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Nine Inch Nails to rock Katrina relief workers

Group will headline Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans
/ Source: Reuters

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor promises to deliver a jolt of industrial rock to weary relief workers in New Orleans this weekend.

The Grammy-winning group will headline the Voodoo Music Experience Saturday -- a free, invitation-only show for police, firefighters, military, National Guard and rescue personnel working in the city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The two-day festival, originally set for New Orleans on the Oct. 31 Halloween weekend, was moved to Memphis, Tennessee, after Katrina slammed into the Gulf in August.

Now, at Reznor’s urging, half of the festival will take place in New Orleans.

“My manager and I were discussing if it would be feasible to actually have it in New Orleans to send the message out that the city isn’t dead,” the former New Orleans resident told Reuters Thursday.

Alternative rockers Queens of the Stone Age, punk veterans New York Dolls and Dutch DJ Tiesto will also donate performances.

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Only members of the public who bought tickets to the original event before Sept. 22 can attend. The rest of the seats are reserved for aid workers.

Organizers will donate profits from the second half of the show in Memphis Sunday to a fund to help rebuild New Orleans.

“We’re pretty confident we can get substantially over $1 million into New Orleans, so it’s well worth my time to do that,” said Reznor, who will also perform in Memphis.

He lived in New Orleans’ Garden District for nearly 15 years and still owns a recording studio in the city.

“I miss it since I moved to Los Angeles last year,” Reznor said. “I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and every time I went to New Orleans it seemed like as far away as you can get. It looked different. It was a hot, exotic place, the air smelled funny and the architecture was amazing.”

Reznor planned to go to New Orleans a day ahead of the festival to tour the city.

“To me New Orleans wasn’t Bourbon Street and it wasn’t Mardi Gras as much as it was a weird melting pot of different communities, a blend of people that is gone and will never be the same,” he said.