posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Thursday, 8 September 2016, 14:05
It was just a normal (crazily-) busy day in the HOPE not hate office, when we took a call out of the blue from a friendly-sounding woman called Jude. She told us her partner was a ‘drummer in a band’ and would like to put on a gig for our benefit.
Skip forward six weeks later and we're standing among a crowd of 6,000 people at The Brixton Academy – and The Libertines are about to be welcomed on stage! The roar was huge and this was the finale to an amazing evening. Alongside The Libertines were Rat Boy, Tom Grennan and Yak, with all proceeds from the evening going to support our future work.
Earlier in the day Libertines drummer Gary Powell – who created Unity Rocks (which put on last night’s gig) as a response to post-Referendum racism and divisions – had appeared with DJ The Last Skeptik on Facebook Live, talking about those Brexit divisions and the reason behind his creation of Unity Rocks.
When the drummer of a band as big as The Libertines decides it's time to make change, it seems mountains can be gently nudged aside to create a fabulous new platform for artists to identify with a positive message of common humanity. We consider ourselves fortunate to have his support and can’t thank him enough for his efforts.
Of course, this summer did expose terrible divisions and tensions lurking in areas of the UK. But it also showed a huge outpouring of positivity and hope: we’ve been heartened to see literally thousands of individuals get involved in our #MoreInCommon campaign, bringing people together around shared values.
We’ve had people taking on sponsored bike rides, charity runs, swims and other challenges for our benefit, as well as gigs, theatre shows and thousands coming along to our #MoreInCommon events. We’ve seen just how much a message of hope resonates with people, many of whom have never come across our work before.
Standing in a crowd of thousands, all wearing HOPE not hate badges and singing along word-for-word with Pete and the band, we really felt that the message of unity was something that resonated with all last night. Thank you again, Gary, and all the bands who took part.
We hope that Unity Rocks is something which grows and grows, because based on last night's storming success it’s clear that Unity does indeed Rock!
Posted: 8 Sep 2016 | There are 0 comments
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