18 Mar 2009

Proceeds diluted from fund raising concerts

6:48 am on 18 March 2009

Questions are being raised about the distribution of funds raised by the Sound Relief concerts in Melbourne and Sydney, after it was revealed that just over half of the proceeds will go to charity.

Ticket sales exceeded $A8.8 million for the simultaneous events in Melbourne and Sydney at the weekend to raise funds for bushfire victims in Victoria and those affected by floods in Queensland.

Advertising had said that 100% of the ticket price of $A75 would go to charity.

The ABC reports big-name performers including Coldplay and Kings of Leon waived their usual appearance fees, but now promoters admit that some of the money is being used to pay for production costs.

It is now estimated about $A5 million will actually go to the charitable funds, with nearly $A4 million to cover costs like hotel accommodation and sound equipment.

Promoter Michael Gudinski, who heads the Frontier Touring Company and organised the Melbourne concert, was unavailable for comment.

The PR company representing Sydney promoter Michael Chugg did not comment. The Red Cross preferred not to say anything.

However, Premier John Brumby is confident though the money raised will be distributed appropriately.