Midnight Oil Reunite for Bushfire Benefits
An article about Sound Relief, featuring Hunters and Collectors.
Author: Patrick Donovan, Canberra Times.
Date: 24 February 2009.
Original URL: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/midnight-oil-reunite-for-bushfire-benefits/1442518.aspx?storypage=0
Some of the most popular acts in Australia, including Wolfmother, Jet, Paul Kelly, Gabriella Cilmi, Kasey Chambers and internationals Kings of Leon and Jack Johnson will play the Sound Relief bushfire benefit at the MCG on March 14.
In a major coup for organisers, Labor MP Peter Garrett has agreed to reunite with iconic Australian rock group Midnight Oil.
Midnight Oil, Hunters & Collector and Split Enz will reform especially for the Melbourne event, while Coldplay (acoustic), Eskimo Joe, Hoodoo Gurus and Icehouse will play the Sydney version of the show held simultaneously at the SCG on the same day. Jet and the new look Wolfmother will play both cities.
Each band will play about 20 minutes of hits.
Organisers of what Premier John Brumby called “the biggest music event in Australian music history” expect more than 100,000 people attend the shows. With all involved donating their services, they hope to raise about $5 million for charity.
“Between the two cities, there’s a multi-million dollar bill there, but it’s costing us zero,” said Sydney co-organiser Mark Pope.
With two of the most popular international bands in the country, Kings Of Leon and Coldplay, both touring here at the same time, the chosen date was a no-brainer. Both bands will play in the mid afternoon before preparing for sold out shows that night.
The Bushrangers Victorian cricket team has agreed to move its home Sheffield Shield final from the MCG to St Kilda’s Junction Oval.
“Everyone in Australia wants to help in some way,” said Kasey Chambers.
“I can’t put out fires, I can’t rebuild houses, but I can use my position as a musician to help raise some money and hopefully inspire people to help find their thing that they can do.”
“It’s pretty easy for us as musicians to turn up for half an hour and play music,” said Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale. “These people are going to have to do a lot of work for years. So if we can raise as much money as possible to help them rebuild their lives, then that’s the least I can do.”
Mark Seymour said it took something as significant as this to reform Hunters & Collectors after 11 years.
“We felt our time had come and gone but the sheer magnitude of this tragedy really hit home to all of us … the tragedy simply came about because they happened to live in a certain postcode. What’s happened to them could have happened to any of us,” he said.
“I never expected to be playing with the band again, so this is a major event in my lifetime.”
Melbourne promoter Michael Gudinski said it had been “phenomenal” seeing the music industry pull together in this horrific time.
“The Sound Relief concerts are for the survivors of the bushfires,” he said. “The sad reality is that rebuilding their lives and communities will be a lengthy and costly process. Without doubt these concerts will be once in a lifetime events that will live on in the memories of everyone who attends.”
Mr Gudinski said “it took a few phone calls to the prime minister, to (Treasurer) Wayne Swan” to get Mr Garrett on board for Midnight Oil’s first show since 2005’s WaveAid tsunami benefit in Sydney.
“I have hardly sung a note since the Oils last played at WaveAid,” said Mr Garrett in a statement.
“But this event is so unique and important that it will be terrific to now catch up with my mates and put on a performance that gives all those people affected by the terrible events what they dearly need.”
Sydney promoter Michael Chugg said the shows would remember those who had lost as well as celebrate the heroes of this devastating story.
“Around the world, some of the words that are used to describe Australians include big hearted, generous, battlers and troopers,” he said.
“These concerts will honour 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.
With the help of the Australian music community, these concerts hope to bring people together, not just on the hallowed turf of the MCG and SCG, but around the country as we share the joy of live music.”
Tickets will be sold for $75 and go on sale from Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au on Wednesday March 4 at 9am. General Admission standing on the field and reserved seating in the stands will be available for both concerts.
All of the profits from the Melbourne concert and half of the profits from Sydney will be donated to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. The other half of the Sydney profits will be donated to The Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund Appeal in QLD to aid the victims of the Queensland floods.