- 17 Jun 21
The gig will be streamed live from The Olympia Theatre and Windmill Lane Recording Studios at 8pm this Sunday.
Irish music stars are joining forces to 'Rock Against Homelessness' this Sunday with Independent.ie, in aid of Focus Ireland.
Panti Bliss will take her place as main MC for the evening at 8pm, with TV presenter Laura Whitmore on board to help with hosting duties.
From the Olympia, Christy Dignam of Aslan will play a set that will include a duet with the Gilbert O'Sullivan and another duet with Paul Walsh of Royseven, followed by performances from Tolü Makay and Wyvern Lingo.
Fans can also look forward to Panti Bliss interviewing Oscar-winning director Jim Sheridan onstage about homelessness in Ireland. Blindboy Boatclub will also take part in a piece filmed from his living room.
Duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela is set to perform from Mexico, while Ken Griffin (formerly of Rollerskate Skinny) will play alongside his new band, The High Leaves, from New York.
According to Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan there are over 8,000 homeless people in Ireland, including 900 families with more than 2200 children in emergency homeless accommodation.
Dennigan said that whilst there was a significant drop in numbers during the pandemic due to the work of Focus Ireland and local authorities, the number of families is now still more than four times the level it was in 2014, when the then Minister for Housing, Jan O'Sullivan declared it an emergency crisis.
"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," he said.
Speaking about the event Pillow Queens, who recently made their US TV debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden, 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. Thanks for having us.’
Christy Dignam of Aslan spoke about the importance of the gig, adding: "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."
Gilbert O’Sullivan also shared his thoughts on the homelessness crisis in Ireland:
"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 the streamed event cost €23 and will be available in its entirety to view for seven days after the event. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.