Sound Relief raises $5m for bushfire and flood victims

A spokeswoman for promoter Michael Gudinski on Sunday said the 80,000 who braved the torrential rain to attend the show at the Melbourne Cricket Ground made history as being the single-biggest paying audience ever at an Australian concert event.

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All the money raised at the MCG will go to helping those who survived the devastating February 7 bushfires while the money raised at the Sydney Cricket Ground concert will be split 50-50 between the bushfire victims and those hit by the floods in Queensland.

“The twin Sound Relief charity concerts managed to surpass all the hype and anticipation to deliver a day and evening overflowing with unforgettable moments,” the spokeswoman said.

One of the highlights of Saturday\’s event was a surprise appearance from London of princes William and Harry expressing their thoughts on the devastation caused by the Victorian bushfires.

A minute\’s silence was observed at both venues in memory of Victorian and Queensland communities devastated by the recent natural disasters.

And pop princess Kylie Minogue, who flew in for the gig, wowed the crowd with an a cappella rendition of Peter Allen\’s unofficial anthem I Still Call Australia Home.

In Sydney, the day started with British group Coldplay opening the show with a set that included a guest appearance from John Farnham performing his hit You\’re The Voice.

In Melbourne, local rockers Jet opened the day and before they flew to Sydney to play there along with Wolfmother, who also performed at both concerts.

Classic Aussie bands

Several classic Australian bands reformed especially for the occasion, including Icehouse, Hunters & Collectors, Split Enz and Midnight Oil complete with frontman federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

Mr Garrett said the decision for the Oils to reform and play at the concert in aid of Victoria\’s bushfire victims happened quickly.

The band was “delighted and thrilled” to participate and there had been no need to convince any of his parliamentary colleagues, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, that he should appear, he said.

“We didn\’t have to convince the prime minister or anyone else about us playing,” he later told reporters at a press conference.

“Naturally, I consulted with my colleagues because I\’ve got responsibilities … but I think everybody recognises that it was just a really extraordinary situation and occasion that had come about.”

While the Oils\’ US Forces number didn\’t get an airing, Blue Sky Mine was dedicated to those affected by fires.

And the band didn\’t shy away from Beds Are Burning, which garnered the greatest response as crowds waved their mobile phones across the hallowed turf.