INXS, Crowded House Play To 100,000 For AIDS And Heart Research
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ More than 100,000 people turned out today to dance to INXS, Crowded House and other bands at a ″Concert for Life,″ a benefit for AIDS and heart research.
Organizers called the six-hour music marathon the biggest community event ever staged in Australia.
″It’s great to see so many people caring about what’s happening in our modern world,″ singer Jenny Morris told the crowd. ″We have to fight this.″
No specific figures were given today, but publicist Wendy Sherman had said organizers hoped to raise about $1.14 million from ticket sales and raffles. Much of the services and goods for the concert were donated.
The ″Concert for Life,″ brainchild of INXS manager Gary Grant and financial consultant Tim Koster, was managed by British-based Lee Charteris.
Charteris also is overseeing the April 21 tribute at London’s Wembley Stadium for Freddie Mercury, the singer of Queen who recently died of AIDS. The concert is to feature Elton John, Madonna and George Michael.
The concert in Sydney’s Centennial Park was broadcast live across Australia on 109 radio stations.
More than 250 people were treated for heat exhaustion and another 430 for other minor ailments, but only three arrests were reported. Temperatures were in the upper 70s and humidity was around 75 percent.
About 30 security personnel standing in front of the stage showered revelers up to 50 deep with buckets of iced water.
More than 250 plainclothes and uniformed police and nearly 100 paramedics and ambulance officers patrolled the park during the concert.
Part of the proceeds will go to research started by the late Dr. Victor Chang, who was gunned down in suburban Sydney last July.
Chang, who came to Australia from China at age 14, was shot twice in the head after arguing with two men in a Sydney suburb. Police have not disclosed any motive for the killing, but media speculation has focused on Chang’s million-dollar real estate deals and the possibility he may have resisted an extortion attempt or refused to become involved in a scheme to sell body organs for transplant.
Chang, 54, performed Australia’s first successful heart transplant seven years ago and the first heart-lung transplant two years ago. He was considered the nation’s top heart surgeon.