“It is no secret that, alongside many Aussie and Kiwis, the music industry has been hard hit by COVID-19,” reads a statement on the special, issued Thursday (April 23). “For this very reason Music From The Home Front has chosen not to run this event as a fundraiser when many in the community are counting every dollar they have.”
For the first time since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, local Anzac Day services won’t take place this year, due to the Morrison government's strict social distancing measures.
So, Michael Gudinski hatched a plan. The Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring chief made the calls and hastily assembled some of finest talent in these parts, with some help from legendary Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes, who will perform on the night.
“Our countries are so far away,” Gudinski tells Billboard, “and our musicians are always there (to help). Australia has just been through fire and floods. This is the third knockout.”
Music From The Home Front will kick off this Saturday from 7.30pm AEST in Australia on free-to-air Nine (and 9Now) and at 9.30pm NZST in New Zealand on Three (and ThreeNow).
Australia’s federal and state leaders have been supportive of the concert, Gudinski explains, and RSL Australia, a national network for those who have served or are serving in the Defence Force, has given its blessing.
“In times when the same spirit that underpinned the Anzac tradition is combating the COVID-19 menace, the RSL is proud to be associated with this fabulous initiative,” a statement reads.
With a little more than two days to go, Gudinski is focusing his attention on “quality and the artists,” and a bunch of additional artists will be announced ahead of the broadcast.
“We’ve got iconic songs with some different versions. Some huge stars, obviously, and some surprises on the night,” he enthuses. “It’s going to be warm. It’ll send a strong message, it’ll honor the Anzacs and the frontline workers who are risking their lives every day. This is about hope.”
Details on the concert’s streaming partner will be announced shortly.
For more details visit musicfromthehomefront.com.au. Profits from sales of merch will go to Support Act (Australia) or MusicHelpsLive (New Zealand).
See the complete lineup below
Amy & George Sheppard Andrew Farriss (INXS)
Birds of Tokyo with West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Bliss N Eso
John Schumann & the Vagabond Crew
Kevin Parker (Tame Impala)
Tones And I
Vika & Linda Bull