On Saturday 11th April We Shall Overcome will be running an all-day virtual gig on Facebook called WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL. It will involve 30+ musicians and poets all playing songs in THEIR homes and beaming them straight into YOURS.
Loads of people asking about it, so here are answers to the main questions.
1. WHAT IS ‘WE SHALL OVERCOME’?
WSO started in May 2015 as a response from the music community to the worst excesses of austerity. Since then our organisers have run more than 1100 gigs raising an estimated £500.000 worth of food, cash, warm clothing and toiletries for food banks, homeless outreach, soup kitchens, crisis centres, youth projects and refugee support, every penny of which went straight to the front line.
2. WHAT IS WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL?
It is an 12-hour online festival run through a Facebook group here- WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL- SAT APRIL 11th 2020– where you can see 30+ artists perform in their homes from midday to midnight on Saturday April 11th.
3. WHAT IS IT FOR?
We raise our help at gigs, and thanks to Covid-19 there aren’t any. Our main hub in Ashton-under-Lyne provides 60 packed lunches per day to Greater Manchester’s homeless as well as working 24/7 to provide shelter for some very vulnerable people. We are running a GoFundMe page for voluntary donations and we ask you help if you can.
4. HOW DOES IT WORK?
From midday on Saturday April 11th we will have 20 minute sets from each artist, and when their stage time comes they will become the pinned post at the top of the group. When they finish, their post will be unpinned and the next act will take ‘the stage’. All you need to do is put the kettle on and enjoy music from our kitchen to yours.
5. CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU PLAN TO GET 30+ ARTISTS TO DELIVER A SET TO A TIMETABLE WITHOUT THE WHOLE THING DESCENDING INTO A SHAMBLES?
No. Because I haven’t tried it yet. But when I do, and if it works, I will happily share the mechanics of it so that you can run similar events while we are in lockdown.
6. IS THERE NEW SOFTWARE INVOLVED?
No. Strictly Old School hard graft and organisation. Hopefully, like a mighty swan, it will appear to glide seamlessly through troubled waters, while I paddle like f*** beneath the surface.
7. SO WHAT DO I DO?
You join the group. Everything will happen in there. And at midday on Saturday April 11th, you turn up and cheer us on while we try to build bridges up and down the land and raise spirits in these darkest of days.
Oh, and SHARE THE HELL OUT OF POSTS LIKE THESE!!!
8. SO WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING TO ACHIEVE?
We’ll, aside from raising much needed funds for We Shall Overcome, we are at a unique moment in history. There are no gigs. If we focus all our collective energies on THIS one, we could get a global audience of….well, who knows? But it will take EVERYONE working at it to achieve this, from our artists hitting their fan base, to you guys hitting ‘Share’. Only TOGETHER can we make this work, only TOGETHER can we get to the other side in one piece still smiling.
And THAT is a message for our times.