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Indian benefit concert raises almost US$7m

A virtual fundraising concert organised by Bollywood directors Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar in coordination with Facebook India has raised over Rs520 million (US$6.9m) to fight the coronavirus outbreak in India.

In the latest high-profile online benefit event, Mick Jagger, Joe Jonas, Bryan Adams and Will Smith performed from their homes along with Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar in a five-hour concert, which was broadcast on Facebook on Sunday night (3 May).

Every donation generated by the I For India event goes to GiveIndia’s Covid response fund and is matched rupee for rupee by donors including Action Covid-19 Team, ATE Chandra Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network India and Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies.

According to charity GiveIndia, the I For India event has become the biggest live fundraiser on Facebook, raising Rs4.3m ($568,358) through individual donations and Rs477m ($6.3m) from corporate donors and philanthropists.

“Humbled by the love and trust showered on [us] via the I For India concert”

“Humbled by the love and trust showered on [us] via the #IFORINDIA concert,” reads a post on GiveIndia’s Twitter page. “Thank you – our galaxy of stars and to each and every one of you who have donated.”

GiveIndia’s relief efforts help provide PPE kits to healthcare workers and food, rations, and cash relief to daily wagers and migrant workers.

India’s 1.3 billion people have been in lockdown since 25 March. Restrictions have recently been eased, but they are expected to last until at least 17 May.

The incorporation of a ‘donate’ button into live videos, is one of a number of new video-related features introduced by Facebook, which has also augmented its tipping tool and now allows artists to charge for access to online performances.

Photo: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Crowd management leader Mick Upton passes

One of the UK’s most prominent crowd management specialists, Mick Upton, has passed away. Upton founded ShowSec International Ltd in 1982 and was the recipient of numerous awards recognising his contribution to the field.

“He gave many people (including me) a start in the industry and had a profound effect on everyone he met and worked with,” says Jon Corbishley at the Safety Officer Pty.

Following his retirement from ShowSec in 2000, Upton worked with Chris Kemp and Iain Hill on the development of the first ever crowd management foundation degree course at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (now Buckinghamshire New University).

A statement from ShowSec pays tribute a “pioneer in the crowd-management industry” who made it “his life’s work to enhance standards for crowd safety and promote a professional approach to event security.

“Above all, he was a kind and caring man, always taking time to provide others with advice or encouragement to assist them in their careers or lives. A true gentleman; may he rest in peace.”

“His sheer enthusiasm and lust for life were his hallmark and shone through”

In 2005, Upton was awarded a Doctorate for his work and he was appointed as the first Head of the Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies at BNU. He retired from that position in December 2007.

“There are three things that stick in my mind about Mick,” says Kemp. “The first was the day I first met him back stage at Bon Jovi at Milton Keynes Bowl where we talked about the possibility of education courses for the crowd management industry. His sheer enthusiasm and lust for life were his hallmark and this shone through in just speaking about the possibilities.

“Secondly his generosity. Mick never wanted much, when we finished our first book, Case Studies in Crowd Management, Mick came to my house for Dinner with Iain Hill to celebrate, it was a great night and his generosity of spirit just amazed us as we talked for hours about the next steps. Thirdly, he was just a great guy, never saw the bad in others just the opportunities and possibilities. He was the last of a breed. The mould has been thrown away and he will be sorely missed.”

“He was just a great guy, never saw the bad in others just the opportunities and possibilities. He was the last of a breed”

Upton’s career in the security business began in the sixties when he worked as a close protection bodyguard for a wide range of VIP clients including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Subsequently, as Head of Security at Artistes Services Ltd, he worked with celebrity clients that ranged from ABBA to Led Zeppelin.

It was this period that saw his keen interest in crowd management develop, specifically following the death of a young woman at a 1974 David Cassidy concert at which he was working.

Upton frequently consulted with police services, local authorities and foreign agencies on both crowd management and close security. In 2009, he acted as liaison between UK Special Forces and BNU to successfully establish civilian qualifications for military close protection training.

In addition to the book that Upton co-authored with Kemp and Hill, he also published From Ancient Rome to Rock & Roll – A Review of the UK Leisure Security Industry in 2007.

 


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