Words: Emily Mullen
The sixth Rock Against Homelessness will be streamed from Olympia Theatre and Windmill Lane Recording Studios
The lineup for this year’s 2021 Rock Against Homelessness has been announced and includes a pretty gold-plated collection of musicians and performers. Streamed out of the iconic Olympia Theatre and Windmill Lane Recording Studios, there will be performances from the likes of Pillow Queens, Tolü Makay, Wyvern Lingo and Aslan. MC Panti Bliss will also be in conversation with Oscar-winning director Jim Sheridan, and Blindboy Boatclub will be dropping in for a few words.
All profits from the event will go to Focus Ireland, a charity that relies on the public for 40% of its annual budget. Rock Against Homelessness’s 2020 event raised €70k for the charity, which CEO Pat Dennigan said “were vital to help Focus Ireland support the most vulnerable families and individuals and keep them safe during Covid19.”
Despite a drop in families experiencing homelessness, through the work of charities like Focus Ireland, there are still four times more homeless families than there were in 2014. With over 8000 people homeless including over 900 families with more than 2200 children in emergency homeless accommodation. “We now sadly fear the numbers homeless will soon rise due to job losses during the pandemic and also the fact that the temporary eviction ban is now over,” Dennigan said.
Fresh of their US TV debut on James Corden’s Late Late Show, Pillow Queens will be performing a four-song set from Windmill Lane. Speaking of the event the Pillow Queens said “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.”
From the Olympia, 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 of Royseven. The cause is something that Dignam holds “very close to our hearts” he added, “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.”
“The housing crisis in Ireland is extremely frustrating” said Tolü Makay who will be performing from The Olympia, “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. I hope this raises a significant amount of money to help those who need it, to ensure better quality of living,” she added.
The sixth Rock Against Homelessness event will be directed by Dave Merriman of Savoy One Films in association with Independent.ie, with sponsorship from Cadbury and Arachas Insurance.
The stream will take place on June 20th at 8pm, with tickets priced at €23 which will be available from 10am on Saturday May 29 via Ticketmaster.
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