|12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief|
|Dates||December 12, 2012|
|Location(s)||Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York, United States
|Founded by||James L. Dolan, John Sykes and Harvey Weinstein|
The concert was held in response to Hurricane Sandy, which devastated portions of the Northeastern United States, the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic in late October 2012 and cost an estimated $60 billion in damage in the United States. The concert was broadcast live via television, radio, movie theaters and the Internet, and released on DVD and CD. A documentary film was also made about the concert. Proceeds from the event were collected by the Robin Hood Relief Fund to benefit victims of the hurricane in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Many famous performers took part in the charity event, including The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe, Kanye West, Eddie Vedder, and, for the first time in eighteen years, the surviving members of Nirvana (Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and touring member Pat Smear) who performed together in a collaboration with Paul McCartney during his show-closing set.
The benefit concert was first announced in mid-November 2012 and that the producers behind 2001's The Concert for New York City would also produce the Hurricane Sandy benefit which quickly attracted many big names from the music industry. The venue and on sale date for tickets were announced in early December. Madison Square Garden had originally been reserved on December 12 for a New York Rangers game against the Montreal Canadiens that was among the many canceled due to the 2012 NHL lockout.
Proceeds from the event went to the Robin Hood Relief Fund and benefit victims of the hurricane in areas most impacted, especially New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than $30 million was raised through ticket sales alone.
Tickets for the event went on sale through Ticketmaster on December 3, 2012, at noon though Chase Bank customers were allowed to buy tickets at 9 a.m. Tickets quickly sold out in minutes. The face-value of tickets ranged from $150 to $2,500, with organizers saying all proceeds would go to the Robin Hood Foundation. Like most concerts with high demands for tickets, scalpers were able to buy up tickets and within minutes of the concert selling out were already available for re-sale at much higher prices on various sites, including StubHub. By December 7, 2012, tickets for the floor in front of the stage were listed for as much as $48,000 while those in the upper level were going for $525 to $3,000.
Producers of the event urged people to not buy from these secondary websites because the money no longer goes to charity. U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer sent a letter to StubHub and three other major online ticket exchanges, urging them to not allow sellers to profit from the demand for the concert stating that "Every dollar spent for these concert tickets should go to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy, not to line the pockets of unscrupulous scalpers”. A spokesman for StubHub, Glenn Lehrman, said it did not have the technology to require sellers to give their profits to charity. StubHub gave its commissions of more than $500,000 to the charity.
Jacqueline Peterson, a spokeswoman for Ticketmaster, which handled the initial ticket sales, said her company had evidence that scalpers had used computer programs to snap up large numbers of tickets for resale. She said Ticketmaster had blocked thousands of sales to buyers that it identified as using these programs. Among the recipients of Schumer's letter were TicketMaster's in-house resale marketplaces, TicketsNow and TicketExchange; however, Peterson said that 12-12-12 tickets were not being allowed on those sites. TicketLiquidator, another secondary re-sale website, also said that it had declined to carry tickets for the concert.
There were also some incidents of counterfeit tickets.
The concert was simulcast live on 39 U.S. television stations, including HBO, AMC, Showtime and AXS TV and on more than 20 international television networks. It was also streamed on over twenty-five websites, including Fuse.tv, MTV.com, AOL, Yahoo!, YouTube, SiriusXM, Hulu, and Vevo and over fifty radio stations. Select movie theaters in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut displayed the concert as well. Ion Television, Live Well Network and MundoFox were the only national over-the-air broadcasters to carry the concert. Locally, the PBS consortium WNET/WLIW/NJTV carried it on their stations, along with CBS's WLNY (Channel 55) and WRNN-TV (Channel 48). WPSG (Channel 57) carried the show locally in Philadelphia.
Event producers James Dolan, John Sykes and Harvey Weinstein issued on December 3, 2012, the following joint statement: "The fact that so many major media companies are joining forces to distribute and stream this important event to homes worldwide will enable us to create a tremendous and unprecedented fundraising effort on a global scale to benefit the victims of this devastating storm."
While every major U.S. media company aired the benefit on at least one of their networks, none of the major over-the-air television networks including CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC aired it, and neither did the major cable-news networks of CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel. Clear Channel broadcast the concert live on some of its radio stations across the country and also streamed it live on iHeartRadio, its digital-radio service, and across the websites and Facebook pages of its 850 stations. The concert also aired in conjunction with the NBA's television and online streaming broadcasts in China and simulcast live on Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards in Times Square and locations in London and Paris.
The event began at 7:30 pm and ran until 1:20 am.