Queen, k.d lang, Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John lead first line-up for Fire Fight Australia concert
Celeste Barber has put her hand up to host the mammoth bushfire relief concert in Sydney next month alongside dozens of big name artists.
The first line-up announced on Monday confirms performances by Amy Shark, Baker Boy,
Conrad Sewell, Daryl Braithwaite, Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, Guy Sebastian, Hilltop Hoods, Icehouse, Illy, Jessica Mauboy, John Farnham, Lee Kernaghan, Olivia Newton-John, Peking Duk, Pete Murray, Tina Arena and William Barton.
The concert at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium will be hosted by comedian Celeste Barber whose Facebook fundraiser for bushfire relief topped $50 million last weekend.
Canadian chart-topper k.d lang will perform her signature version of the legendary Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah at the massive concert which organisers hope will sell 70,000 tickets.
Goodrem will premiere Let It Rain, the emotive piano ballad song she wrote in despair as the bushfire emergency tore through communities in NSW and Victoria on New Year’s Eve.
It went straight to No. 1 on the iTunes charts when she released it last week, with the Born To Try singer donating her net profits to the relief effort.
“Music is incredibly powerful and healing,” Goodrem said. “Especially when we all come together in the one venue. Everyone has the same intention, everyone will be there for the same reason.”
Goodrem hasn’t ruled out a possible duet with her hero Olivia Newton-John; the firm friends speak regularly.
“It’s early days, but it would be wonderful to collaborate,” Goodrem said. “I’m just happy to see her back on stage.”
Newton-John in fact performed a duet set with Bee Gees star Barry Gibb at the Sound Relief concert in 2009 to benefit victims of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria and Queensland floods.
Fire Fight Australia organisers including promoter Paul Dainty and TEG Live chief Geoff Jones first approached the NSW Government about staging a concert for bushfire victims in November but were asked to wait because of the projections the crisis would escalate over summer.
With Queen performing at the stadium on February 15, it offered organisers the perfect opportunity to save at least a million dollars in production costs, with the mammoth stage for the British rock legends’ concert already there.
Dainty has been in the US for the past couple of weeks approaching artists to lend their talents to help Australia recover from the unprecedented bushfires.
More big names will be in announced in the coming weeks.
“Doing a concert for bushfire victims came up in November and as it got worse and worse, we knew we just had to get off our backsides and do it,” he said.
“With Queen playing at the stadium on the Saturday night, it was the perfect opportunity for us because the stage and production is all there and we can then donate more to charity because of less costs.”
Tickets will be available for $100, $85 and $70, with souvenir T-shirts and other merchandise also helping to raise funds.
The concert is scheduled to run like a festival from 1pm to 10pm.
Most artists will do a couple of songs but the headliners including Queen will play a mini-set.
“The line-up is all about being inclusive so everyone who wants to be involved can be there,” Jones said.
“And there will be some really special moments when all these artists get together; you can expect a lot of iconic songs and the odd collaboration here and there.”
He said they are also exploring options to broadcast the concert in Australia and live stream the event to the world to ramp up the fundraising potential as Barber has done via Facebook.
Fire Fight Australia tickets go on sale on Monday from noon via ticketek.com.au which is the only authorised outlet for benefit concert.
Foxtel has also announced that proceeds from special advertising packages for its broadcast of
bushfire charity events held by Cricket Australia, the AFL and NRL would be donated to
assist people and communities affected by bushfires across Australia.
The broadcaster hopes to raise an additional $500,00 from the packages to air during the Cricket Australia charity match, the AFL State of Origin match on February 28 and the opening match of the 2020 NRL season between Eels and Bulldogs on March 12.
Buy your tickets from midday on Monday, 13 January here.