A MUSIC legend, rising country star, a vocal ensemble and ‘queer disco’ collective will unite for a two-day fundraising extravaganza that plans to raise awareness of World AIDS Day 2017 as well as celebrate the lives and ongoing legacies of people living with HIV.
Two events across two days will bring the city together to help increase understanding and generate integral support for Sahir House, Liverpool’s dedicated HIV Charity. Irish singer/songwriter Brian Kennedy, supported by country/blues newcomer Daisy Gill, will perform at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Thursday 30th November. The ‘A Better Man’ singer will perform an exclusive intimate gig in the venue’s Music Room allowing guests to get up close to the popular singer. Brian will be joined on the evening by critically acclaimed vocalists, Sense of Sound who will sing a collection of songs together.
This will be followed by a one-off World AIDS Day event at District in the Baltic Triangle on Friday 1st December courtesy of Sonic Yootha.
Both nights will raise awareness of the stigma that still surrounds HIV and generate understanding that it can be easily prevented.
After the success of last year’s event, Thomas Lang and Jennifer John, local musicians and patrons of Sahir House, will be back curating.
Thomas Lang, musician and event organiser, said: “Both events are a wonderful way of remembering everything worth living for, and a reminder to take the necessary steps to ensure that we can keep on living.
“HIV is still around, and something that we cannot ignore. It’s estimated that over 100,000 in the UK are living with it, but crucially 13% of those are unaware that they have HIV. People must be aware that it’s really important to know your HIV status.
“We’re also incredibly excited to have Sonic Yootha on board. The collective has been amazing at igniting a whole new era of club culture and it’s great to see all walks of life uniting at their dynamic events. Vitally, it will allow us to reach a whole new audience: which is exactly what we need to overcome the stigma.
“Each artist has volunteered free of charge in support of Sahir House. Myself, Jennifer and the Sahir House team are extremely grateful for this gesture of support. We’d love nothing more than the public to get involved and attend one of, if not both, of our events – after all, music has the power to unite us all.”
Liverpool-born poet, director, actor and author, Gerry Potter will be back hosting the evening which is expected to be another incredible night that is so crucial to garnering support for this vital cause.
The events will also raise awareness of National HIV Testing Week, which encourages everybody to take ownership of their own health and overcome the outdated stigma surrounding HIV. It reinforces the World AIDS Day 2017 message of ‘Let’s end it: end isolation, end stigma, end HIV transmission’.
John Aggy, co-founder of Sonic Yootha, said: “At Sonic Yootha, we’re staunch advocates of breaking stigmas and providing a safe space to do so – this is why we jumped at the chance to support Sahir House.
“From the get go we have always wanted a night that allows people to be empowered and feel comfortable enough to talk about vital issues. Through collaborating with Sahir House, we’d really like to encourage people to talk about HIV, how you can prevent it and how it can be treated.
“We welcome anybody as long as you’re respectful. Let’s dance, celebrate life and honour those souls we have lost.”
Tommy McIlravey, CEO, Sahir House said: “There’s a real buzz already about this year’s Celebration of Life event. Anyone who has been to the last few events will know that Celebration of Life is a unique mix of great music, performance and humour. This is what has made the events so successful in previous years. This time we have Brian Kennedy headlining which is generating attention from much wider afield than ever before. He’s a talent with real star quality and we know he has a particularly special place in the heart of many people in Liverpool. We can’t wait!”
Brian Kennedy and friends will perform at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Music Room, Thursday 30th November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at www.liverpoolphil.com/whats-on/celebration-of-life-2017.
Baltic Triangle’s District is hosting Sonic Yootha’s one-off World AIDS Day event on the evening of Friday 1st December. Tickets are £5.00 and can be bought on the door. All details can be found at www.facebook.com/sonicyootha/
To find out more about Sahir House and the life-changing work they do, visit www.sahir.org.uk