Brian May: Queen asked to play Live Aid-style concert for Australia
The rock star is ‘very concerned about the animals’, with half a billion said to have perished in the fires.
Brian May has revealed that Queen has been asked to play a Live Aid-style benefit concert in aid of the victims of the deadly Australian wildfires.
So far at least 25 people have been killed, 2,000 homes have been destroyed and millions of animals are feared to have died after an area twice the size of the US state of Maryland was scorched.
The guitarist and environmental activist, 72, is preparing to visit Australia with the band, featuring Adam Lambert as singer, in February as part of their world stadium tour.
May told the PA news agency fans could see a repeat of Queen’s famous performance during Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
He said: “Of course, we are going there very soon. We are looking at it very carefully.
“We have been approached to do a benefit concert, or be part of a benefit concert, a bit like Live Aid, if you like, to try and help out the victims of the fire.
“Of course, I am very concerned about the animals. There’s 24 people who have died which is a tragedy in itself, but half a billion animals is almost inconceivable.
No one is making an announcement yet because we don't know what the situation will be. This is like six weeks away but we are looking at doing something like that Brian May
“You are a looking at a radical change of wildlife in Australia. It’s like a mass extinction, which is something so awful.
“And we can do nothing about it really. We could have done something about it in the past.
“We know there are various things that could have been done. But it is a real caution for the rest of the world.”
He added: “No one is making an announcement yet because we don’t know what the situation will be.
“This is like six weeks away but we are looking at doing something like that.”
— KI Wildlife Park (@KIWildlifePark) January 7, 2020
Thank you to everyone supporting us and the hundreds of donations of supplies, time, food and more! We have vets from the army and savem here along with dedicated volunteers assisting us with our burn victims that are coming in every day. pic.twitter.com/IwOgMw8K3S
May spoke outside Parliament in Westminster, where he was promoting the Save Me trust’s Amazing Grace Campaign, to save Britain’s hedgehogs.
May, who is co-founder of the animal welfare organisation, was joined by its chief executive Anne Brummer and Tracey Crouch, Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford, who is the body’s hedgehog champion.
Ms Crouch said: “Hedgehogs are unique and they are important in the ecology of our wildlife.
“Making sure they continue to exist and they don’t continue to deteriorate at the levels that they are is essential.”
The scheme is also backed by Michael Gove, the former secretary of state for the environment.
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Can’t stop thinking about the tragic Australian fires. And feel so helpless. I have many family members in Australia, all of whom I’m hoping to see in a month’s time on our planned Australian tour. The young generation are involved in fighting the fires on Kangaroo Island. Respects. Thousands of good people lost their homes. 24 good folks lost their lives. And ... HALF A BILLION WILD ANIMALS burned to death in NSW alone ? Can it be true ? Almost unthinkable. And no end in sight ? What can we do ? We can pray. And we can put pressure on our leaders to prioritise the health of our planet rather than “The Economy”. It’s already too late for these creatures. We can only pray it’s not too late for the rest of our world. To all our Australian friends - we send love - and our prayers. Bri
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May defended Mr Gove’s record on the environment, saying he had got “a lot of stick” for being a Conservative.
He said: “Michael Gove is already enlisted. He has been very supportive.
“It is fair to say that he gets a lot of stick for just being a Tory, I suppose, and historically Tories have not been great and have not been green.
“But Michael Gove has done more for the environment than any of the recent ministers of the environment, already taking great steps.”
Mr Gove’s constituency Surrey Heath recent became the first hedgehog friendly borough with the help of the Save Me trust.
More information can be found at gracethehedgehog.co.uk.