A-Z of Aussie musicians unite for bushfires benefit

Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:46pm EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Some of the biggest names in Australian music, both past and present, take to the stage Saturday for Australia's largest ever fund-raising concert and show support for victims of the nation's deadly bushfires.

About 120,000 people will attend concerts held simultaneously in Melbourne and Sydney that were organized after 210 people died and 10,000 were left homeless by last month's Victorian bushfires -- Australia's worst natural disaster in more than a century.

Three defunct bands are reuniting for the concerts billed jointly under the banner Sound Relief. Australian pop star Kylie Minogue is flying in to act as master of ceremonies.

Expatriate Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees will also fly back to Australia to perform and Olivia Newton-John is also expected to appear at the Sydney concert that will be opened by U.S. band Coldplay, which is currently on tour in Australia.

"With the help of the Australian Music Community, these concerts hope to bring people together," Michael Chugg, head of one organizer Chugg Entertainment, said in a statement.

"We will remember those who have lost so much, and celebrate the heroes of this devastating story."

A minute's silence will be held during the evening.

Ticket agency Ticketek said the event at Melbourne Cricket Ground was sold out with 79,000 people paying $75 a ticket, making it Australia's biggest paid concert by topping the previous record crowd of nearly 75,000 for Guns n' Roses in 1993.

A crowd of 40,000 will attend Sydney Cricket Ground.   Continued...