2021 marks the second year that the legendary Simon Christmas Eve Busk will not draw crowds to Grafton Street to raise vital funds for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
The annual event, which raised €1.5 million last year, had been cancelled again due to Covid-19 restrictions, only to be rescued at the final hour by Collective Films’ Mark Logan, who will pull the whole project together in just 12 days with support from a host of stars including Glen Hansard, Bono, Damien Rice, Nialler9, The Frames, Lisa O’Neill and Liam Ó Maonlaí.
This year’s virtual busk will be livestreamed at 9pm on Christmas Eve across the Dublin Simon YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels (handles below), featuring a series of interviews alongside musical and spoken word performances recorded in the iconic St Patrick’s Cathedral. The special event is free and available to all, with viewers being urged to please donate what they can to help the 24,000 people the Simon Community supports across Ireland each year at www.simonbusk.ie. The collective intends to release a record of the unique performance in 2022 as a further boost to the organisation’s fundraising.
Speaking about the busk, Artist and Collective Films Co-Founder Mark Logan said:
“To have been able to show up at this strange and painful time to produce and direct this film has been a privilege and honour. Homelessness in Ireland resides deep within the inherent & structural classism in our society. It’s time we dismantled that. Record numbers of our people find themselves on the streets and that is unacceptable to me. In making the film we got to create and build friendships with our country’s musical leaders, who I believe use their voice for humanity and see music as a vehicle to raise the voices of those who often go unheard.”
“When we got the call from Dublin Simon, we knew we had to do something, and with only 12 days until Christmas Eve, we had to act fast. The goodwill and determination of people in pulling this event together has been truly inspiring. We’re nearly at the finish line now and we’re so excited to see this come to life to raise vital funds and awareness for the men, women and children experiencing homelessness across Ireland this Christmas.”
Head of Fundraising at Dublin Simon Community, Emma Kilkenny said:
“In a lot of ways, this year has been an even more challenging year for fundraising than last. The public has been stretched so much over the past two years by the physical, financial and emotional toll of the pandemic, and the same is true for our clients, residents and services. Many of our clients are experiencing serious mental and physical health issues and we are also seeing a new cohort of older people coming to us for help. As we faced closing out 2021 with a €1.5 million shortfall, Mark, Damian and Glen came through with a Christmas miracle.
“On behalf of the men, women and children who rely on our services, we would like to say thank you all the artists, crew and creatives who have made this event possible and the public who have donated so far. Our donation portal www.simonbusk.ie is now live and we would urge people to please donate what they can to ensure the continuation of our life-saving services into 2022.”
The donation portal www.simonbusk.ie is now open and will remain live throughout the Christmas period. Donations can also be made via telephone at 01 671 551. All funds raised through the Simon Christmas Eve Busk will go towards the 24,000 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness The Simon Community supports each year.
For more visit the Dublin Simon Community on YouTube & Facebook and Instagram @dublinsimoncommunity.