Sound Relief‘s Sydney and Melbourne concerts on Saturday raised $5 million.
Organisers said it was the biggest paying audience at any Australian concert or charity event.
As a television event, screening from midday to around 10:30pm on both Channel [V] and MAX it was a knockout. XYZ Networks executed a terrific marathon of dynamic music entertainment. Watching a drenched audience rock to The Presets, or seeing Marcia Hines hovering in the wings with a Qantas choir waiting for the rain to pass were moments only live telly can capture.
Sure the commentary by some of the young presenters filling in between stage changes was like telethon filler (after all do we really care what Gabriella Cilmi thinks about global warming?), but it was all part of the charm of a mammoth broadcast.
By nightfall it was a treat choosing in between Split Enz reunited in Melbourne or Icehouse in Sydney at the same time. That was followed by Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil closing Melbourne or Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John closing Sydney. If you missed one, it was happily replayed on the other channel in between acts.
A bit more money could also be made if a Free to Air broadcaster picked up the rights to a highlights edition. The performances are certainly worth of it so the rest of the country can see it. Ditto for a DVD.
The day will go down as our own Live Aid.
Congrats to all involved, including director Peter Ots in Melbourne and especially the crowds for enduring the weather!