Dermot Kennedy has raised more than $300,000 for a number of charities by playing the 3arena in Ireland and the streets of New York City.
The singer-songwriter played the gigs over the course of a week, raising funds for Pieta, Focus Ireland and MusiCares.
On December 11, he surprised fans with an impromptu busking event at Washington Square Park in New York City, where his set was livestreamed on his Instagram and TikTok. The gig benefitted music charity MusiCares, which offers preventive, emergency, and recovery programs, and acts as a safety net for supporting the health and welfare of the music community.
Kennedy played his latest single ‘Better Days’, which has been going viral on TikTok recently, with over 250,000 creates on the platform. Watch a video of the performance below.
Of the New York City gig he said, “One of my favourite things I’ve ever done in my life…. It was a beautiful energy. My first time playing in the street in about 8 years. It was never like this though….”
He then made a trip home to Dublin, performing two shows per night on December 13 and 14 at the 3Arena. All profits were split between Pieta, a non-profit organisation with suicide and self-harm crisis centres and locations across Ireland, and Focus Ireland, a non-profit organisation working to end homelessness.
Speaking about the Dublin shows, he said they were “the most fulfilling thing I’ve done in my career yet… So much love that I cannot get into a caption.”
Last year, Kennedy collaborated with rapper Bugzy Malone on the single ‘Don’t Cry’. They spoke about the track over a Zoom for NME’s Friends Like These series.
“I’ve been listening to your stuff for years,” Kennedy tells Bugzy. “But when I got to the studio to record [the vocal], I was very conscious of the fact that what had happened to you [the crash] hadn’t happened to me, right? I was trying my best to imagine how you might feel. It was important for me to take anything that I’ve been through that’s been difficult and just channel that same feeling.”