Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Stones will roll at Sandy concert

The Rolling Stones are to play the Superstorm Sandy benefit show in New York City (AP)
The Rolling Stones are to play the Superstorm Sandy benefit show in New York City (AP)

The Rolling Stones are to play at next week's televised Superstorm Sandy benefit show in New York City, which producers say will be the most widely available live concert yet.

The Stones join a trio of 1960s British rock royalty on the bill, including Sir Paul McCartney, The Who and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.

Other artists appearing are Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Eric Clapton, Eddie Vedder, Billy Joel and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

The 12-12-12 concert at Madison Square Garden will be available on television or online to around two billion people, said James Dolan, one of the producers. A total of 34 US television networks have agreed to show the concert, which begins at 7.30 pm US time on Wednesday (12.30am GMT).

Harvey Weinstein, the movie executive who is producing the show along with Cablevision chief Dolan and John Sykes, head of Clear Channel Communications, said that £18.7 million had been raised for victims of the storm, which hit the New York City region hard on October 29.

The Concert for New York, a benefit run in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, raised £11.8 million by the same point on its way to a total of £40.6 million. The Robin Hood Foundation will distribute proceeds of the Sandy benefit to storm victims in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The concert is sold out and producers urged fans who do not already have tickets not to buy them through brokers such as StubHub, where people have been trying to sell seats at a price higher than the list prices of £94- £1,560. Mr Weinstein said there were also counterfeit tickets offered for sale.

While StubHub has agreed to donate its fee for selling tickets to the Sandy relief efforts, producers say there is no way to recover mark-ups that scalpers receive. They had no estimate of how many of the tickets were bought by people or companies that intended to resell them.

The concert lineup is "99 %" set, Mr Sykes said. Sir Paul will be the closer, followed by a finale involving many artists. It is due to end around midnight, but may go on longer.

Many actors and other personalities will introduce segments profiling storm victims, including Sean Combs, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Chelsea Clinton, Adam Sandler, Seth Meyers and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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