Rock Against Homelessness
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Rock Against Homelessness in aid of Focus Ireland
Independent.ie's Rock Against Homelessness in aid of Focus Ireland will be a very special streaming event from the Olympia Theatre and Windmill Lane Recording Studios taking place on June 20th at 8pm. Directed by Dave Merriman of Savoy One Films and executive produced by the Sunday Independent's Barry Egan, it will be a great night of music, but also a night of hope, love and support for Focus Ireland, from Dublin to London, Belfast to New York.
The incomparable Panti Bliss will serve as main MC, with Laura Whitmore on board to help out. As well as the coolest MCs, Independent.ie's Rock Against Homelessness will feature the hottest Irish act on the planet right now, Pillow Queens, who have just made their US TV debut with James Corden on CBS’ Late Late Show. They will play their four-song set from Windmill Lane.
From the Olympia, beloved Dublin legends Christy Dignam and Aslan take the stage, and their extensive set will include a duet with the legendary Gilbert O'Sullivan, and another duet with Paul Walsh/Royseven. They will be followed by performances from Tolü Makay and Wyvern Lingo. Also in the Olympia, Panti Bliss will interview Oscar-winning director Jim Sheridan onstage about homelessness in Ireland.
Rock Against Homelessness will also feature performances from other venues and other countries. Irish icon Lesley Dowdall performs in Windmill Lane Recording Studios in Ringsend, duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela perform from Mexico, the sensational Ryan McMullan will perform from Belfast, while Ken Griffin (formerly of Rollerskate Skinny) will showcase his new band, The High Leaves, from New York. Blindboy Boatclub will also have a few words to say, filmed from his living room.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan says, ‘Focus Ireland needs to raise nearly 40% of our annual budget through donations so we really need people to support this great event again this year. Rock Against Homelessness raised over €70K last year. These funds were vital to help Focus Ireland support the most vulnerable families and individuals and keep them safe during Covid19. We cannot thank Mediahuis Ireland enough for this incredible support. This is the sixth year of Rock Against Homelessness and it will be a different year as the concert will be streamed online due to Covid restrictions. The show looks great and it will also feature some of the people we have supported, so it is a chance for people buying tickets to the event to really hear how their kind support is helping our work challenging homelessness and changing lives. I’d also really like to say thank you to all the artists for giving their time to support our work.’
Pillow Queens: ‘We were honoured to be asked to take part in Rock Against Homelessness for FOCUS Ireland and Belong To (an LGBTQ group for youths that work with FOCUS Ireland). Homeless people are already on the fringes of society, and homeless LGBTQ people are trying to exist within an already marginalised community. Playing at this event is something we didn't have to think twice about. Sr. Stan is our hero. Thanks for having us.’
Panti Bliss: ‘I'm delighted to be involved in this event to highlight the ongoing crisis of homelessness which is a stain on all of our souls.’
Laura Whitmore: ‘The homeless issue is something that I have thought about a lot, especially because it effects so many children.’
Christy Dignam: ‘It’s a cause that’s very close to our hearts. But for the grace of God it could be any of us and the pandemic showed us how any life can be turned upside down in an instant.’
Tolü Makay: ‘A house, a home, having a roof over your head is one of the most essential things many of us take for granted. If me singing can help people dig into their pockets to help those in need of security, a place to call home, it's the least I can do. The housing crisis in Ireland is extremely frustrating. I hope this raises a significant amount of money to help those who need it, to ensure better quality of living.’
David Merriman: ‘Imagine being in temporary accommodation during Covid or living on the streets? I’m proud to support Focus Ireland and Rock Against Homelessness, as we try to help those who have no place to call home.’
Jim Sheridan: ‘With the homeless, it’s almost like you need to see scenes of them being driven out of their homes for it to really strike a chord with Irish people. You don’t see that, how they lost their home. All you see is the result; you’re not seeing whether it was the banks, or what caused them to be on the street. We need to examine the roots causes of homelessness and what it was that brought them to that place.’
Gilbert O’Sullivan: ‘Any event that highlights how serious the issue of homelessness is in rich countries like Ireland has to be applauded. I’m honoured to play a small part, especially over the last year when everybody, not least those without a home, has had their lives turned upside down by this pandemic. Here’s to the continued success of Rock Against Homelessness, and all those involved in the concert.’
Tickets for this live stream event are on sale from Saturday 28 May at 10am until Sunday 27 June 2021 at 4pm
Yes, you can donate to this great cause at ww.focusireland.ie/Rock21
Tickets cost €23.00