Grinspoon and Paul Kelly play to thousands at Lismore’s flood relief concert

They’re as sick and tired of the mud and rain as they could be, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of northern New South Wales residents from donning their wellies and their ponchos for a flood relief charity concert in Lismore.

More than 10,000 people from flood-affected parts of the region signed up for free tickets to Sunday’s concert at the still-muddy Lismore Showground.

Artists included Paul and Dan Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens, Lime Cordiale and local band Grinspoon.

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg said the day was meant to give people a little respite from the problems they were facing recovering from the floods.

“Everyone has major issues right now – whether it’s finances, reconstruction, jobs, businesses,” he said.

Byron Bay band The Buckleys kicked off the concert.(ABC North Shore: Emma Rennie)

The tickets got ripped off

One From the Heart tickets were awarded within hours of release and many residents hoping to score passes missed out.

Mr Krieg said he anticipated that some people would not use the passes they had been assigned and that those in charge of the gates would use their discretion to let other residents in.

“If the people who are [flood] the people concerned want to come without having a ticket, obviously we are human, we are not heartless, we will use our discretion to ensure that everyone who wants to be here is here as much as possible, ”he said.

A woman in a yellow jumpsuit dancing on a muddy ground with her arms in the air.
The punters didn’t seem embarrassed to put on their rubber boots and dance in the mud.(ABC North Shore: Emma Rennie)

Grinspoon guitarist Pat Davern said it was amazing to be able to give something back to Lismore during such a difficult time.

“Hopefully this can help undo some of the mental and physical damage that was done during this time,” Davern said.

A man wearing a cap that reads
Pat Davern says many artists call Lismore home.(ABC North Shore: Bruce MacKenzie)

Davern said he knew people were looking closely at how Lismore could be protected from flooding in the future, but he hoped it would remain a “hotbed for creativity”.

“Of course it’s a low socio-economic area but a lot of artists and musicians and people like that are drawn to that part of Lismore and unfortunately it’s the part of Lismore that’s been hit so hard by floods,” he said of the floodplains.

“It’s cheaper to live here, but there’s more going on and it would be devastating to lose that.”

People piled up at a barricade, arms in the air, applauding.
The crowd sings the well-known hits of Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens and Paul Kelly.(ABC North Shore: Emma Rennie)

‘Can I play?’

All the performers playing the concert were gifted banners on which the details of the concert were embroidered.

Flags and banners showing a red heart on a white background have become a symbol of Lismore’s flood recovery, and many hang from flood-affected homes and businesses across the town.

“We’re doing this just to thank all the artists for coming out to support our community,” said banner coordinator Rebecca Ryan.

A woman holding a banner with a red heart on a plain background.
Rebecca Ryan provided these banners to each artist playing the concert.(ABC North Shore: Bruce MacKenzie)

Daryl Braithwaite said he signed to play to show his support for those who have lost so much.

“When the call went out, with all my peers and stuff, you kind of raised your hand and said, ‘OK, yeah, can I play? “”, Did he declare.

“And that’s just because you like to help in any way you can.”

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