NEW YORK -- Today's superstar-packed "12-12-12" benefit concert for the victims of Superstorm Sandy will be the most widely available concert ever and may be seen or heard by up to 2 billion people, according to producer James Dolan.
The show, taking place at Madison Square Garden, is set to feature the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Dave Grohl, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Eric Clapton, Eddie Vedder, Billy Joel and Roger Waters.
Film and TV celebrities expected to appear include Jimmy Fallon, Jamie Foxx, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler, Seth Meyers, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brian Williams, Sean Combs and Chelsea Clinton.
More than 30 U.S. television networks have agreed to show the concert, which begins at 6:30 p.m. today.
Harvey Weinstein, the movie executive who is producing the show along with Cablevision chief Dolan and John Sykes, head of Clear Channel Communications Inc., said that $30 million has been raised for victims of the storm, which hit the New York City region hard Oct. 29. The "Concert for New York," a benefit in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, had raised $19 million by the same point on its way to a total of $65 million. The Robin Hood Foundation will distribute proceeds of the Sandy benefit to storm victims in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The concert is sold out. Producers urged fans who don't already have tickets not to buy them through brokers like StubHub, where people have been trying to sell seats at a price higher than the list prices of $150 to $2,500. Weinstein said there were counterfeit tickets offered for sale.
Although StubHub has agreed to donate its fee for selling tickets to the Sandy relief efforts, producers say there's no way to recover markups that scalpers receive. They had no estimate of how many of the tickets were bought by people or companies that intended to resell them.
"We're not going to make that our focus," Dolan said.
McCartney is the closer, followed by a finale involving many artists. The concert is to end around 11 p.m. Central time, but may go longer.
"We're not going to pull the plug," Weinstein said.
Staff writer Cary Darling contributed to this report.