British-Lebanese musician Mika has announced he will be live-streaming an ‘I Love Beirut’ benefit concert on Saturday September 19.
He revealed his plans for the performance a few days ago on social media, with tickets going on sale yesterday (August 24). The concert will be broadcast on YouTube in four different time zones, with money raised from ticket sales going towards two different charities; Lebanese Red Cross and Save the Children UK, who are working on the ground in Beirut.
He has also launched an ‘I Love Beirut’ GoFundMe page for anyone wanting to make additional donations.
Upon announcing the concert, Mika said it would be a “very intimate show to raise money for the people of Beirut” with “some surprises”.
“I wanted to do something in any way I can to help the people and the situation over there,” he said in a video on Instagram. “For that reason, I’ll be staging a livestream concert in aid of the city of Beirut.”
“Beirut and Lebanon is the place of my birth. It’s part of my life, it’s part of my family’s life, it’s part of my heart.”
View this post on Instagram
On Saturday 19th September I will be broadcasting a very intimate show to raise money for the people of Beirut. The terrible explosion in Beirut’s port killed hundreds, injured thousands and left many more homeless. I wanted to do something to help in any small way I can. That is why I’ll be hosting a very special performance, with some surprises, and it will be streamed online on 4 time zones. Money raised will be split between two charities that are doing incredible work on the ground in Beirut, focusing on emergency response and rebuilding the city – @lebaneseredcross and @savechildrenuk, who are working on the ground in Beirut. The concert will be livestreamed on YouTube. Tickets will be available from Monday 24th August at 10am CET – keep your eyes on the GoFundMe page for further details (link in bio). Beirut has been through so much and the resilience and strength the Lebanese people is undeniable. It is the place of my birth, a part of me and will always be in my heart. ‘I ❤️ Beirut’ #ILoveBeirut
Mika penned an emotional letter to the people of Lebanon at the start of the month, following the Beirut explosion on August 4. He expressed his grief at the ongoing political conflicts in the country and the wounds that have been deepened by the blast.
“Faced with this chaos, I recall a line from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran: ‘one can only reach dawn by taking the path of night,’” he wrote.
“There are divisions, echoes of conflicts at your borders, corruption, the powerlessness of your leaders, the monetary crisis which has plunged your families into misery and then the surge of the coronavirus epidemic.”
He then went on to offer words of encouragement.
“After darkness comes the dawn. I know your resilience, your strength and your solidarity, nurtured by your mix of cultures, by this special place you occupy, halfway between the Arab world and Europe. Tomorrow, you will rise up as you have always done before.”
As of August 24, The Guardian reported that more than 178 people died in the blast and at least 6,000 were injured. It was caused by 3,000 tonnes of illegally stored ammonium nitrate exploding in Beirut’s port.
Tickets for Mika’s benefit concert can be bought here.