The story behind “Music for Montserrat” at Royal Albert Hall

The story behind “Music for Montserrat” at Royal Albert Hall


Music for Montserrat was a concert held on September 15, 1997 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK. The whole idea came after a several musicians came together to perform at Royal Albert Hall for collecting money for the Caribbean island of Montserrat after volcanic eruption which earlier that year devastated the island.

On 25 June 1997 the Soufrière Hills Volcano erupted and took the lives of twenty people.

The event was organized by George Martin who owned a house and studio at Montserrat. George Martin raised about one million pound to help the people of the stricken volcanic island.

The concert was one of the greatest in the music industry. There were musicians like Mark Knopfler, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Ray Cooper, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Buffett, Sting, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Montserratian singer Arrow, and many more musicians whom once had recorded at the island’s famous AIR Studios owned by George Martin.

Tickets for the concert were on sale on 1 August 1997 and the prices was between £25, £40 and £60. The event raised £1.5 million, and George Martin helped with building new cultural center in Montserrat.

Mark Knopfler together with Eric Clapton and Phil Collins performed Dire Strait’s classic hit – “Money For Nothing”.

Later Sting and Dominic Miller performed a set of three acoustic songs: “Message In A Bottle”, “Fields Of Gold” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”. For Carl Perkins this was his last major live performance after he died four months later on January 19, 1998.

The show ended when all artists joined Paul McCartney for “Hey Jude” and an unrehearsed version of Kansas City.

The event was broadcasted by Sky TV on a pay-per-view basis. The charge of £5 went to the Montserrat charity.

Mark, Paul McCartney, George Martin, Sting
Classic Trio: Sting, Mark and Eric Clapton

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