Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Jack Johnson and a reunited Midnight Oil lead the star-studded line-up for Australia's March 14 bushfire and flood benefit concerts, to be held simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne under the Sound Relief tag-line.

As tipped last week on Billboard.biz (Feb. 20), the Sydney Cricket Ground and its giant counterpart the Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the concerts, which have been swiftly organized by legendary Australian promoters Michael Gudinski and Michael Chugg.

"It's really come together in the last few days," Gudinski, managing director of the Frontier Touring Company, tells Billboard.biz. "I'm absolutely proud of my peers and proud of the camaraderie. We've seen [charity spectaculars] before internationally, and we've seen them up in Sydney. But to be able to pull off two such gigantic events in one day at two iconic venues and to be able to cross from one to another, this will be one of the most special shows ever seen."

An extraordinary roll call of '80s hit makers will put aside their respective differences to perform on the day. Peter Garrett, now Australia's minister for the environment, heritage and the arts, will join his Midnight Oil bandmates on the Melbourne stage alongside a reunited Split Enz and Hunters and Collectors. Others confirmed for the MCG leg include Kings of Leon, Wolfmother, Johnson and Gabriella Cilmi.

Coldplay will deliver an acoustic performance at the SCG on a bill that includes the Presets and a reformed Icehouse. Rockers Jet and Wolfmother will play at both locations.

The greater meaning of the concerts is lost on no one involved, explains Chugg, managing director of Chugg Entertainment. "Around the world, some of the words that are used to describe Australians include 'big hearted', 'generous,' 'battlers' and 'troopers,'" he says. "These concerts will honor all of those characteristics of the Australian people, both those who have suffered so much through this terrible tragedy, but also saluting the heroes who fought against the fires, and the courageous people whose fight is just beginning."

Tickets will cost $75 Australian ($48.50) and will go on sale from next Wednesday (March 4) morning.

All the profits from the Melbourne show will be donated to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal, while money raised from the Sydney concert will be split 50-50 to benefit the bushfire appeal and the Premier's Disaster Relief Fund Appeal in Queensland, in support of victims of the Queensland floods.

Details of the fundraisings were unveiled this morning at a media gathering at the MCG. Victorian Premier John Brumby was on hand, as were Jet frontman Nic Cester, Split Enz founding member Tim Fin, alt-country star Kasey Chambers, Hunters and Collectors singer Mark Seymour and Wolfmother's mainstay Andrew Stockdale.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print