Sound Relief Results Revealed

The twin Sound Relief concerts last month raised more than $8 million Australian ($5.75 million) for communities devastated by bushfires and flooding, according to audited financial results.

The historic March 14 stadium concerts, held simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne, broke box office records on the day and significantly swelled the coffers of the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal and the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.

Most of the money was collected at the imposing Melbourne Cricket Ground concert, which featured Midnight Oil, Kings of Leon and Crowded House on the bill. Organized by Michael Gudinski and his team at Frontier Touring, the MCG drew a record 80,587 guests through its turnstiles and generated total income of slightly more than $7.19 million Australian ($5.16 million).

The Melbourne show cost slightly more than $913,000 Australian ($655,000) to stage. After expenses, a net profit of more than $6.28 million ($4.51 million) was reported, all of which was donated to communities devastated by the Victorian bushfires. Expenses include "transition" costs of slightly more than $58,000 Australian ($41,000) related to the Sheffield Shield cricket final,
which was relocated from the MCG across town to the Junction Oval.

The Sydney Cricket Ground leg, which hosted performances by the likes of Coldplay, Taylor Swift, the Presets and Barry Gibb, declared an attendance of 36,844 and generated more than $2.6 million Australian ($1.8 million) in total income. The Sydney concert cost just over $860,000 Australian ($617,000) to stage. After expenses, a net profit of more than $1.74 million Australian ($1.24 million) was realized, the sum split evenly between the bushfire and flood appeals.

Detailed profit and loss reports prepared by accounting firms BSA Partnership and mOneypenny were today (April 16) posted on the official Web site of the event,

Organizers today said the shows would have cost roughly $5 million Australian ($3.5 million) each had they been staged as commercial concerts, but all artists performed and a legion of volunteers worked without remuneration. Tickets cost just $75 Australian ($53), roughly half the price of the most popular one-day summer festivals such as the Big Day Out.

Speaking today at a function at the MCG, Gudinski said he was "disappointed" by the government's decision to apply Goods and Services tax (GST) to the fundraising concerts.

Joe Segreto, co-director of Sydney-based IMC agency and key organizer of the Sydney concert, was thrilled with the outcome. "Where it became incredibly stressful, we had to pull out miracles in such a short period of time. And boy this time we pulled off miracles."