Human Rights Now!
Tour by Amnesty International
Start date2 September 1988
End date15 October 1988
No. of shows20
Amnesty International benefit events chronology
A Conspiracy of Hope
Human Rights Now!

Bruce Springsteen tour chronology
Tunnel of Love Express Tour
Human Rights Now!
Bruce Springsteen 1992–1993 World Tour

Human Rights Now! was a worldwide tour of twenty benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International that took place over six weeks in 1988. Held not to raise funds but to increase awareness of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its 40th anniversary and the work of Amnesty International, the shows featured Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N'Dour, plus guest artists from each of the countries where concerts were held.

Human rights activists and former prisoners from around the world, led by Sonny Venkatrathnam from South Africa, participated in the tour. At each location, the artists and Amnesty leaders held a press conference to discuss human rights, and concert-goers were provided with copies of the Universal Declaration in their language and opportunities to sign the Declaration themselves and join the worldwide human rights movement. The tour featured big concerts at big stadiums such as Camp Nou (90,000 people), Népstadion (80,000), JFK Stadium (78,000), River Plate Stadium (75,000), and Harare (75,000). Only Paris and Toronto got arena shows. The Paris concert was originally going to be Held at a big racing Track that could accommodate 72,000 people, but the promoters changed their minds and it was moved indoors.

The tour was made possible in part by a grant from the . The twenty concerts were the second stage of what subsequently became known collectively as the Human Rights Concerts - a series of music events and tours staged by the US Section of Amnesty International between 1986-1998.


Opening stages of the 19 September show at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium.
Human Rights Now! Tour booklet.

The tour was originally conceived by the Executive Director of Amnesty International's U.S. section, Jack Healey after a suggestion from former Executive Director David Hawk, with some limited input from producer Martin Lewis, who had first recruited rock musicians to perform for Amnesty years before for the Secret Policeman's Ball series of benefits.[1][2] Healey developed the concept with famed rock promoter Bill Graham, who had worked with Healey on Amnesty's shorter, United States-only tour in 1986, titled A Conspiracy of Hope, and who acted as tour director. Healey served as executive producer, leading the team of three producers: Mary Daly, Jessica Neuwirth, and James Radner, father of George Radner. The media strategies for the tour, based on concepts originated by Healey and Lewis,[3] were developed by Healey and Daly and executed by tour media director Magdeleno Rose-Avila and Charles Fulwood, Communications Director for Amnesty International USA.[3]


Lighters came out for songs such as Peter Gabriel's "Biko" that amplified the themes of the tour.
List of tour dates, showing date, city, country, venue, guest artists
CityCountryVenueGuest artists
2 SeptemberLondonEnglandWembley StadiumN/A
4 SeptemberParisFrancePalais Omnisports de Paris-BercyMichel Jonasz
5 September
6 SeptemberBudapestHungaryNépstadionHobo Blues Band
János Bródy
8 SeptemberTurinItalyStadio ComunaleClaudio Baglioni
10 SeptemberBarcelonaSpainCamp NouEl Último de la Fila
North America
13 SeptemberSan JoséCosta RicaEstadio NacionalGuadalupe Urbina
15 SeptemberTorontoCanadaMaple Leaf Gardensk.d. lang
17 SeptemberMontrealOlympic Stadiumk.d. lang
Michel Rivard
Daniel Lavoie
19 SeptemberPhiladelphiaUnited StatesJohn F. Kennedy StadiumJoan Baez
21 SeptemberLos AngelesLos Angeles Memorial ColiseumJoan Baez
The Edge
23 SeptemberOaklandOakland–Alameda County ColiseumJoan Baez
Roy Orbison
27 SeptemberTokyoJapanTokyo DomeKodō
30 SeptemberNew DelhiIndiaJawaharlal Nehru StadiumL. Shankar
Zakir Hussain
3 OctoberAthensGreeceOlympic StadiumGeorge Dalaras
7 OctoberHarareZimbabweNational Sports StadiumOliver Mtukudzi
Cde Chinx
9 OctoberAbidjanIvory CoastStade Félix Houphouët-BoignyIsmaël Isaac
Johnny Clegg
South America
12 OctoberSão PauloBrazilParque AntárticaMilton Nascimento
Pat Metheny
14 OctoberMendozaArgentinaEstadio Malvinas ArgentinasLos Prisioneros
15 OctoberBuenos AiresEstadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio LibertiLeón Gieco
Charly García

Box office score data

List of box office score data with date, city, venue, attendance, gross[4]
17 SeptemberMontreal, CanadaOlympic Stadium58,679 / 60,199$1,807,956
19 SeptemberPhiladelphia, United StatesJohn F. Kennedy Stadium74,892 / 74,892$2,621,220
21 SeptemberLos Angeles, United StatesLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum56,547 / 64,000$1,973,790
23 SeptemberOakland, United StatesOakland–Alameda County Coliseum58,500 / 58,500$1,462,500
TOTAL248,618 / 257,591 (97%)$7,865,466


  1. ^ Gundersen, Edna, "Big show, big impact? Live Earth hopes so", 4 July 2007
  2. ^ "Benchmark benefits through the years", 4 July 2007
  3. ^ a b Henke, James, "Human Rights Now!: Official Book of the Amnesty International World Concert Tour", Bloomsbury Publishing, 1 December 1988 (ISBN 0747503184)
  4. ^ "Billboard Boxscore" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 41. 8 October 1988. p. 34. ISSN 0006-2510.