The second sold-out Wiggles Bushfire Relief Reunion Concert went on in full force on Saturday night, after Greg Page’s near death experience the night before. Hundreds of fans rallied in the Castle Hill RSL to pay tribute to both the Yellow Wiggle and to the victims of Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.
“Last night was the saddest hot potato we’ve ever done”, Blue Wiggle Anthony Field said to the crowd after the silence of Page’s original cue in the show moved him to tears.
Having one member in hospital didn’t stop Australian heroes The Wiggles from playing to another sold-out crowd at the Castle Hill RSL.
48-year-old Page collapsed onstage after going into cardiac arrest near the end of Friday night’s concert. Paramedics credited Wiggles drummer Steve Pace, off-duty nurse Grace Jones, and Wiggles team member Kimmy Antonelli with saving the singer’s life.
Page is currently recovering in Westmead Hospital after undergoing surgery late Friday night. The singer originally left the band back in 2006 due to orthostatic intolerance, a chronic condition which causes fatigue and blackouts.
He requested that the show continue in his absence in order to provide much needed support for the bushfire relief. “We were thinking of not performing out of respect, but Greg wouldn’t let us cancel,” Field said to cheering fans.
Six “wiggly friends” filled in for Page alongside Field, Red Wiggle Murray Cook, and Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt. This included current Wiggles Emma Watkins and Simon Pryce, Captain Feathersword Paul Paddick, Wiggles Manager Paul Field and Hot Potato composer John Field.
All proceeds from both sold out shows went to WIRES and the Australian Red Cross. On Saturday alone, two of the five existing original 2007 Wake Up Jeff records were auctioned for $3,000 each.
“This concert means so much to every young Australian,” 21-year-old Wiggles fan Caitlin said about the event. “To have these absolute icons come back together, through their own adversity, to support Australia in one of our darkest hours is the most inspiring thing.”
The original Wiggles Reunion is one in a long line of fundraising gigs currently being held across Australia. Acts such as Queen, Olivia Newton-John and Alice Cooper have rallied in support of those affected by the nation’s “worst bushfire season on record”.