Belfast Busk for the Homeless
As part of Homeless Awareness Week, several of Northern Ireland's musical artists are taking to the streets to highlight the issue. Musicians and highlighting issues of social injustice, and inequality have a long history, and some of our top singers and songwriters have joined up to help shine a light on a problem that is set to grow larger unless we all sit up and take notice.
All proceeds of the event will go to The People’s Kitchen Belfast, who work alongside families and individuals who are faced with homelessness and poverty, and who have organised the busk. The event was given the blessing of Glen Hansard at his recent sell-out gig at the Belfast Grand Opera House, and tales of inspiriation from his ground-breaking Dublin Busk. Glen was hoping to appear himself, but unfortunately, dates and other commitments clashed.
Artists already committed include Malojian, Matt McGinn, Amanda St. John, Erin Docherty, Joe Rocks, Mark Langley, Stephen Rafferty, and Una Clarkin, with the whisper of special guests on the night. The Busk will be compered on the night by comedian Nuala McKeever.
A spokesperson for the People’s Kitchen said:
We have been fortunate to receive the support of some major artists over the last few years such as Gary Lightbody, Frances and Mary Black, Glen Hansard, and Christy Moore. When we approached the artists involved, not one turned us down, and all were keen to get involved in the Busk.
Almost 9,000 people presented as homeless in the first 6 months of this year, and that figure is only set to increase.
Nuala McKeever highlighted the strength of feeling among the artists:
We are singing on the streets to highlight that no one should be sleeping on the streets.
This is music in action.
While the Busk will highlight the serious issue, the music itself will be top drawer. Expect a lot of collaborations, covers of classic songs, crowd sing-alongs, and of course some Christmas classics, plus one or two surprises!
If you’re free, why not come along and support the artists giving so freely of their time and talents? If you are able to, then give a little something to The People’s Kitchen.