The “7:50pm surprise” teased all day at Sound Relief was a video message sent from Prince William and Prince Harry who sent best wishes to the audience and performers.
It was their first ever address to Australia.
“Like so many people throughout the world, both of us have been devastated by the catastrophic bushfires in Victoria and the floods in Queensland. For those survivors who have lost someone they love we can only imagine what they must be going through,” said Prince William.
“We also must never forget the amazing and heroic efforts of the emergency services who have done so much to save so many lives.”
They sent their best wishes to the crowd and performers.
The princes were introduced by actress Toni Collette at the SCG in Sydney.
It was followed by one minute’s silence as the SCG and MCG stadiums fell silent.
It concluded with Kylie Minogue appearing before the crowd at the MCG who told her hometown crowd the minute’s silence, “said more than any of us could say.”
“I’m so thankful I could make it home tonight and share this moment with all of you.”
Kylie sang an acappella version of “Still Call Australia Home” with the crowd.
Both concerts, telecast by Channel [V] and MAX, were hit by rain, especially in Melbourne. Performers at the concerts included Crowded House members, Jet, Kasey Chambers, Hunters & Collectors, Wolfmother, Gabriella Cilmi, Kings of Leon, Eskimo Joe, You Am I and Coldplay with guest vocalist John Farnham.
As the concerts drew to a close the big name acts rivalled each other on two channels simultaneously. While 80s acts Split Enz performed in Melbourne, Icehouse sang in Sydney. Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil closed Melbourne as Sydney watched Barry Gibb and Oliva Newton John singing “Islands in the Stream,” “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” “You Should Be Dancing”, “Spicks and Specks” and “Guilty.”