Australia’s Sound Relief 2020 bushfire benefit concerts have been scrapped.
On Jan. 8, several competing concert promoters retweeted a message from the Sound Relief social page, which initially launched back in 2009 to help raise awareness and money for thousands of Australians affected by bushfires and floods.
The 2020 dates, venues and lineups were never announced, and this week the shows were officially canceled. “It is with regret that the organizers of Sound Relief have decided not to proceed with concerts in March as originally planned,” reads a message.
It continues: “Since announcing our intention to undertake Sound Relief 2020 the offer of assistance from International and Domestic artists, industry, media and suppliers has been second to none. However Sound Relief is a series of concert events that we don’t wish to stage lightly and after careful consideration, we believe proceeding with the concerts in March won’t produce the impactful result that we believe these events can – and should – have.”
A cadre of leading concert promoters and industry professionals were building a series of large-scale concerts under the Sound Relief banner, similar to those from a decade earlier. The anticipated concerts were intended to be staged on the long weekend of March 7-9, Billboard has learned, with concerts legends Michael Gudinski and Michael Chugg joining forces on the weekend with arch-rival Live Nation.
It is with regret that the organisers of Sound Relief have decided not to proceed with concerts in March as originally planned. Read more about it on our Facebook page.https://t.co/hjlE65kJ1t pic.twitter.com/JaImbfez98
— Sound Relief Australia (@soundreliefau) January 29, 2020
An early draft of those plans had all-star concerts penciled-in for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“We appreciate that there has been a huge amount of anticipation and desire from the public to support these concerts,” reads the statement. “In the past few months, we have seen fires, heartbreaking loss of life, ongoing drought, extreme storms, record temperatures, flooding and the devastation of our wildlife. It is clear that there is no overnight fix for the issues our beautiful country is currently facing, and our discussions for any future event are subsequently shifting to restoration, recovery and prevention and a view to maximizing results to best benefit these areas.”
The original, twin Sound Relief concerts were staged at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground in February 2009, with Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Gibb, Midnight Oil and many others on the bill.