Coldplay’s Australian-exclusive concert provided more than just a boost for Perth’s tourism industry — net proceeds of limited-edition merchandise will benefit a Goldfields school. To mark their double show spectacle at Optus Stadium last month, the British rock band collaborated with Perth-based Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer Sr to create an exclusive 2023 Australian tour T-shirt. There were 2500 limited-edition T-shirts sold during the band’s live shows, with net proceeds directed towards Christian Aboriginal Parent-Directed School Coolgardie. CAPS Coolgardie principal Des Mitchell said he was “taken aback” when he heard the Goldfields school was selected to be the beneficiary of Mr Farmer’s merchandise collaboration. “I wasn’t surprised that the kids attracted the attention . . . we have some just delightful young people in our community,” he said. “But I was taken aback that a world-class act like Coldplay would make this a priority. “I think it’s a wonderful reflection on their philanthropic-heartedness but it also says something about our region. “It just doesn’t get any better than arguably one of the world’s biggest acts making a connection to the Goldfields, it’s just awesome.” Mr Farmer Sr is a Noongar artist known for his artworks which are represented in many public art collections. He told the Kalgoorlie Miner his son, Peter Farmer Jr, suggested the merchandise collaboration after Coldplay’s Australian-exclusive Perth tour was announced. “I was sitting on the lounge when an (advertisement) for Coldplay came on TV and my son said ‘dad, wouldn’t it be great for (you) to have a design for Coldplay on a T-shirt?’,” Mr Farmer Sr said. This prompted Sandra Tricoli, the agent for Peter Farmer Designs, to contact the band via email and social media. To her surprise, a member of Coldplay’s management team responded one week later. “They said they would like to organise a meeting and I was like, ‘oh my god, is this real’,” Mrs Tricoli said. Mr Farmer’s design was inspired by the concert’s theme, Music of the Spheres, and featured coloured circles along with Aboriginal symbols to represent light and music. Mrs Tricoli said the exclusive T-shirts were popular with Coldplay fans and quickly sold out during the Perth shows. “The real beauty is bringing Indigenous artwork into to the world, even though it was a limited edition for Perth, it has still been able to get the publicity worldwide which I think is beautiful,” she said. It followed a 15-week artist-in-residence program at CAPS Coolgardie attended by Peter Farmer Sr and his wife Miranda, among other professional artists, earlier this year. The program was centred around art, music, and dance, and culminated with a mini-musical Karilypa-Mulya performed by students. The project was spearheaded by the school’s former arts co-ordinator Steve Woods, who attended the Coldplay concert with the Farmers. Mrs Farmer said the duo enjoyed connecting with the local students and settled on CAPS Coolgardie as financial beneficiaries of the Coldplay merchandise collaboration. “We spent such a long time out there and . . . when we were asked if there was a school that we thought could benefit from some contributions from the band, we said yes, we know a school,” she said. Mr Farmer said he enjoyed working with the Goldfields school to share his passion for art and Aboriginal culture. “I’ve got to give back to my community,” he said. “It’s really enjoyable for me and my wife to teach art and culture. “A lot of those kids have a lot of culture within themselves, and to hear their stories and let them bring it out and tell us was a big thing for both of us.” Mr Mitchell said the school was grateful to the support of the Farmers. “Peter and his wife held in priority the interests of young people in the regions and encouraged their network of arts professionals to make the journey, come out to the (Goldfields) region, and invest in the young people,” he said. Mr Mitchell said the school would dedicate the funds to “further procure the giftedness of our students” by attracting artists to visit the school.