NEW YORK (Reuters) - Paul McCartney jamming with Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder duetting with Roger Waters on a Pink Floyd song are just two of the acts in store at a benefit concert on Wednesday for victims of Superstorm Sandy, producers say.
The “12-12-12” concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden features a who’s who of rock and pop, including The Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Kanye West and Bon Jovi.
Producer John Sykes said the fundraiser would feature “the greatest lineup of legends ever assembled on a stage.”
He said Waters, McCartney and Chris Martin of Coldplay “are reaching out to other legends to join them on stage and create once-in-a-lifetime moments.”
Sykes said $32 million has already been raised from ticket sales and sponsorships. With the concert’s potential to reach 2 billion people through broadcast and digital platforms, organizers are hoping to raise tens of millions more.
To help with the fundraising, celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristen Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chelsea Clinton and Billy Crystal will take part in a telethon during the concert, which starts at 7.30 pm EST (0030 GMT) and is expected to last between four and five hours.
The “12-12-12” concert will be broadcast live on television, radio, movie theaters, on Facebook and iHeartRadio and streamed on digital billboards in New York’s Times Square, London and Paris.
More than 130 people were killed when Sandy pummeled the east coast of the United States in October. Thousands more were left homeless as the storm tore through areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, causing billions of dollars in damage.
Sykes said that personal stories of neighborhoods and people severely affected by Sandy will be showcased during the concert. Sykes was involved with “The Concert for New York City” after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which raised more than $30 million for charity.
He said technological advances over the past decade have exponentially changed the reach of fundraising.
“We have both traditional and new media behind us in a way that we’ve never had before, and that is really going to be the ‘x-factor’ on how much money we can raise for the victims,” Sykes said.
Donations raised from the one-night concert produced by Clear Channel Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which will provide money and materials to groups helping people hardest hit by the storm.
Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy, Editing by Jill Serjeant, Patricia Reaney and Grant McCool