International line-up for NHS fundraiser gig

An international line-up of musicians is preparing to take part in a livestream to raise funds for the NHS.

Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 4:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 5:40 pm
The list of musicians taking part in the fundraiser is growing.
The list of musicians taking part in the fundraiser is growing.

Cookstown-based musician Ritchi Ray is behind the event which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 18.

The fundraiser will include former INXS frontman Ciaran Gribbin, award winning Matt McGinn, Davy Kerrigan and many more.

This week Ritchi has been trying to attract more Irish Country singers to the line-up as he wants the fundraiser to be inclusive.

Ritchi, a folk/rock/blues acoustic performer has had to cancel an entire year of touring, including a four-week sell out tour of the east coast of the USA due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some time ago he agreed to do an NHS fundraiser but let the idea slip until his brother, who works in the NHS in Manchester, reminded him “in a brotherly fashion”.

“I’ve been pulling in favours from musician friends and we now we have an event and I’m a bit taken aback,” he said.

“I’ve also video editors and tech people coming in with me and we’re going to try and make it as big a night as we can.

“I’ve been pestering everyone because I just want it to be a success and raise as much as I can,” he said.

He has been trying to get Daniel O’Donnell to join the line but his management team says the star is on holidays. He’s now working on getting Cliona Hagan from Ballinderry to take part.

Each musician will introduce themselves, perform at least three songs, and talk about what the NHS means to them.

Ritchi was playing in a band in the United States for some years before deciding to come home to Cookstown and go out on his own.

He later met his partner and they now have three young children.

“My main reason for running this is my autistic child Matthew who is five,” he continued.

“It’s just a way to say thank you for the help and support we have received from the NHS as we couldn’t have done without it.”

He doesn’t have a fundraising figure in mind. He just wants the livestream to be a success and enjoyed by as many people as possible.

The event will be streamed at https://www.facebook.com/nhsfundraiser.gig.7

The event is expected to start at 8pm until late.

The line-up includes Ciaran Gribbin, Greg Agar, Dom Martin, Cormac Neeson, Matt McGinn, Jonathan Armstrong, Shea Rafferty, Louisa Maria Baker, Denver McCord, Gavin Corey, Davy Kerrigan, and Ritchi Ray.

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