Sound Relief sales strong

Online ticketing system crashed due to demand

BRISBANE -- Australia's Sound Relief concerts sold more than 100,000 tickets after going on sale Wednesday, raising upwards of AUS$7.5 million ($4.8 million) for the country's main bushfire and flood appeals.

The March 14 concerts will be staged simultaneously at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground, headlined by an international bill of past and present stars including Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Midnight Oil, Jack Johnson and Split Enz.

A consortium led by legendary local promoter Michael Chugg, ARIA Awards producer Mark Pope and Homebake promoter Joe Segreto is handling the Sydney leg, which will cater to 50,000 ticket holders. Local impresario Michael Gudinski will oversee the Melbourne event, which has raised its capacity to 73,000 guests.

Tickets for each show cost AUS$75 ($48.50). All the profits from the Melbourne leg will be donated to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal, while money raised from the Sydney concert will be split 50-50 to benefit the bushfire appeal and the Premier's Disaster Relief Fund Appeal, in support of victims of the Queensland floods.

The staggering opening ticket sales figure means roughly 30,000 of the 130,000-plus tickets were still available between both venues at the close of business hours on Wednesday.

Soon after tickets were released to the public at 9am local time, ticketing firm Ticketek's online system briefly crashed due to the overwhelming demand. Organizers swiftly responded with a press statement, which explained that "issues with the Ticketek system are causing delays." A spokesperson for Gudinski's Frontier Touring said the glitch was quickly ironed out.
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