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Mika’s ‘I love Beirut’ concert raises over €1m for charity

Lebanon-born artist Mika has raised over €1 million from his livestreamed charity concert in aid of those affected by last month’s devastating explosion in his home city.

I Love Beirut was livestreamed across four time zones from Mika’s YouTube channel on 19 September and featured performances from himself, Kylie, Rufus Wainwright, Mashrou Leila and others.

More than 100 countries bought tickets to the benefit event – the most recorded on a Ticketmaster event – and 48 countries donated.

The benefit concert raised €1m euros from ticket sales, sponsors and members of the public donating via GoFundMe. The money will be split between the Lebanese Red Cross and Save the Children. Donations can still be made here.

“Thank you to everyone around the world who bought a ticket to the stream, donated to GoFundMe and our sponsors for helping us to raise such an amazing amount of money,” says Mika.

“I also wanted to say how amazing this statement of solidarity for the situation in Beirut has been, with tickets for the stream selling to over 120 different countries around the world.

“This has been a project that was born out of and made possible by love, and a huge amount of collaboration with friends and many new friends made in the process.”

More than 100 countries bought tickets to the benefit event – the most recorded on a Ticketmaster event

Georges Kettaneh, secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross, said: “We are extremely grateful for this generous support and for the solidarity that has been expressed. These funds will help the Lebanese Red Cross to continue to support Beirut at this time of great need.

“The people of Beirut face a long road to recovery, with this generosity and the continued support we have received from around the globe, we can continue to stand alongside them for as long we are needed.”

Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK said: “Save the Children is working around the clock to provide vital support to children and families in Lebanon whose lives have been devastated by the explosion in Beirut. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has come together to raise this incredible total.

“All donations will be going towards our emergency response efforts in Lebanon, which include weatherproofing damaged homes, supporting vulnerable and displaced families with food and cash grants, and providing ongoing psychological support for children and families.”

Mika will also perform at United for Lebanon, a charity event organised by French media conglomerate, Vivendi.

The benefit will take place tomorrow (1 October) in L’Olympia in Paris, featuring artists from Vivendi subsidiary Universal Music Group, including Sting, Clara Luciani, Florent Pagny, Melody Gardot, Soolking and Grand Corps Sick.

The concert will be broadcast live on France 2 and France Inter and a small audience will be present, in compliance with Covid regulations.

Fundraisers For Beirut and The Sound of Beirut took place earlier this month.


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Sum 41 cancel Paris show due to explosion

Canadian rock band Sum 41 cancelled a show in the French capital on Saturday night (18 January) after an “explosive device” was detonated outside the venue they were to appear in.

Saturday night’s show, which was to be held at Les Etoiles (500-cap.) nightclub, formed part of the band’s ‘No Personal Space’ performances, “special shows in tiny clubs”.The band, currently on their Order in Decline world tour, played an arena date in Paris at the 6,800-capacity Zénith on Friday.

According to reports, the band posted the following statement on social media, which was later deleted: “During load in for tonight’s performance in Paris, an explosive device was detonated just outside of the venue door. Band, crew, the fans in line are all safe, there were no injuries.

“Due to the intimate nature of our ‘Personal Space’ performances, we are unable to guarantee the safety of the fans in attendance. We are deeply saddened to announce that tonight’s show has been canceled [sic]. More information to follow.”

“Unfortunately, the Sum 41 show at Les Etoiles is cancelled tonight”

The band later posted a new statement on the Twitter, saying “Unfortunately, the Sum 41 show at Les Etoiles is cancelled tonight. All tickets will be refundable with your tickets, Further details will be posted ASAP.”

The manager of the venue, Vincent Le Gall, told Franceinfo that the explosion was caused by a firecracker thrown by gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protesters. Thousands across France took to the streets last week for a new wave of the protests, which began in November 2018 in response to rising fuel prices.

Sum 41 are playing a second sold-out ‘No Personal Space’ show at the Dome (500-cap.) in North London, before heading to Amsterdam’s Afas Live (6,000-cap.), Dusseldorf’s Mitsubishi Electric Halle (7,500-cap.) and Zenith in Munich (6,000-cap.). Details of dates and ticket prices can be found here.

Photo: Stefan Brending/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)


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Onstage pyro explosion kills Spanish singer

A woman has died after being hit by an exploding pyrotechnic device while performing at a festival in northern Spain.

Joana Sáinz García, 30, was onstage as part of the Super Hollywood Orchestra at the closing night of four-day festival in the town of Las Berlanas, 130 kilometres northwest of Madrid. It is believed the group were playing to a crowd of 1,000.

A pyrotechnic device exploded near the singer, knocking her unconscious. Sáinz García later died in hospital.

Local promoter Prones 1SL, who represents the group, says the “regrettable incident” was prompted by a manufacturing error.

The promoter’s managing director, Isidro López, told reporters that the performers had been working with the flare-like pyrotechnic devices for the past five to six years, setting off over 2,000 devices without experiencing any issues.

A tribute issued by Prones 1SL reads: “[Joana] always acted in an exemplary manner, both in her personal and artistic life. Her absence will be felt by all of us.”

The show was the last in a four-date run for the 15-member group, which includes dancers, singers and musicians.


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