Fire Fight Australia: A "Live Aid-Style" Concert Benefiting Brushfire Disaster Relief

In 1985, the music world offered their talents for the Live Aid super-concert charity to support South African famine relief. The rock band, Queen, was one of the highlights from the Live Aid performances and conversely, the event was a highlight of their stardom.

  Sources claim the Land Down Under has experienced the worst brushfire season on record. Originating in the southeast region of New South Wales back in November 2019, the fires have swept across all six Australian states. Roughly 25.5 million acres have been destroyed, devastating over two-thousand homes and an estimation of one billion animals. To give some perspective, that amount of acreage is comparable to the size of South Korea! The eastern Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria account for eighty-four percent of the devastation. Due to the smoke, the capitol city of Sydney (on the Australian east coast of the New South Wales state) recorded the worst pollution it’s ever seen on January 1st, with an air quality index twenty-three times higher than what is considered hazardous. This so much and so problematic that the smoke crept into birthing rooms, stopped MRI machines from working, and triggered respiratory distress in an elderly woman, leading to her death. The pollutant air quality has even affected New Zeland, which is over 1,200 off Australia’s east coast. Their skies, clouds, and glaciers have been uncharacteristically discolored. The smoke haze has even canceled tour operations. With Australia in the midst of summertime and the normal peak of their fire season around late January or early February, their disasters could only continue and worsen.

Over thirty-five years after Live Aid, the music world does it again with Fire Fight Australia, a charity concert for Australia’s brushfire relief efforts taking place Sunday, February 16th. In fact, its even been touted as a “Live Aid-style concert”! And again, Queen (+ Adam Lambert) will take the stage at ANZ Stadium for the event, which comes the day after a show on their Rhapsody Tour. They will be joined by Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John, k.d. lang, and many other worldwide and local music icons, some of which have yet to be announced. All proceeds will benefit Australia’s rural and regional fire services, the RSPCA Bushfire appeal, the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery and other organizations.

Concert tickets went on sale January 13th and have unfortunately sold out as of this writing. The Australian-based vendor Ticketek is the only authorized dealer, meaning that tickets purchased from anywhere else are not guaranteed to be valid and offer access to be event. Any kind of streaming or broadcasting of the event has yet to be announced as well. (An update will be added if it comes soon. Fingers crossed!)

Fire Fight Australia concert promo; image courtesy of Google

Live Aid was an ambitious endeavor for its time, lasting around sixteen hours between two major venues set between majorly different time zones –three venues and zones if you count Oz for Africa held in Australia the day before for that matter. Satellite broadcasting was still fairly new in 1985. Nonetheless around sixty music acts reached over a billion viewers in 110 countries and raised one hundred and fifty million pounds. Thirty-five years later, an international broadcast or live stream of some kind should be no problem. Around twenty-one acts and counting are already confirmed on the Fire Fight Australia bill, and ultimately we have the power of the internet which stars everywhere have used to react or respond to the crisis, sharing heartbreak or urging support on social media. One most significant posts was from Airbourne, an Australian rock band, who tweeted:

“Rockers worldwide – if you haven’t heard yet, Australia is literally burning – the smoke can be seen from space and has even turned the white snow caps over in New Zealand black.

“Too many Aussies have lost their loved ones – they’ve lost homes and livelihoods, and over half a billion animals have met their fate in these devastating fires. 

“Firefighters – a lot of whom are volunteers – and all emergency personnel, including the large number of vets, are going way beyond the call to duty and we thank them with all of our hearts. Australia can’t survive without their staunch, courageous and never-say-die commitment to stopping these fires.

“Any help from you will be greatly appreciated and will go a long way – even just one pound, one euro, one dollar or one peso can help. Every little bit helps rockers – Australia is burning.”

Others have harnessed star power, influence, and/or their own wealth, like Sir Elton John at a recent concert drew attention to the bushfire devastation and pledged one-million dollars for relief efforts. Metallica donated $750,000 and Pink has pledged $50,000. New Jersey deathcore band, Fit for an Autopsy, and Blink-182 have geared merchandise sales towards fundraising. As news of the brushfire disasters have gone global in the last month or so, the calls to action and responses alone, ahead of the concert event itself at that, are what really have been “Live Aid-style”.  

What can you do? Below are links to a few organizations taking donations or to merchandise sales supporting relief efforts or to other information about the disasters or charity efforts. This list just came together from this article’s source material and a little additional research and is by no means comprehensive, but ideally its a starting point for someone interested in lending a hand or knowing more.

https://firefightaustralia.com/#donate -Donates to the Australian Red Cross

https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade – Donates to the New South Whales rural fire service

https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cash – Donates to Country Fire Authority; based in the state of Victoria

https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate – Donates to Country Fire Service Foundation; supports volunteer firefighters

https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund – Donates to WIRES Wildlife Rescue

https://blink-182-uk.myshopify.com/collections/australia-bushfire-appeal – Purchase a Blink-182 brushfire appeal shirt; supports the Australia Zoo (note: shipping is international, but the price is in British pounds)

https://www.facebook.com/pg/FitForAnAutopsyOfficial/shop/?ref=page_internal – Purchase a select Fit for an Autopsy shirt in their Australian wildfire benefit sale; supports World Wildlife Fund Australia

Sound Relief Australia– If you want to try another opportunity for an Australian charity concert, Sound Relief Australia has been a regular event since 2009. Details are still in the works, but said to take place in late February or early March.

