Drumathonlive 2021 Set To Raise Crucial Funds for Mental Health Charities

Drumathonlive 2021 Set To Raise Crucial Funds for Mental Health Charities

For us drummers, there was a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise awful year that was 2020, and that was DrumathonLIVE 2020. Conceived by Errol Kennedy and Bev Sage, DrumathonLIVE 2020 raised funds for the NHS during the first lockdown. While the rest of us were clapping on our doorsteps Errol Kennedy, drummer with multi-platinum 80’s pop-funk band Imagination, was on the balcony of his East London flat with a snare drum, celebrating the NHS with rudiments and rim shots, to the delight of his neighbours in Hackney. From there grew the idea of DrumathonLIVE, which in 2020 began with Errol playing for a full 24 hours and a further twenty drummers clocking up 250 hours over ten days. They raised a fantastic £45k.

I contacted Errol and Bev (an artist and singer with bands Modern Romance, Techno Twins and Writz) after reading about the plans for 2021. I wanted to write an article (this article!) about their fantastic achievements and the plan for 2021. Learning about their plan to raise funds for mental health charities (a topic close to my own heart) for the 2021 event I asked what I could do to help? That’s when I was invited to join the team and contribute my 12-hour drumming session as a part of this brilliant fundraising event. How could I say no?

DrumathonLIVE 2021 event runs from 15th to 22nd May with the tag line Drum, Dance, Donate! The aim is to raise £100k for five important mental health charities; Mind, Child Bereavement UK, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK Trauma Council and NHS Charities Together. It features a line up of some of the worlds’ top drummers all tubthumping over a continuous seven days. DrumathonLIVE 2021 features a simply incredible array of drummers from artists like Coldplay, Radiohead, Duran Duran, Ride, Culture Club, Madonna, Tom Jones, Level 42, Kaiser Chiefs, The Feeling, Fontaines DC, Idles, Simple Minds, Girls Aloud, Elton John, The Style Council and of course Errol himself (and me!).

As I write more drummers are joining every day. Each will play either a one or a twelve-hour set from their own homes or studios, playing along to tracks, often featuring their own bands’ recordings or (as in my case) artists they have admired over the years. We will each virtually pass our sticks to the next player to create a continuous stream of amazing drumming talent. My particular shift takes place between 10:00 pm and 10:00 am starting 20th May. The graveyard shift one might say! Needless to say, I am immensely proud and flattered to be a part of the show.

The whole event will stream on Twitch (twitch.tv) with two streams running for much of the week.

Maintaining good mental health has been one of the biggest challenges for us through the Covid 19 lockdowns. Often overlooked with the headline-grabbing pandemic taking centre stage and the media headlines, suicide rates are increasing disproportionately. While the world stood still mental health charities have faced their biggest challenge to continue raising funds when many of their fundraising methods rely on face-to-face activities, impossible during a period of social distancing. Events like DrumathonLIVE are critical to maintaining income and ensuring these vitally important charities can continue to support their communities.

Musicians themselves have, for the most part, spent eighteen months sitting on their hands. No work, no income and no creative outlet, all make for a tricky environment for maintaining good mental health. And we know many musicians are prone to ups and downs.

You can do your part by donating to DrumathonLIVE 2021. Visit their website www.drumathon.live. We and our charities need your support.

For my part, you can join me on Twitch on 20th May and enjoy my set of some of my favourite tunes of the past fifty years. I have plenty of time to get through my vast setlist.

So come and join me at DrumathonLIVE 2021 between the 15th – 22nd May 2021.

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