Hearkening back to the philanthropic rock ‘n’ roll consciousness of the 1980s, Showtime Event TV (SET) has joined forces with onetime Beatles producer George Martin to present an all-star pay-per-view concert benefiting victims of the recent volcanic eruption on the British-ruled West Indies island of Montserrat.
“Music for Montserrat” will be held Sept. 20, premiering at 5 p.m. (PDT) from London’s Royal Albert Hall. Those already confirmed to participate include Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Sting, Mark Knopfler, Mick Hucknall and Arrow.
The artists will perform acoustic solos and duets, with the event culminating in an ensemble grand finale. They will be accompanied by the Royal Hall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Guard Choir.
The show has been organized by Martin and his wife, together with Harvey Goldsmith, to raise funds for victims of the Soufriere volcano that had a massive eruption in June on Montserrat, which is in the Leeward Islands group. It killed 19 people, left 1,500 homeless and rendered much of Montserrat uninhabitable.
Martin said Tuesday that all of the participating artists will perform without pay. The producer has a recording facility, Air Studios, on Montserrat.
“All of the artists have recorded (at the studio), and all responded immediately to my appeal for help,” Martin added. “They are committed to this project because they love the island and the people of Montserrat as much as we do.”
It’s expected that additional money will be raised through video and album sales of the concert.
The show also will afford SET — which has in the past put together PPV music events featuring Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Phil Collins and New Kids on the Block — an opportunity to back a positive event in the wake of its Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield ear-biting fiasco in Las Vegas in June.
“Music for Montserrat” will carry a PPV retail pricetag of $19.95 in the U.S. and will be available on Request and Viewers Choice.