survey revealed that 12% of Brits would revisit this iconic festival if they could. The festival drew in half a million people from across the globe and acts included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who. Santana, another act who performed at Woodstock has racked up 21 million views on YouTube for his performance of Soul Sacrifice⁷, solidifying how popular the event was.

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip’s Wedding  - 1947

In 1947 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip got married, and 200 million people across the world watched a broadcast of the ceremony live on BBC⁸. It was the first British royal wedding to be filmed and broadcast by BBC, which at the time was seen as a significant turning point for television. 12% of Brits wish they could revisit this first of its kind wedding, which places the event sixth in our new ranking.

Adele at Glastonbury - 2016

Adele’s Glastonbury headline show saw the singer perform some of her most famous songs, such as Hello, Rolling in the Deep, and Hometown Glory. Our survey revealed that 11% of Brits wish they could jump back in a time machine to 2016 to watch the artist sing her most loved songs, ranking the event seventh on the list. It’s also no surprise that this event lands itself in the top five events among women (17%), with Adele famously writing songs targeted at a female audience.

First Olympic Games - 1896

The first Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. The Athens Games were the first occurrence of the modern Olympic Games, and since then, there have been a whopping 28 summer Olympic games and 22 winter Olympic games⁹. With so many games since the first one in 1986, it’s clear that people across the globe love the Olympics, so it’s no surprise that it’s first event ranks ninth in our events of the past list (11%). We wonder what the staging and production was like for an event held in 1896?

David Bowie at Glastonbury - 2000

In another iconic Glastonbury headliner, David Bowie performed to an audience of 250,000 people in 2000, with attendees labelling the show as ‘magical’¹⁰. On YouTube, the legend’s performance of ‘Heroes’ racks up 1.5 million viewers¹¹, highlighting its impact on those who were lucky enough to attend. With this in mind, the performance lands itself tenth in our new ranking, with 11% of Brits keen to go back in time.

Taking inspiration from historical events

Concerts, weddings, and festivals are some of the best places to make the most unforgettable memories. They are also the places where you’ll find some of the best event staging and production

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 the ones 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, making for a magical atmosphere, with the event lighting, event audio, and event visuals and staging making this performance one of the best Glastonbury has ever seen.

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.

For more information on how we could help you set up your dream event, please visit: https://www.ayre.events/contact-us/


  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 
  7. Youtube views taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaaT_HRb4GU 
  8. https://www.dailysabah.com/arts-culture/2018/05/15/capturing-hearts-and-tv-ratings-britains-glittering-royal-weddings 
  9. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-olympics-have-there-been 
  10. https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/david-bowie-glastonbury-2000-greensleeves-4271651 
  11. YouTube views taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZUr5cFqqxw