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The realities of putting on Sound Relief

April 25, 2009


Michael Gudinski’s baby of 2009 – Sound Relief – has all come and gone, but it was with interest that I saw the amounts the concerts raised for the disaster relief funds, which were announced last week. For those who missed it, the two concerts raised around $8 million for both the Victorian Red Cross Bushfire appeal and The Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal, which in itself is a great thing.

One thing I did find interesting however was the fact that the concert decided to put up their Profit & Loss Statements on their site (the 2 pdf files underneath the statement). This was a bit brazen on behalf of Gudinski and co, but in a way would be expected as The Age had questioned on the day of the concerts, that the value estimated of money at the time ($5 million) being raised didn’t match up to the maths of the amount of tickets being sold at the price of $70.

Taking a closer look at the figures, it’s been detailed that there was a huge cost of around $58,000 to move a cricket game of all things (granted it was the Sheffield Shield final, and I suppose they were trying to compensate the cricket authorities for revenue loss). Another considerable cost was the nearly $78,000 to restore the MCG after the inclement weather caused a bit of scuffing on the grass, and don’t forget the amount rubbish needed to be cleaned up (I actually brought this issue up in my first post for njv). These costs are to be expected I suppose. One thing I don’t understand was the cost of about $10,000 for domestic flights, about $15,000 spent for accommodation, as well as the $171,000 for production costs like staging and lighting. Did it really need to cost this much to produce a flashy light show? Did it even need a flashy light show?

And you’d think people working at this event should have volunteered their time. Why then was their security costs and stage labour costs? Couldn’t the organisers pushed for donated time from staff considering the nature of the event? I’m probably being a bit naive here and just throwing questions abound without looking at the big picture about Sound Relief. I’d love for someone to make sense of this though and answer those questions though. The guys from The Age seem to be on the ball too. (GST? Boo!)

All these costs just seem to sour an event that was supposed to do good for a community ravished by some really horrible disasters. In the end $8 million is still a lot of money and I’m sure there will be benefits for those affected. An auction today added another $40,000 to the donation bucket, and plans I hear of a DVD of the event also could recoup those costs as well and add more to the donation basket, which is an awesomely good thing. Let’s hope those delays to get clearance from artists to be included on the DVD get sorted quickly.

Sound Relief website

One Comment leave one →
  1. Alexandra permalink
    April 25, 2009 11:01 am

    This is going to be milked for all it’s worth.
    It’s not about raising donations anymore, it’s about making money.

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