Global music giants Snow Patrol helped boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK by headlining an intimate charity gig in Belfast on Monday 30 December. The multi-platinum selling rock group joined a number of local acts for the sell-out event, which was held at the city’s Limelight 2 music venue. The evening of entertainment, which has raised around £10,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity, was organised by city broadcaster and DJ Joe Lindsay. The 42 year old is supporting the charity in honour of a close family member who has Alzheimer’s disease.
As well as raising vital funds for the dementia research experts, the themed evening, called ‘REMember’, paid homage to American rock band R.E.M., who announced their split in 2011. Local acts Amidships, The Jane Bradfords, Katie & The Carnival and Runaway GO performed a mix of original material and R.E.M. covers, before Snow Patrol took to the stage for a 50-minute set.
Three of the band – singer Gary Lightbody, guitarist Nathan Connolly and keyboardist Johnny McDaid – opened with their version of R.E.M.’s Nightswimming, before treating the 800-strong crowd to some of their chart hits. As well as proceeds from ticket sales, money for the charity was raised by raffling off a signed Snow Patrol set-list, which fetched £1,041 alone.
Joe talked about his motivation for organising the concert in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK:
“A close relative of mine has Alzheimer’s and was diagnosed seven years ago. It’s a devastating disease that directly or indirectly affects everyone I know, yet research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is so drastically underfunded.
“I’ve wanted to put on a gig to raise money for research for a while and chose the R.E.M. theme as I’m a massive fan and the group had such an influence on so many acts, including many of the groups which performed on the night. As a country we love to raise money through music and it’s something we do well. We have a great music community in Belfast and the atmosphere on the night was incredible.
“It was a big ask for Snow Patrol to headline the night as they’re rarely at home at the same time. I’ve known the boys for years and they didn’t hesitate when I asked if they’d perform at the event. They’re just a great bunch of lads who happen to be amazingly talented and successful. They haven’t forgotten where they come from and they were more than happy to support such an important cause.
“I’d like to thank all the bands, many of which gave up Christmas to rehearse, the management and staff at the Limelight, and the people who turned out and bought tickets. Even those acts who couldn’t attend offered help promoting the night, equipment and rehearsal space. That’s the beauty of the music scene in Belfast.”
Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled by the amount raised by Joe through his incredible concert. Although the final total is yet to be calculated, Alzheimer’s Research UK can expect to receive around £10,000 from the night – enough to pay for 500 hours of world-class research.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today, including nearly 16,000 people in Northern Ireland, with over 2,500 of those living in Belfast. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding still lags significantly behind other serious diseases. We rely on wonderful supporters like Joe to fund our groundbreaking research and the money raised from the concert will make a big difference.”