Sydney’s bushfire appeal concert Fire Fight Australia brought numerous musicians together for the one cause last night and even received a special message from the royals.
Prince William shared a video message of support to our nation on behalf of him and his wife Kate Middleton, ahead of the Duke and Duchess’expected Bushfire Tour of Australia.
The was played on the screens for tens of thousands of people who packed Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Sunday night, as well as for those watching at home on the live television broadcast.
“Hello, everyone. Catherine and I just wanted to say that we were very shocked and saddened to see the damage and devastation caused by the bushfires recently,” Prince William said in the video.
— Channel 7 (@Channel7) February 16, 2020
“We know it’s been a terrible time for all of those affected by the bushfires.”
He commended the bravery of all of those who helped fight the fires and all Australians who have supported one another during this tough time.
“We want to commend the bravery and resilience of all Australians involved, particularly the volunteer firefighters who have put their lives on the line to protect lives, livelihoods and wildlife. We think that’s been a fantastic effort all ‘round by everyone down there looking after each other.
“We know there’s been lots of incredible acts of generosity as well and communities coming together to support each other.
“We wish you all the best for the rebuild and have a good evening.”
Tens of thousands of people poured into Sydney’s ANZ stadium for a star-studded relief concert, in a massive show of support for those affected by the summer’s bushfire crisis.
More than 70,000 people were expected at the Fire Fight Australia concert on Sunday, which according to organisers sold out within 24 hours of tickets going on sale.
Hosted by comedian Celeste Barber, who has raised more than $50 million for bushfire relief, all ticket profits will go to groups which are helping fire-ravaged communities get back on their feet.
Donations had topped $9 million as of 11pm on Sunday.
Barber became emotional when she thanked the volunteer firefighters who sacrificed their time to battle devastating blazes, saying “you will never know how grateful we are”.
“Our volunteers across this entire country, they are the ones who saved us,” Barber told the crowd.
“They are the ones who cancel holidays to stay here and look after us, and I will speak now very confidently on behalf of a nation when I say to those volunteers: Thank you.”
Barber also fired a shot at government handling of the bushfire crisis.
“As Aussies, we band together because we have to look after each other — because it turns out people at the top don’t,” she said to cheers from the crowd.
Rock behemoths Queen + Adam Lambert reprised the band’s iconic 1985 Live Aid set for the roaring crowd, with Alice Cooper, Irish favourite Ronan Keating and singer-songwriter k.d. lang also performing.
Lambert said their involvement was a “no-brainer” while Keating, whose brother-in-law is a volunteer firefighter in Queensland, flew into the country especially for the concert.
“I wanted people in Australia to know that we heard you, and that you weren’t alone,” Keating told the Seven Network.
“That was really important to me, that I could be here and perform or do whatever just to stand in solidarity.”
Andrea Gartside decided to attend the nine-hour concert with her friend Maureen Mackie to support the firefighters after the unprecedented fire season.
“We’re doing our part in helping,” she told AAP at ANZ stadium.
“It’s going to be awesome … it’s great that it’s bringing everyone together for a good cause.”
Queen fan Cheryl Hind was excited to see the band perform again.
“It’s part of why I’m here today and to thank the firies for everything they’ve done,” she told AAP.
“It’s just amazing.”
Lisa Yasso travelled from central Queensland to see the legendary rock band perform again.
“It’s an awesome cause,” she said.
Popular Australian acts spanning generations were also on the line-up, including 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Daryl Braithwaite, Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, John Farnham, Lee Kernaghan, Olivia Newton-John.
Fire Fight’s profits will be shared between the Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery fund, rural and regional fire services and the RSPCA’s bushfire appeal.
Donations to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal will also be accepted during the concert, to fund grants for community-led projects needing support in the bushfires’ aftermath.