Entertainment & Arts

Radiohead approve release of fans' charity concert DVD

Thom Yorke
Just 1,400 fans attended the gig last year, after bidding for tickets in an online auction

Radiohead have given their blessing to an "official bootleg" of their Haiti benefit concert, held last January.

A group of fans have spent the last year creating a DVD of the gig by piecing together footage shot by 14 audience members.

The band allowed it to be released on the condition that proceeds went to Oxfam's Haiti emergency fund.

The film was made available online over Christmas, and has already raised more than $11,500 (£7,300).

Radiohead, who are based in Oxford, played the impromptu Oxfam benefit concert at Hollywood's Henry Fonda Theatre, but no official recording was made.

But Dr Inez Rogatsky, a fan from New York, attended the gig and "taped a little bit of video".

After several more fan films found their way onto YouTube, she and another fan Andrea, who lives in Italy, came up with the idea of creating a full-length concert film.

The show raised thousands of pounds for Oxfam's relief efforts in Haiti

"Collecting the footage took a while - maybe two or three months," she told BBC 6 Music.

The video was then passed to a third fan, Devin, a civil engineer in California, who began the painstaking nine-month editing process in his spare time.

"It was totally done on weekends, a few hours at a time," he said.

The film has little of the shaky camerawork and obscured views traditionally associated with fan videos . As Dr Rogatsky explains, that outcome was never guaranteed.

Honesty box

"Fourteen separate video recordings doesn't mean that there were 14 people standing there with professional equipment," she said.

"Some of the recordings are a few seconds shot on an iPhone. On some of the songs I wish we had better coverage than we did."

"I'm pretty pleased with the outcome of a lot of the them. There's a sequence in Morning Bell where, in the beginning of the song, Jonny [Greenwood - guitarist] is walking slowly around the stage," said Devin.

"He just has a kind of 'caged animal' feel. He's just waiting to unleash."

Dr Rogatsky contacted Radiohead's manager after "a lot of procrastination".

"I heard back within two days that it was a great idea. He mentioned that the band wanted us to get donations for Haiti. I suggested a few organisations, and they decided to go with Oxfam."

Oxfam set up a dedicated donations page for the project with an "honesty box" system of requesting money from fans who download the film.

Artwork was donated by Kii Arens, who designed posters for the LA show

It echoes the pioneering online release of Radiohead's last album, In Rainbows.

The full concert video was uploaded to YouTube and other video-sharing websites on Christmas Eve and, according to its creators, has been downloaded thousands of times.

"It's pretty amazing to me that this was basically 100% crowd-sourced," said Devin.

"To the best of my knowledge, every individual that had anything to do with this has never had any personal contact with each other."

Oxfam's Bob Ferguson added: "We are thrilled to have the support of Radiohead and their smart and motivated fans to help us raise much needed funds for our work in Haiti.

"It's especially important now, as the one-year anniversary of the earthquake is here, that this project helps to remind people that the dire situation in Haiti is far from over, and that continued support from the rest of the world is needed."

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