Sound Relief

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Sound Relief
Created byMichael Gudinski
Michael Chugg
Amanda Pelman
Joe Segreto
Tom Lang
Mark Pope
Presented byMelbourne
Molly Meldrum
Michael Gudinski
John Brumby
Tony Hawk
Dave Hughes
Ed Kavalee
Hamish & Andy
Red Symons
Tim Ross
Kate Ritchie
Gabriella Cilmi
Kings of Leon
Paul Kelly
Augie March
Bliss N Eso
Paris Wells
Kasey Chambers
Shane Nicholson
Troy Cassar-Daley
Liam Finn
Crowded House
Jack Johnson
Kylie Minogue
Hunters & Collectors
Split Enz
Midnight Oil
Hoodoo Gurus
Little Birdy
Architecture in Helsinki
You Am I
Josh Pyke
Marcia Hines
Taylor Swift
Eskimo Joe
Kylie Minogue
The Presets
Barry Gibb
Olivia Newton-John
Country of originAustralia
Production locationsMelbourne Cricket Ground
Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia
Camera setupMulti camera
Running time12:10 until 22:30 (Melbourne)[1]
12:15 until 22:30 (Sydney)[2]
Original release
NetworkMax (Sydney)
Channel V Australia
Release14 March 2009 (2009-03-14)

Sound Relief was a multi-venue rock music concert held on 14 March 2009, which was announced by the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby on 24 February 2009.[3][4] The event was organised by Michael Gudinski, Michael Chugg, Amanda Pelman, Joe Segreto & Tom Lang of IMC/Homebake Festival and Mark Pope to raise funds for those affected by the February 2009 Victorian bushfires.[3][4]

The event was held simultaneously at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground.[3] All the proceeds from the Melbourne Concert and half of the proceeds of the Sydney Concert went to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.[3][4] The other half of the Sydney proceeds went to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal to help flood victims.[3][4]

A special presentation was held midway through the concerts, with a satellite link between the two venues. At this time, Kylie Minogue, at the Melbourne event, performed "I Still Call Australia Home" and Australian actress Toni Collette introducing Princes William and Harry who sent their support via satellite. The Princes' speech at Sound Relief was their first ever to the nation and as such, made Australian Constitutional history. Jet and Wolfmother flew interstate to play at both concerts.

Hunters & Collectors reunited for the first time in over 10 years for the concert. The finale of the show was Midnight Oil who had reformed to perform on the Melbourne stage at the MCG. Lead singer Peter Garrett, was then also Australia's Minister for Environment and the Arts.

Some members of Crowded House made a surprise appearance with Liam Finn to perform three of their hits. Kings of Leon chose not to perform their popular No. 1 hit, Sex on Fire, out of respect for the bushfire victims. Footage was released on DVD on 9 October. It contains partial 9-hour footage of the concert but every artist who performed at the event is represented. The DVD debuted at No. 2 in the Australian ARIA Top 40 DVDs, has been certified 5× Platinum.[5]

The Concerts[edit]

Melbourne Cricket Ground[edit]

The line-up for the Melbourne concert featured:[1][6]

A number of celebrities shared the MC duties between performances, including music industry icon Molly Meldrum, music producer and event co-organiser Michael Gudinski, Victorian premier John Brumby, skateboarder Tony Hawk and announcers from a range of radio stations, including Dave Hughes, Ed Kavalee, Hamish & Andy and Red Symons.

During Split Enz's performance of "I See Red", Red Symons walked across the stage, so vocalist Tim Finn literally did "see Red"

The MCG concert sold out quickly,[7] with over 80,000 tickets sold.[8] That makes the Melbourne event the largest paid concert event in Australian history.[9]

Sydney Cricket Ground[edit]

The line-up for the Sydney concert featured:[2]

Coldplay singer Chris Martin historically ran into the crowd towards the end of their song "Fix You" and did not make it back for the end of the song, but the crowd continued to sing anyway. Once he made it back to the stage he then repeated the end of the song, but was so exhausted that he let the crowd sing the final line. He was then unwell after the performance and spent the afternoon vomiting, still managing to play a second show that night.[10]

Eskimo Joe, Wolfmother and Jet all premiered new songs that had not been released yet. Eskimo Joe sung "Foreign Land" and "Inshalla", Wolfmother sang "Back Round" and Jet sang "She's A Genius".

Little Birdy sang "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" in Sydney and Split Enz would sing it at Melbourne later that night. While Jet and Wolfmother played most of their songs at both concerts, this was the only song to be played at both concerts by two separate artists.

Australian actress Toni Collette introduced Princes William and Harry who sent their support via satellite.

The Presets performed parts of their song during the middle of a lightning storm.

Media coverage[edit]

On television, the Sydney concert was broadcast on XYZnetworks-owned pay TV music channel Max, with the Melbourne concert was broadcast on sister channel Channel V.[11]

On radio, Triple J produced a feed syndicated to commercial radio networks for free, with acts from both concerts produced by the station's live music team. Aside from the station itself, the feed was aired on the Triple M, Nova and Vega networks.[12]


The DVD was released in 2009 and was certified 5× Platinum in Australia by December 2009.

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[13] 5× Platinum 75,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c "SOUND RELIEF :: MELBOURNE LINEUP". Sound Relief. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "SOUND RELIEF :: SYDNEY INFO". Sound Relief. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Brumby, John (24 February 2009). "Artists Unite for 'Sound Relief' Bushfire Benefit – Premier of Victoria, Australia". Premier of Victoria. Archived from the original on 16 July 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Mitchell, Geraldine (24 February 2009). "Coldplay, Kings of Leon to headline bushfire relief concerts". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Award for bushfire gigs". 28 July 2009. Archived from the original on 31 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Latest News". Sound Relief. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  7. ^ "The West Australian – Perth, WA, National & World News".
  8. ^ "Midnight Oil rebuff rumours of a gig with Kylie at Sound Relief". 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 15 March 2009.
  9. ^ Adams, Cameron (9 March 2009). "Kylie Minogue to MC Sound Relief". Australian Associated Press.
  10. ^ "Coldplay". Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  11. ^ Knox, David (10 March 2009). "Music channels sing for Sound Relief". TV Tonight. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  12. ^ "triple j to provide Sound Relief broadcast feed to commercials". 12 March 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 DVDs" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 17 December 2021.

External links[edit]