Pictures are still coming in from last week's Coldplay's set at the Sound Relief bushfire benefit concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Read the full story to see the pictures.
Meanwhile, the Australian Government is refusing to give up almost $900,000 in taxes from the Sound Relief concerts - despite one of its ministers performing for free. Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett was one of the star acts when he and his Midnight Oil colleagues reformed to raise money for bushfire and flood victims. But their generous lead has not been followed by his Labor Government, which will pocket about $900,000 in GST from the proceeds.
Of the gross takings from ticket sales, expected to be about $9 million when final figures are released in a few weeks, about $900,000 will be scooped off by the Government, despite top international acts Coldplay and Kings of Leon and Australian legends giving their services free.
Promoter Michael Gudinski, who organised the MCG leg of the spectacle, revealed 10 per cent of each $75 ticket went to the Government. The Sydney and Melbourne concerts, attended by about 120,000 people, will raise about $5 million for victims of the Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods.
A spokesman for Treasurer Wayne Swan said the Government would keep the tax money, but was helping the bushfire relief effort in other ways. "The Government's contribution is being made in other ways, including a $2 million direct donation to the Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund, in addition to uncapped commitment to fully rebuild Victorian communities devastated by the bushfires," the spokesman said.
The tax take was revealed as Mr Gudinski responded angrily to questions about the costs of mounting the two-state concert. The music industry figurehead said it was too early to provide a breakdown of the expenses for the event, which included staging, production equipment and trucking costs, but he believed they were minimal.
"I am a bit miffed why people are asking all these things," Mr Gudinski said. "It is way too early, you are talking about two massive shows. "It is just disappointing from my end seeing people having cheap shots at nothing and not letting true business take it course. None of the artists got paid, I am totally comfortable and confident, and the percentage of costs is going to be very minimal. Some of the suppliers who helped stage the show made their contribution for nothing or cost price."
Mr Gudinski said an accountant's report in coming weeks would reveal exactly where all the money went. "It has all gone through an accounting firm," he said. "The whole thing is going to be transparent."
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