Paul McCartney jamming with Nirvana members and and Eddie
Vedder duetting with Roger Waters on a Pink Floyd song are
just two of the acts in store at a benefit concert today for
victims of Superstorm Sandy, producers say.
The "12-12-12" concert at New York's Madison Square Garden
features a who's who of rock and pop, including The Rolling
Stones, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Billy Joel, Bruce
Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Kanye West and Bon Jovi.
Producer John Sykes said the fundraiser would feature "the
greatest lineup of legends ever assembled on a stage."
He said Waters, McCartney and Chris Martin of Coldplay "are
reaching out to other legends to join them on stage and
create once-in-a-lifetime moments."
McCartney is due to team up with former Nirvana drummer Dave
Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic, which will reportedly be
the first time Grohl and Novoselic have played together in
almost 20 years following the death of Kurt Cobain
Sykes said $32 million has already been raised from ticket
sales and sponsorships. With the concert's potential to reach
2 billion people through broadcast and digital platforms,
organizers are hoping to raise tens of millions more.
To help with the fundraising, celebrities such as Leonardo
DiCaprio, Kristen Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chelsea Clinton
and Billy Crystal will take part in a telethon during the
concert, which starts at 7.30pm EST (1.30pm NZT) and is
expected to last between four and five hours.
The "12-12-12" concert will be broadcast live on television,
radio, movie theaters, on Facebook and iHeartRadio and
streamed on digital billboards in New York's Times Square,
London and Paris.
More than 130 people were killed when Sandy pummelled the
east coast of the United States in October. Thousands more
were left homeless as the storm tore through areas of New
York, New Jersey and Connecticut, causing billions of dollars
Sykes said that personal stories of neighbourhoods and people
severely affected by Sandy will be showcased during the
concert. Sykes was involved with "The Concert for New York
City" after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which raised more
than $30 million for charity.
He said technological advances over the past decade have
exponentially changed the reach of fundraising.
"We have both traditional and new media behind us in a way
that we've never had before, and that is really going to be
the 'x-factor' on how much money we can raise for the
victims," Sykes said.
Donations raised from the one-night concert produced by Clear
Channel Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, will go to
the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which will provide money and
materials to groups helping people hardest hit by the storm.