1 9 9 0 (Australia)
1 x 300 minute episode
The first National Australian Music Day was celebrated in 1990 with the country’s largest rock music television broadcast and one of the most ambitious TV broadcasts attempted in Australian television history.
The Seven Network screened Ausmusic 90 – concerts from the mainland’s five capital cities – for five hours from 7.30 pm on Saturday 24 November. The broadcast was simulcast with 55 radio stations across Australia.
The cream of the Australian rock industry, including John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, Skyhooks, Hunters & Collectors, Noiseworks, Boom Crash Opera, Jenny Morris, The Angels, Icehouse, Paul Kelly and The Messengers, Mental as Anything, Daryl Braithwaite, The Saints, The Black Sorrows and Yothu Yindi – were among the 30 acts to perform. Only INXS – touring overseas at the time – and Midnight Oil – who declined the invitation to appear – were missing.
Crowded House (not technically Australian but part of the grand Aussie tradition of appropriating Kiwi things) appeared at both the Melbourne concert (where they performed an acoustic set at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl) and the Sydney concert, after jumping on a plane to appear onstage at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
The mammoth event took eight months to organise, with the broadcast masterminded by Ireland’s Ken O’Neill, who was music director for the American leg of Live Aid in 1985.
The day was sponsored for more than $2 million by Coca-Cola and was hosted by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum.
460 tonnes of equipment, 1600 kilowatts of lighting, 75,000 watts of sound reinforcement, 850 kilometres of cable and more than 1500 people were involved. 58,000 tickets were sold for $19.90.