We Shall Overcome announces virtual festival

The organisers behind We Shall Overcome have announced an online festival to keep spirits up and raise funds for homeless people during periods of self-isolation and social distancing.

An online festival of music and poetry running from noon to midnight on April 11, it consists of 30 performers over 12 hours playing a 20-minute set from their home.

A stellar lefty line-up includes Grace Petrie, Attila the Stockbroker, The Wakes, Phil Odgers, Jess Silk, Boss Caine, Headsticks, Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds, Steve White & The Protest Family, Pixie Styx, Bernie Laverick, Paddy Nash & Diane Greer, The Hurriers, Carol Hodge, Rebekah Findlay, Poetry on the Picket Line, Star Botherers, Catkin Gilligan, Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies, Efa Supertramp, Davy Kettyles, Janine Booth, Kevin Titterton, Matt Hill, Depresstival, Billy Liar, Graham Rhodes, Kirsty McGee, George Borowski, Maddy Carty, John D Revelator and Joe Solo.

When an artist hits the stage they will become the pinned post at the top of the page, the one you see first. When their set is finished they will be unpinned but remain on the page with links to music and t-shirts etc. such as a merch stand, with the added bonus that you can watch their set again or catch up if you missed it.

It is free to get in, but there is a GoFundMe page where you can offer a voluntary donation in exchange for the music….and no donation is too small. The money will go towards supporting the team at WSO Ashton-under-Lyne that provides daily packed lunches for homeless people and seek to house the vulnerable. They rely on donations from gigs, but with no gigs …

Organiser Joe Solo said: “It will take ALL of us sharing the hell out of it to work, but as most of us musos have nothing to do for three months, I’m banking on a bit of help from everyone to make this a place we can celebrate togetherness even if we are apart.

“Music performs a massively important role in society, it encourages and inspires, it lifts spirits and educates, and nowhere does it do that better than live. So there’s an irony here, that just when we’re most needed, we can’t be there.

“We have to make something like this work and provide a template for how working together so we can achieve something potentially amazing from a dark period in our history.”

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