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We for India benefit show raises $5m for Covid relief

We for India, a livestreamed fundraising event featuring performances from Ed Sheeran, Nile Rodgers, Annie Lennox and AR Rahman, raised more than US$5 million for the India Covid Response Fund, organisers have announced.

Held on Sunday 15 August 2021, India’s 75th independence day, the show featured more than 100 musicians, actors, film directors, TV stars and other celebrities and was broadcast to a global audience on Facebook. Other participants included Steven Spielberg, Mick Jagger and Indian film stars Ajay Devgan, Hrithik Roshan, Nagarjuna and Arjun Kapoor.

Shibasish Sarkar, group CEO of Reliance Entertainment, which organised We for India in association with GiveIndia, Facebook and the UN platform The World We Want, says: “The honest and sincere effort of our team and our partners is the reason behind the great success of this event. I would like to extend my gratitude to all the talent, artists, philanthropists and everyone who supported this fundraiser. It is our humble contribution to our nation’s ongoing battle against the invisible enemy.”

“I would like to extend my gratitude to all the talent, artists, philanthropists and everyone who supported this fundraiser”

The money, around 370m rupees, was raised from a combination of corporate partners, philanthropic foundations and individual donors, reports IANS. It follows a similar event, I for India, which raised $7m in May 2020.

Atul Satija, CEO of GiveIndia, comments: “We are grateful for all the support we have received from each and everyone who donated and came together to make We For India such an impactful journey. Thank you for making it a success and contributing to our India Covid Response Fund. We all know that the pandemic and the suffering it has caused is far from over. We for India is a great, timely initiative to remind us of the need to continue to provide humanitarian aid and strengthen our health infrastructure.”

“The great success of this initiative is the result of the collective efforts of so many people, and truly epitomises the power of communities,” Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships for Facebook India, adds. “As Facebook, we are proud to have supported the voice of leading artists from all over the world and partnered Give India and Reliance Entertainment in this laudable effort towards Covid relief.”

 


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Global Citizen returns with Paris, NY, Nigeria shows

Global Citizen Live has announced the line-ups for the upcoming benefit concerts in New York, Paris and Lagos, Nigeria, which will raise funds to combat poverty and provide greater access to Covid-19 vaccines.

The three concerts will take place on 25 September, alongside simultaneous events in London, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Los Angeles, Sydney and more cities still to be announced. The Global Citizen Live events, which will be broadcast live around the world, are part of of Global Citizen’s ‘Recovery Plan for the World’, a year-long campaign which calls on governments, philanthropists and the private sector to commit financially to the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Citizen Live follows previous Global Citizen events including Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, which took place last summer and raised funds for vaccine development, and 2021’s Vax Live, which focused on securing equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

In New York, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Meek Mill, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Burna Boy, Cyndi Lauper, Jon Batiste and Lang Lang will perform on the Great Lawn in Central Park, while the Paris event, held on the Champ de Mars, will feature Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, DJ Snake, HER, Black Eyed Peas, Christine and the Queens and Angélique Kidjo. The Lagos concert (venue TBC) will include performances from Femi Kuti, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Made Kuti.

Coinciding with the UN general assembly preceding the G20 meeting (October) and Cop26 summit (November), Global Citizen Live focus will call on leaders to fund:

“This remains a global crisis … It will only end with global equitable access to vaccines”

Katie Hill, senior vice-president and head of music, entertainment and artist relations for Global Citizen, says: “Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen music bring communities together and inspire action during one of the most challenging times of our generation. We’re excited to join these incredible artists to unite people across the globe on 25 September as we hold world leaders and business leaders accountable to rectify the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As we carefully resume Global Citizen’s live events, we couldn’t be more grateful to each of these artists for donating their time and performances to make an impact through this urgent campaign.”

David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, adds: “Global Citizen’s support is critical as we all work together to reach the most vulnerable people and communities. We’re facing an unprecedented crisis in 2021: 41 million people have famine literally knocking at the door. The price tag to stop their suffering is about US$6 billion. We need funding and we need it now.”

“As wealthy countries are well on their way to reopening and returning to normal life, we now face a two-track pandemic of haves and have-nots,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, comments. “Over 75% of the more than 4bn doses administered to date have occurred in just ten countries, while only 1% of people in low-income countries have received a dose. We cannot disregard this gross inequity or become complacent.

“This remains a global crisis, with emerging variants emanating from under-vaccinated parts of the world continuing to threaten everyone’s lives and livelihoods. It will only end with global equitable access to vaccines and other life-saving medical supplies. That’s why I am pleased to support Global Citizen Live and join Global Citizen in their calls to public and private leaders to share the doses, financing, knowledge, technology and political solidarity needed to end this pandemic.”

 


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Music industry rallies for Europe flood victims

Benefit concerts in Germany and Belgium are helping to raise money for those affected by the catastrophic flooding which has swept across continental Europe this month.

