‘Hay Mate’ concert raises $4.35m as 343k overnight metros tune in
Nine Network’s broadcast of the John Farnham-headlined Hay Mate – a bush Christmas appeal for our Aussie farmers concert last night (December 15) – drew 343,000 overnight metros.
Art the end of the broadcast, it was revealed that $4.350 million had been raised for Rural Aid’s disaster relief program.
It will go to purchasing hay and providing water and financial assistance for fire and drought-affected farmers.
The show was organised primarily by Glenn Wheatley’s Talentworks, which last year raised over $2 million for a similar show in Tamworth.
Farnham’s set, reflecting his wide demographic following, is said to have sparked off at least $1 million worth of viewer donations.
The four voices – Farnham, Jon Stevens, Vanessa Amorosi and Daryl Braithwaite – put in the sort of road-tough anthemic hit-laden performances that had the huge crowd at the Mornington Racecourse in Victoria singing and dancing along.
Amorosi was a stand-out, at one point leaping into the crowd to sing ‘Absolutely Everybody’, which startled security.
She accentuated her plea for those doing it tough to “talk things over, don’t be isolated” with a version of Slim Dusty’s Pat Duncan-written ‘Love to Have a Beer with Duncan’ and admitting Duncan was the only artist from she asked for an autograph.
Also on the bill were The Black Sorrows With Vika & Linda, John Williamson, All My Exes Live In Texas, Tim Wheatley and Little Georgia.
Many of the song lyrics echoed the sentiment of the show – Stevens’ “reach out and touch someone”, “Wait for rain to come down, wait for rain all year round” from Farnham’s ‘Talk Of The Town’, “Love is in you, love is on their side” from the Sorrows’ ‘Harley And Rose’, and “everybody needs a human touch” from Amorosi’s ‘Absolutely Everybody’.
Throughout Nine’s production (the concert was also broadcast on 37 Triple M stations), there were cutaways to stories about the problems farmers were facing, and ways to help the stricken farming community.
These included initiatives as Buy From The Bush and suggestions that Aussies take their holidays in rural areas rather than go overseas.
Rural Aid revealed it was sending off 2,000 credit cards worth $500 each to families for groceries.
1,500 of the rural community had signed up for assistance from Rural Aid in November alone.
Corporations pitched in with pledges of up to $1.2 million each, 300 of Commonwealth Bank staffers gave up their Sundays to man the call centres, and some donors gave up entire week’s wages.
Much of the donations actually came from the bush, with farmers saying “Yeah we’re doing it tough, but others are doing it tougher.”
Donations are still being collected today at haymate.org.au.