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News February 15, 2021

‘Artists Unite for Fire Fight’ fundraising climbs, distributed to recovery efforts

Senior Journalist, B2B
‘Artists Unite for Fire Fight’ fundraising climbs, distributed to recovery efforts

One year on from the historic Fire Fight Australia concert, the donations continue to tick over.

In a statement issued Monday, Sony Foundation Australia announced that $770,000 had been donated to help young people in five bushfire affected communities following the harrowing 2019/2020 fires.

As part of its fundraising initiative, a major grant of $450,000 has been donated to BackTrack Youth Works, who’re partnering with Sony Foundation Australia to build purpose-built youth sanctuaries in Tenterfield and Macksville, NSW, and deliver a youth resilience programme.

Also, $200,000 was donated to the Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal for bushfire recovery projects in Mallacoota, Victoria, and Ulladulla, New South Wales.

A further $60,000 has been distributed to PCYC South Coast for the fit-out of a Wellbeing Youth Hub and $60,000 has flowed to Musicians Making A Difference for a bushfire resilience tour of their music therapy workshops.

Fire Fight

Of the total, $530,000 was generated by sales of Sony Music’s Artists Unite for Fire Fight: Concert for National Bushfire Relief, the companion album to the all-star concert held Feb. 16, 2020 at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

Featuring performances from Queen and Adam Lambert (performing their classic Live Aid set), 5 Seconds of Summer, Olivia Newton-John, John Farnham, Amy Shark, k.d. lang, Alice Cooper and others, Artists Unite was released as a three-disc set or download, and debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

“With a lack of social activities, employment opportunities and places to call their own, young people are often left behind in the recovery process,” comments Sophie Ryan, CEO of Sony Foundation Australia, in Monday’s statement.

“Sony Foundation has a track record of creating safe and supportive spaces for youth facing some of the toughest adversity. These are places where youth can go, make positive social networks and build resilience. It is the basics for what every young Australian should have so they can have the best start in life.”

The concert itself was a rating hit and some 75,000 music fans packed the stadium for the TEG Dainty and TEG Live produced all-star show.

Sony Foundation cheque with artists, Denis Handlin AO, Chairman and CEO Sony Music Entertainment ANZ and Sophie Ryan, CEO Sony Foundation Australia

When all the cash was counted, Fire Fight Australia raised more than $10 million for bushfire relief and it finished the year as one of the most-searched concerts on the Internet.

Comments Adam Hyde from Peking Duk, a performer on the day: “It is incredible to think that music has the power to inspire such generosity to fund youth hubs that will last long after the ash is gone.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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