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CAA’s Hugh Parsons plans ‘Ride for Ben’ fundraiser

Hugh Parsons, assistant to late CAA agent Ben Kouijzer, is planning a nearly 1,000-mile sponsored bike ride in memory of his close friend and mentor, who died from cancer late last year.

Kouijzer, an electronic music agent at Creative Artists Agency in London, passed away in November after being diagnosed with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST), a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He was just 36.

Parsons, who remains with CAA, is cycling the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’Groats in the Scottish Highlands, to raise money for Sarcoma UK, a charity that supported Kouijzer throughout his battle with cancer.

At press time, Parsons has raised more than £6,000 for Sarcoma UK for the 1,500km ride, which he will do in ten days in the company of his friend, Max.

“Ben was a very special person who I was lucky enough to call a close friend and mentor,” explains Parsons. “We first met through his brother, Christiaan, who DJed at one of my Stevie Wonderland shows in Manchester in 2015, and Ben and I stayed in touch since, ending up with me working for him at CAA. Among so many huge life lessons, Ben taught me to make time for everyone, park your ego, be as fair as possible, and to stay positive.

“Ben taught me to make time for everyone, park your ego, be as fair as possible, and to stay positive”

“Ben passed in Mexico at the end of 2020 following a long struggle with an uncommon cancer called a sarcoma (or MPNST), which initially infected his back and later his lungs. He was a fighter through and through; however, the final blow was dealt by Covid.

“In between Ben’s two diagnoses, he signed up to run the London marathon for Sarcoma UK but was not able to. I will be following through on Ben’s promise to Sarcoma UK and raising the money Ben would have raised in his name. Charities have been hit especially hard by Covid, and this has been felt even more acutely by already underfunded sarcoma researchers.”

The ride will see Parsons and Max average 150km a day and climb over 15,000m (the equivalent of nearly two Everests), burning the same amount of calories as 14 marathons. “It’s a pretty mad idea, but inspired by Ben, I’m sure we’ll pull through,” Parsons adds. “Please give generously!”

To donate to the ‘Big Ride for Ben’, click here to visit the fundraising page on JustGiving.

 


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Agent and dad plan ‘Row for Alison’ marathon

Free Trade Agency’s David Hughes and his father, Darryl, will be donning the lycra to take part in a fundraising rowing-machine challenge on 28 May in aid of the hospice team that looked after David’s mother, Alison, who passed away in December.

David, who assists Paul Boswell, will be attempting to row a full marathon (26.2 miles/42.2km) alongside his dad who will take on half the distance, in a bid to raise £5,000.

“My mum had a brain tumour and the support of a very extensive professional care team, alongside incredible amounts of support from her family and friends, enabled her to be nursed at home for nearly 12 months prior to being transferred to the Princess Alice Hospice at Esher for her final days,” says David.

“The hospice community team played a vital role in caring for Mum with their unique knowledge and expertise in palliative care. However, while Alison was at the hospice I discovered that they are not able to operate to full capacity, due to a desperate lack in funding for nursing staff.”

To support the Hughes family’s efforts, visit the ‘Row for Alison’ page on JustGiving. At press time, the Hugheses had raised just over half of their £5,000 target.

 


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Sold-out Sportpaleis raises €50,000 for live biz

Fundraising initiative Lights for Live has raised more than €50,000 for Belgium’s live music industry after selling out the Antwerp Sportpaleis for the first time in 2021.

Over 5,000 people booked one or more virtual ‘seats’ at €2 each in the 18,400-seat arena to raise money for Live2020, a solidarity fund to support the industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous fundraising events for Live2020 include the Live2020 Auction in November and last year’s Rock Werchter for Live2020.

The money raised by Lights for Live was handed over to Live2020 on Sunday (14 February), while at at the same time each seat in the Sportpaleis was illuminated to represent the fans who couldn’t be present.

“You can feel that people are really starting to look forward to concerts again”

“It is great to see so many people showing their solidarity with the live music sector through this action,” says Clouseau singer Koen Wauters. “You can feel that people are really starting to look forward to concerts again. It’s something I miss a lot myself at the moment.”

“I am genuinely touched by so much light and warmth,” comments musician and composer Miguel Wiels. “It sounds strange, but despite the fact that no one is here, you can still feel a kind of presence from the audience. Hopefully more actions like this will follow soon so that together we can lead the music sector through this crisis and we can make a new start without too much damage.”

According to Niels Destadsbader, another regular at the Sportpaleis, “I must say that I have mixed feelings being here today. On the one hand, it makes me a bit unhappy to see this beautiful concert hall empty, especially because I know from experience how this – in usual circumstances – is an insanely magical place. But on the other hand, I am very happy with the support of our fans and of everyone who supports and cares about music.”

 


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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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