At press time, at least 217 people have lost their lives in the floods, which began on 12 July, including 177 in Germany, 37 in Belgium and one person each in Italy, Austria and Romania. A further 155 Germans and six Belgians are still missing, while hundreds of thousands of people were left without power by the flash floods, which have stunned the scientific community.

In Germany, which has bore the brunt of the flooding, a benefit show, Wir halten zusammen! (We Stick Together!), air on public broadcaster ARD tonight (23 July), with a host of the country’s biggest domestic stars playing for free to raise funds for flooding victims.

Sarah Connor, Herbert Grönemeyer, Max Giesinger, Peter Maffay, Roland Kaiser, die Prinzen, Max Mutzke, Jeanette Biedermann and Yvonne Catterfeld will perform at the concert, which is being produced by Oberkirch-based Kimmig Entertainment and forms part of a wider benefit day broadcast on ARD.

“It is everyone’s business to help, especially those of us in the cultural sector”

In Belgium, in addition to a national day of mourning held on 21 July, promoters and artists are stepping up to help those affected by the floods, which were described by Belgian minister of home affairs Annelies Verlinden as “one of the greatest natural disasters our country has ever known.”

Niels Destadsbader – known to non-Belgian IQ readers for his work with Covid-19 relief organisation Lights for Live – donated the proceeds of his show at Ghelamco Arena (20,000-cap.) in Ghent on Tuesday 20 July to the Belgian Red Cross, while popular Francophone festival Francofolies de Spa, which is this year called Belgofolies de Spa, has added an extra day in solidarity with flood victims.

The special concert, Belgofolies aux côtés des sinistrés (Belgofolies with the Disaster Victims), will be held on Monday 26 July and feature performances from Belgian artists including Delta, Plastic Bertrand, Glauque, Antoine Armedan, CélénaSophia, Pierres and Eddy Ape, with all money going to the victims.

Charles Gardier, festival director of Francofolies/Belgofolies, tells RTBF radio: “We know that we will be able to make this evening a great moment of solidarity to come to the aid of the victims. We said to ourselves that it was also our role to act. Faced with such a crisis, it is thanks to this beautiful act of solidarity that we will be able to get out of it. It is everyone’s business [to help], and especially those of us in the cultural sector.”

 


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Vax Live concert adds Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Global Citizen has announced Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as the campaign leads for 2 May’s Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, featuring Jennifer Lopez, Foo Fighters and more.

The concert, which aims to raise from governments US$19 billion for the WHO’s vaccine-sharing programme, the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), will feature the British royals delivering an “important global message for vaccine equity”, according to organisers.

Other high-profile guests confirmed to appear at the event, which be streamed on 8 May via YouTube, as well as a number of US broadcasters, include US president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, actors Ben Affleck and Sean Penn and recording artist Selena Gomez, who will host the show.

In addition to Lopez and Foo Fighters, the show will include performances from J Balvin, Eddie Vedder and HER.

“ We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine,” say the Duke and Duchess in a joint statement. “We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important.”

“We are truly grateful for the time, effort and energy that everyone has given to make Vax Live a reality”

According to Global Citizen, whose Unite for Our Future concert last summer raised nearly $7bn to help fund vaccine research, a further $19bn is the figure needed to provide 1.8bn doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the developing world by the end of 2021. Over $11bn has already been pledged by the Coca-Cola Foundation, Cisco, the Analog Devices Foundation and an unnamed Swiss foundation.

Taking place at Los Angeles’ Sofi Stadium on 2 May, the concert will be pre-taped and air on 8 May. It is executive produced by Global Citizen, Live Nation, YouTube Originals, iHeart Media, the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative and Teneo.

“We are truly grateful for the time, effort and energy that everyone has given to make Vax Live a reality within just a few months,” says Katie Hill, head of music, entertainment and artist relations for Global Citizen. “We’re thrilled to be hosting Global Citizen’s first live event since the pandemic began alongside these incredible artists, entertainers and individuals who are donating their time to support our mission to achieve vaccine equity and build vaccine confidence globally.

“I’m moved by the enthusiasm of every Vax Live participant to play a role in ending the Covid-19 pandemic as we all work together to come back, safely.”

 


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Live Nation Spain spearheads industry benefit campaign

Live Nation Spain president Pino Sagliocco has galvanised some of the biggest names in the music, sport and film industries for a benefit campaign supporting the music industry.

Under the umbrella ‘The Carbonería del Siglo XXI’, Universal Music Spain, Sony Music Spain and Warner Music Spain have come together to re-record Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ with more than 40 artists including Queen’s Brian May.

Renowed tennis star Rafa Nadal and film star Paz Vega are among the celebrities who appear in the video for the song, recorded in the studios of The Art House Records in Miami and produced by Grammy-award winner Julio Reyes Copello.

