On Sunday, 75,000 people packed into Sydney’s ANZ Stadium for Fire Fight Australia, a 10-hour concert intended to raise funds for the recent devastating and record-breaking summer bushfires.
The concert, which saw more than 1 million viewers tune in across the country, featured 23 of Australia’s and the world’s best artists, including Queen + Adam Lambert, John Farnham, Olivia Newton John, Icehouse, Hilltop Hoods, 5 Seconds of Summer, Alice Cooper, Ronan Keating, Delta Goodram, Peking Duk, Michael Buble, and k.d. Lang.
Here are five of the best and most heartwarming moments from the day.
Over $9.5 million AUD was raised for bushfire victims.
Fire Fight Australia concert: 10-hour bushfire benefit raises millions – video https://t.co/Nl4tN6l76A— The Guardian (@guardian) February 17, 2020
An astonishing $9.5 million has already been raised thanks to the concert — with more expected in the coming weeks as the broadcast is played around the world. The concert profits will work to assist the recovery of affected communities through key organisations like the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery and RSPCA Bushfire Appeal.
Geoff Jones, the chief executive of TEG, the company responsible for the concert’s broadcast, said he was “so proud” of what had been achieved.
"Thank you too to the fans, whose generosity in buying tickets, merchandise, food and drink and donating through firefightaustralia.com has helped Fire Fight Australia raise $9.5 million so far to support Australia’s short, medium and long-term recovery from the bushfires,” Jones said, according to the Music Network. “Fans and everybody involved can rest assured that we will provide a full breakdown of the final amounts raised as soon as possible — because international broadcasts will run until mid-May, and we intend to keep accepting donations until then.”
Indigenous artist Mitch Tambo performed John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” in his native language.
John Farnham took his hit ‘You’re the Voice’ to a whole new level of spectacular last night. Mitch Tambo, Brian May and Olivia Newton-John joined him. When volunteer firefighters joined the stage the whole country felt the same goosebumps.— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) February 16, 2020
📷: Cole Bennetts/Joel Carrett pic.twitter.com/NYAOQYD1Sx
In one of the most tear-jerking moments of the night, Gamilaraay and Birri Gubba man Mitch Tambo joined John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John and Queen guitarist Brian May to perform the classic Australian hit “You’re the Voice.”
Against the backdrop of a didgeridoo, Tambo sang the second half of the song in the Indigenous language of Gamilaraay, while performing a traditional dance. As the song came to an end, 10 volunteer firefighters joined the musicians on stage.
"The vibe and atmosphere was none like we've ever experienced before, just to come together and love and support one another in one of our darkest moments in modern history," Tambo said, according to the Brisbane Times. "To even be on the stage with these names is mind-boggling and something I'll be digesting for the next couple of weeks."
75,000 people stood together in complete silence to honour the heroes who lost their lives.
In a moment of true unity, tens of thousands of people fell completely quiet as actor Russell Crowe introduced a minute of silence as the names of the bushfire victims were projected on the event screen. Between Oct.1 and Jan. 31, 33 people — including 11 firefighters — died from the intense bushfires that raged across Australia’s south and east coasts.
After the moment of silence, Canadian musician k.d. Lang sang an emotional rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
There was a standing ovation for the 1,000 volunteers in attendance.
Just when you thought the concert couldn't be any more moving, the crowd rose to their feet to give a standing ovation to the 1,000 Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers, firefighters and emergency service workers in attendance.
The volunteers and their families were all decked out in special red T-shirts and attended the event for free, thanks to television subscription provider Fetch TV, which purchased all 1,000 tickets.
"Fetch TV is proud to support the Fire Fight Australia concert and delighted to recognise the amazing efforts of our RFS heroes,” Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson said, according to news publication Mumbrella. “The funds raised will help support impacted communities on the long road ahead. We hope that the RFS team and their families are able to relax and enjoy a great show.”
Australian Icon Delta Goodrem Sang “I Am Australian.”
Australia’s sweetheart and host of The Voice Australia, Delta Goodrem, performed a moving cover of the honourary Australian national anthem ”I Am Australian,” draped in an Australian flag, with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag proudly projected behind her.
The singer also sang a new song, “Let It Rain,” which was recorded to raise funds for bushfire victims.
"If there was a roof on that stadium, my heart would have blown it right off! Beaming with Australian pride,” Goodrem said on Twitter. “The magic of when people unite. We are one.”
Do you want to help victims of the bushfire crisis? Learn more about how you can take action here.