Pink Floyd have revealed that, thanks to their recent benefit single ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’, they’ve raised £500,000 for humanitarian charities aiding those affected by the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war.
‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ was released back in April as Pink Floyd’s first new song in nearly three decades. At the time, bandleader David Gilmour – who has a Ukrainian family and had already spoken out against the war – said the track was recorded just weeks prior as a show of solidarity to those fighting against Russia’s invading military.
“We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers,” he said in a press statement.
On his ambitions for the song’s release, Gilmour explained: “I hope it will receive wide support and publicity. We want to raise funds for humanitarian charities, and raise morale. We want express our support for Ukraine and in that way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become.”
Shortly after the song’s digital and streaming release, Pink Floyd announced physical editions on CD and seven-inch vinyl. Like with the digital release, profits from the collectible pressings contributed to the charity fundraising.
In a statement shared on Christmas Eve (December 24), the band confirmed that they’d reached the momentous half-million-pound milestone. £450,000 reportedly came from single sales and streaming revenue, while the remaining £50,000 was contributed by Gilmour and bandmate Nick Mason (the only other member of Pink Floyd involved in making ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’).
The money, they wrote, will be distributed between five humanitarian charities: Hospitallers, The Kharkiv And Przemyśl Project, Vostok SOS, Kyiv Volunteer and Livyj Bereh.
The band also encouraged fans to embark on their own philantrophy, writing alongside a link to a page of resources: “Let’s see what else we can do this winter… It would be great if you feel able to contribute to any of these charities directly.”
Pink Floyd would like to thank everyone who has supported Hey, Hey, Rise Up. The single, recorded on 30th March with…
Posted by Pink Floyd on Saturday, December 24, 2022
Meanwhile, former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters has also made headlines in tandem with the Russia-Ukraine war, albeit not in a positive light like Gilmour and Mason. In a charged interview with CNN, Waters insinuated that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was at least partially at fault for the war’s outbreak.
He later penned an open letter to Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, suggesting she persuade Zelenskyy to initiate a ceasefire with Russia. He also made a similar letter directed at Russian president Vladimir Putin, then claimed he’d been put on a “kill list” of Ukraine’s enemies.
In other Pink Floyd news, the band recently uploaded a suite of archival live albums from before the ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ era – as well as a five-song EP of “alternative tracks” from 1972 – to streaming services. It followed the September release of their long-awaited ‘Animals’ remaster, which arrived four years after it was first announced.
A month prior to that, it was reported that Pink Floyd would be selling their back-catalogue for £400million.