#australianbushfiredisaster #australiaburning – use these hashtags (or closely related ones) on Twitter or Instagram to share your support or find the most current media on the incident.

 

A Whimsical Twist on Practical Houseware

Wolfum creator Annabel Inganni spent nine years in apparel design before her designs took an interesting turn in 2010. Inganni is now creating household items like linen napkins, bookends, and coasters, but her flair for the unique provides a whimsical and stylish twist to these seemingly traditional pieces.

Los Angeles based Wolfum makes simple, everyday products from organic cotton, recycled poly twill, and FSC certified walnut. Quality materials mean lasting items, and lasting items mean less replacement and waste. If that wasn’t enough, bold patterns and colors like sage, olive, and navy adorn each hand-made product.

Wolfum’s collection of unique linens have a timeless appearance, with patterns that could have easily been taken from a trunk of beloved vintage items or used to embellish a modern tabletop. Wolfum’s colorful animal bookends and wall hangers also add a fanciful feel the the collection. Tigers, rabbits, coyotes, and a slew of other creatures in a variety of delightful patterns and colors would be perfect for a child or adult.

Whether it’s a mix-and-match collection or a coordinated set, Wolfum products are Inganni’s answer to a boring room. U.S. made and built to last, Wolfum’s whimsical products can be purchased at California shops like ST&NDARD GOODS and La La Ling, as well as Wolfum’s website.

Core Bamboo: A New Kind of Bowl

We were fortunate enough to be born into a more privileged environment. We view it as our responsibility to help those who weren’t.

Those words come straight from Core Bamboo’s website. The business, which sells dining, prep, and serving equipment made from organically grown bamboo, employs more than 2,000 employees around the world. These artisans and their communities all benefit from Core Bamboo’s presence, which might provide anything from medical opportunities to recreation.

Although it doesn’t necessarily seem like the go-to material for creating dishes, Core Bamboo has created several successful lines which include everything from napkin rings and pepper shakers to knives and bowls. Bamboo is lightweight, strong, naturally anti-microbial, and regenerative, making it a perfect candidate for reusable dishware. A simple hand wash using warm water and soap will keep pieces clean, and Core Bamboo suggests a light rubbing with food safe mineral oil to regenerate a tired-looking bowl.

In addition to knowing that every bowl comes from a sustainable grass rather than glass or wood, buyers will also be excited to know that these eco-friendly items also look great. Whether it’s a basic bamboo finish, a smooth solid coat of paint, or the elegant zebra-like stripes created by crushed bamboo, these items make a simple yet intriguing aesthetic statement.

The entire collection can easily be ordered directly from Core Bamboo’s website. Shops like Macy’s and Kitchen Couture also carry some pieces.

Pura Vida Bracelets

Are you looking for a great stocking stuffer for the holidays or do you simply just want something unique and hand-made to complete your favorite outfit? If you answered yes to either of those, you  should check out Pura Vida Bracelets! The bracelets are very pretty and hand-made, they are 100% water proof and, to top it all off, the profit the company makes goes to a good cause.

Pura Vida started out when two friends went to Costa Rica in celebration of their college graduation. While there they met a man named Jorge who was peddling bracelets on the streets. It turned out that he had made the bracelets himself and was selling them to support his family, who were living in a single room and sharing three beds. This inspired the two friends to help. They took some of the bracelets home with them and sold them to some friends. Before long they had many people wanting a bracelet. They contacted Jorge and ordered more bracelets and before long it was a business.

The phrase “Pura Vida” is Spanish for Pure Life. It means to live life to its fullest and not let things worry you so much. This is a great name for this company because the bracelets are simple yet beautiful and each one is hand-made and unique. It is also a fitting name because for every bracelet sold, Pura Vida donates 1% to the Surfrider Foundation through 1% for the planet. They also provide full time jobs to the talented artisans of Costa Rica.

These beautiful bracelets are great for completing outfits, stuffing stockings, and even starting conversations. They are durable and water proof and completely unique. If you’re interested in learning more, visit the Pura Vida official website at PuraVidaBracelets.com!

KO Couture

You may or may not have heard about the new craze in pet fashion, KO Couture. This doggy clothing line was started in 2009 by a dog owner named Kelly Owens who was going through some hard times and desperately needed some creative outlet. She never imagined that just two years later her little hobby would take off earning her the title “pet fashion expert.”

The clothes and items carried by KO Couture are beautiful and great quality items ranging in price from $4 to $700 depending on the size of the item and the amount of detail. The clothes are both elegant and functional, and are guaranteed to make any pet feel like a superstar. The clothes are mainly created for dogs but judging by some of the pictures of the items, some can also be worn by cats or young children (mainly the hats).

KO Couture is definitely worth checking out, especially if you have a special canine in your life. The items can be bought on esty at www.kocouture.com/etsy. If you have any questions check out the f.a.q. at www.kocouture.com/faq.