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News November 5, 2018

War Child Australia partner with ARIA Week for exclusive Wombats Sydney show

Senior Journalist, B2B
War Child Australia partner with ARIA Week for exclusive Wombats Sydney show

The Wombats are doing a show in Sydney for War Child this month as part of ARIA Week.

It will be the first fundraising concert in Australia for the global movement’s work to support vulnerable children caught in conflict and violence.

The Liverpool, UK, band said in a statement: “We’re so happy to support War Child and all the fantastic work they do around the world.

“We are very proud to join the prestigious list of artists who have helped raise funds and awareness for this wonderful charity over the years.

“Helping children who have had a really difficult and traumatic start in life through music and other creative mediums is such a force for good in this turbulent world.”

Fans are encouraged to make a $10 donation for a chance to win two tickets to the show via the official website until 5:00pm (AEST) Sunday, November 18.

They can enter as many times as they want, obviously for the $10 donation each time. There are additionally limited tickets on sale via Secret Sounds.

Only 500 will be allowed into the Sydney date, on November 27, at the Oxford Art Factory.

It is a partnership between War Child Australia, promoter Secret Sounds, publicity firm Comes With Fries and Warner Music Australia.

“The Wombats have been so open and involved in every way with the show,” War Child’s head of fundraising Sheena Bourke tells TMN.

“There’ll be a T-shirt design exclusive to those who are at the show.

“The band also asked those on the guest lists for their Australian tours to donate to the cause. “

War Child gigs around the world work because they offer fans the chance to see major bands play in small intimate venues.

The acts themselves make them special, whether it’s bringing on guests (as Coldplay did with Gary Barlow) or doing special covers or pulling out songs they haven’t played for a long time.

“They’re once-in-a-lifetime experience, in addition to seeing a big name in a small venue. The teams love being part of it.’” Bourke explains.

Muse’s tour director was recently asked what, after 18 years with the band, his favourite Muse gig was.

“He replied the War Child gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire (in London, in 2013 before 2,000 people) because it was so magical.

“People have played in retail stores. We never know how long the artists will play for, usually an hour, or hour and a half. But Jamie XX played for four hours.”

Like rock’s greatest charity initiatives – including George Harrison’s The Concerts For Bangladesh, Live Aid and Live8, Farm Aid Tibetan Freedom Concert and Tsunami Aid – War Child went ahead to make millions of dollars for vulnerable people by passing blundering politicians and going straight to the music and film communities.

War Child was founded in 1993 by filmmakers David Wilson and Bill Leeson.

On assignment in the former-Yugoslavia during the Bosnian war they were horrified by the violence and ethnic cleansing they witnessed, especially its impact on children.

When they got home to the UK they were equally shocked to see the apathy and inaction of political leaders regarding the massacres on their European doorstep.

The first War Child album Hope was a 2CD set with every major British superstar on board.

It was the fastest moving album in British history to reach #1 – and made £1.25 million (A$2.25 million) for children caught in the crossfire in the Bosnia conflict.

War Child’s initiatives have included immediate solutions as mobile bakeries to sustainable projects covering education, mental health, justice and psychosocial support

Since then, there have been other War Child albums, festivals, and a partnership with BRIT Week, a successful round of 10—13 gigs over two weeks around the BRIT awards which by 2019 would have raised £3.6 million ($6.48 million).

This year War Child Australia will also be involved with gigs during ARIA Week for the first time.

The Australian chapter of War Child began operating some years back, first under the auspices of heavy metal journalist-turned-author Jessica Adams.

Sales of two of her short-story collections Girls Night In and Girls Night In 2 – Gentlemen by Invitation, raised $1 million for children in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Kosovo and East Timor.

Similarly, there are many options through which Australians can raise money for vulnerable children through their official website.

As Bourke points out, there are more children in danger now than during the entire World War II and the continual generating of money is essential.

“Much of the trauma that children go through in the short term take a lifetime to recover,” she says.


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