Pop star Bjork has helped to raise $US310,000 ($A343,600) for environmental organisations in her native Iceland on Tuesday by teaming up with rocker Patti Smith and singer Lykke Li for a special benefit gig.
The artists hit the stage at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik to celebrate the local premiere of Australian Russell Crowe’s new Biblical epic Noah, which was filmed in the country, and to protest against anti-conservationist policy changes proposed by the nation’s leaders.
Smith’s set included a tribute rendition of the late Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, and she also used her performance to issue an emotional plea to fans to help preserve Iceland’s highlands, which are under renewed threat of industrial development.
“I came here first as a young girl, aged 22 years old, way back in 1969. Of all the beautiful places I visited back then, many have since been destroyed by man. To come back to Iceland and still find much of the country as I found it then is a gift,” Smith told the crowd.
She added, “Industry has raped nature again and again – there has to be some place where Mother Nature feels safe and beloved. Iceland is one of the few places in the world where Mother Nature can feel herself. Once this damage is done, that can never come back. In this matter, count me as one of your servants.”
She later helped Bjork close the Let’s Protect the Park gig by joining her and Li onstage for a cover of the Beastie Boys’ appropriately-titled Sabotage.
Proceeds from the charity show will help officials at Iceland Nature Conservation Association and Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association, protect various nature sites across the country.