London Beatles Festival donating concert proceeds to Harvey relief efforts
As volunteers work eight days a week in Texas to assist the state with its recovery from Hurricane Harvey, a local music festival will be pitching in — through the music of The Beatles.
With the London Beatles Festival returning to the Forest City next week, organizers have made a last-minute change, turning one already-scheduled concert into a benefit concert for the relief efforts underway in Texas.
Proceeds from the festival’s Sgt. Pepper’s Big Band show will go towards the Canadian Red Cross, which is working with American aid partners in the days after Harvey — soon to be downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression — which ravaged Texas’ southern coast, including Houston.
The concert will still be presented by the Basically Basie Big Band — an homage to legendary bandleader Count Basie.
The show, slated for the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 9, at Metropolitan United Church, features Basie’s own renditions of Paul McCartney’s and John Lennon’s classic hits — which he popularized in two albums.
The festival’s director says it’s important for fans to promote what he calls “core Beatles values.”
“The festival committee would like to promote peace and love, and as Beatles fans, we should all reach into our hearts with peace and love and support those in need,” said Paul Rivard.
“We need to do something here. This is a huge problem–what’s going on down there. I know the water’s dropping, but there’s still devastation and things need to be taken care of. Send a little bit of love over to the U.S. there, and to people’s lives that have been affected.”
Rivard said he hopes the festival will be able to donate $10,000, which requires the show to sell out.
Tickets for the show range from the regular price of $25 to VIP pricing at $35.
All told, Rivard said he felt compelled to play whatever part he could.
“We just have to play our part. The (Canadian Red Cross) is playing their part. The 18-piece orchestra is playing their part,” he said.
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