The stars that participated on the record will come together for a benefit concert

The single and the video were launched at a press conference hosted by the Live Nation Spain president in the Atletico de Madrid stadium last Thursday (15 April).

Following the success of the campaign, the stars that participated on the record will come together for a benefit concert as soon as the current Covid restrictions allows.

Sagliocco formed non-profit cultural association Carbonería del Siglo XXI to support and give voice to a sector especially devastated by the pandemic.

The associaton also comprises members of Es Música and Federación de Música, FPM Entertainment, the Latin Grammys and Lionfish Entertainment.

 


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Eason Chan plays to empty Hong Kong Coliseum

Cantopop singer Eason Chan last weekend became the first artist to perform at Hong Kong’s leading large concert venue, the Hong Kong Coliseum, after restrictions on performing at the venue were lifted.

Chan was scheduled to play 25 shows at the 12,500-seat Coliseum in December and January, but the performances were pulled amid unrest in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters continue to clash with Beijing-backed security forces. The local star instead played to an empty venue on Saturday 11 July in aid of industry charity HKLPPIA (Hong Kong Live Performance and Production Industry Association), whose pandemic fund is supporting Hongkong artists and crew through the coronavirus shutdown.

The charity event, dubbed ‘Live is So Much Better with Music’, comprised two 30-minute performances: One at 6am local time (‘sunrise’) and one at 5pm (‘sunset’). Despite being performed without a crowd, the shows created nearly 100 jobs for local crew, according to the Straits Times.

At the end of the video, Chan says in Cantonese: “It feels strange to have no audience, so we will clap for ourselves. Even if there is no applause, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this performance…”

Live is So Much Better with Music comprised two 30-minute performances: One at 6am local time and one at 5pm

Chan’s performance came as popular Hong Kong festival Clockenflap confirmed it would again not take place this year, this time as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 threat. Clockenflap 2019 was called off at the 11th hour as a result of the same unrest that cancelled Chan’s original Coliseum shows.

Mike Hill, co-founder and CEO of Clockenflap promoter Magnetic Asia, explains the decision: “The biggest challenge for us is the uncertainty of international travel. Would artists be able to come without having to spend 14 days in quarantine? There is a strong chance this may not improve before November. That makes it impossible to create the kind of Clockenflap people want.

“But 2021 will be bigger because we now have a date secured and it’s 18 months away. We have never had that level of venue certainty in the history of the event. That, matched with the hunger to perform, means our booking team should be in the best position ever.”

Clockenflap 2021 will take place from 26 to 28 November.

 


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Live music community rallies for Covid-19 relief

High-profile acts from around the world are taking part in a number of upcoming virtual events to raise money and awareness for Covid-19 relief funds, as the live music community continues to pull its weight in the fight against the disease.

Virtual benefit events have been a feature of lockdown from the very beginning, with the Lady Gaga-curated, Global Citizen-organised One World: Together at Home an early pioneer of the space. The mammoth livestreamed benefit event raised almost US$128 million for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 solidarity response fund, setting a new a record for the most money generated by a remote music festival.

Now Global Citizen is teaming up with the European Commission for Global Goal: Unite for our Future, a campaign seeking to raise funds for the development and distribution of Covid-19 testing, treatments and vaccines.

On 27 June, high-profile artists including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Coldplay and J Balvin will join philanthropists and world leaders in an international pledging summit to call on governments to commit to the funding needed to ensure fair access to Covid-19 treatment.

Music industry giants including Live Nation, Scooter Braun and SB Projects, Adam Leber (Maverick), Jay Brown (Roc Nation) and Michele Anthony (Universal Music Group) are involved in producing the event.

Exclusive experiences, including a virtual happy hour with Adam Lambert and virtual concerts from Chloe X Halle and Fher Olvera, lead singer of Mexican rock band Maná, also form part of the campaign.

Global Citizen is teaming up with the European Commission for Global Goal: Unite for our Future

Independent LA-based electronic music companies Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity yesterday (28 May) announced the second edition of their Digital Mirage festival, set to take place from 5 to 7 June.

The first outing of the event, which saw performances from Alsion Wonderland, Tokimonsta and Sofi Tukker, raised over $300,000 for the Sweet Musicians Relief Fund. Digital Mirage 2 will feature acts including A Trak, Baauer, Boys Noize and Hot Chip, with all proceeds going to Plus1’s fund for Covid-19 relief.

Fans can register for the event here.

Eschewing the virtual world for the real thing, French DJ David Guetta is set to make his second rooftop performance in New York on Saturday, following on from a similarly distanced performance in Miami last month. The Miami show raised $750,000 for Feeding South Florida, Feeding America, World Health Organisation and Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris.

The New York concert will raise money for the Mayor’s fund to advance New York city, as well as the international organisations that benefited from Guetta’s first show.

Elsewhere in the US, acts including Pearl Jam, Macklemore and Dave Matthews are participating in the virtual All in WA event on 10 June to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts across Washington state. The concert, which will air on the local NBC affiliates, can be streamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel, and will be available on Amazon Prime after it airs.

Photo: Photo © Raph_PH on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 


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Chinese, Korean entertainment giants unite for benefit show

Chinese entertainment agency Freegos Entertainment and Korean media platform KVLY are organising a livestreamed benefit concert dubbed We Are The World 2020, scheduled to take place on 30 April.

The charity concert takes a similar format to that of Global Citizen’s recent One World: Together at Home show, with artists performing from different locations around the world.

According to the Korea Times, the state-affiliated China Benevolent General Association is inviting Korean record labels to take part in the concert, which could see Korean content appear on online platforms in China for the first time since 2016.

The event will be broadcast live on YouTube and Chinese streaming platforms, featuring acts including Taiwanese musician Jay Chou, Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung and G-Dragon of the K-pop band BigBang.

The charity concert takes a similar format to that of the recent One World show, with artists performing from different locations around the world

The concert takes its name from the 1985 charity single We Are The World, co-written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and recorded by ‘supergroup’ USA for Africa. The single was performed live at Live Aid that same year.

Viewers will be able to donate in real-time during the concert to the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund and Korean welfare institution, the Community Chest of Korea.

The New Straits Times reports that the event has received investment from NetEase Music, one of China’s leading music platforms, and cosmetics and media commerce company VT GMP, known for its work on the BTS perfume.

Other sponsors reportedly include Chinese Association of Performing Arts and the Chinese Charity Foundation.

Photo: Gene Wang/Flickr (CC BY  2.0) (cropped)

 


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One World: Together at Home raises $127m for Covid-19 relief

One World: Together at Home, the Global Citizen-organised, Lady Gaga-curated livestreamed benefit concert, generated US$127 million worth of funding commitments for the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund, organisers have announced.

The eight-hour event, first announced earlier this month, comprised a six-hour digital stream followed by a two-hour broadcast TV special. In total, Together at Home was seen by billions of people in over 175 countries, according to Global Citizen.

The two-hour television special – broadcast on Saturday 18 April in North America and Sunday 19 April in the UK and Europe – featured performances by Sir Elton John, Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, Eddie Vedder, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Sir Paul McCartney, Lizzo and Jennifer Lopez, while non-music guests included Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, David Beckham, Oprah Winfrey and former US first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

Notable corporate donorsinclude the Coca-Cola Company, Vodafone, Citi, IBM, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble

The digital stream, meanwhile, included Christine and the Queens, Michael Bublé, the Killers, John Legend, Jess Flynne, Annie Lennox and Rita Ora, among others.

Notable corporate donors who backed the event include the Coca-Cola Company, Vodafone, Citi, IBM, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, with One World also winning support from notable philanthropists, as well as private donors.

Donations to the fund will support WHO’s work around the world, as well as the vaccine development alliance Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

 


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More high-profile acts join Lady Gaga-curated benefit gig

A host of new artists have joined the line-up for One World: Together at Home, a livestreamed benefit concert co-curated by Lady Gaga in celebration of health workers and in support of the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund.

Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Christine and the Queens, the Killers, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys, Usher and Celine Dion join previously announced acts Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Lizzo, John Legend, Paul McCartney, J Balvin and many more for the mega charity concert, which is taking place on Saturday 18 April from 8 p.m. (EDT).

First announcing the event last week, Gaga revealed she had helped to raise $35 million for the WHO fund, which is dedicated to funding protective equipment for health workers and efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine.

On Monday, the singer called on world leaders including Canada’s Justin Trudeau, France’s Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to contribute funds to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, organisations seeking to find a vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

As part as the One World: Together at Home initiative, Global Citizen, the social action platform that has partnered with the WHO to produce the event, is calling on individuals, philanthropists, investors and business to support global health efforts.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make One World: Together At Home a moment of global unity”

“We are grateful to the private sector who have listened to the public’s call for action and come together to support the global response to Covid-19,” says Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “This pandemic is too large for governments to tackle alone.

“We are also incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make One World: Together At Home a moment of global unity,” continues Evans. “Our hope for the special is that everyone will come away believing that we, as a shared humanity, can emerge from this moment forever grateful for the work of doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers, and all those who are the backbone of our communities.”

One World: Together at Home, which will be hosted by US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, will be broadcast live across US television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as being streamed online.

Internationally, the UK’s BBC One will show an adapted version of the concert the following day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (BST), including exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline health workers. Additional international broadcasters include AXS TV, beIN Media Group, IMDb, MultiChoice Group, and RTE.

There will also be a globally curated digital show beginning at 2 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. GMT. Streaming partners include Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Photo: proacguy1/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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