The two hour fundraiser event Concert for Ukraine took place, live from the Resorts World Arena Birmingham, and broadcast exclusively on ITV and STV, with some of the biggest names in music and entertainment uniting to spread a message of hope and support and to help raise money for the DEC humanitarian appeal in Ukraine. £13.4million has already been raised from the concert from sponsorship, ad revenue and public donations.
Hosted by Global radio presenters, Capital Breakfast host Roman Kemp, Capital FM’s Marvin Humes and Heart’s Emma Bunton, the broadcast saw many emotive moments across the two hours with the live performances interspersed with short films recognising the ongoing relief efforts and the plight faced by people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Throughout the broadcast viewers were invited to make donations to the DEC appeal via text message.
The undisputed emotional highpoint of the evening came courtesy of a breathtaking violin performance, which saw the recent viral video of young virtuoso violinist Illia Bondarenko playing the old Ukrainian folk song ‘Verbovaya Doschechka’ from a basement shelter along with 94 violinists from around the world, joined up with a moving live performance in the room by Nicola Benedetti. Complimenting this unique musical performance were two testimonial readings by British actors Tamsin Greig and Eddie Marsan, describing the real-life experiences of Artem and Natalya who were forced to flee their respective homes as a result of the conflict.
Ukrainian singer Jalama, the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest for her country, performed a stirring rendition of her hit ‘1944’, whilst powerful short films from TV broadcasters Mel Giedroyc and Rob Rinder on their recent trips to Eastern Europe with aid workers were featured as part of the broadcast. Sir Trevor McDonald addressed the audience and the viewers at home to pay tribute to those working in Ukraine and the challenging circumstances they are facing. Recent Grammy winners Billie Eilish and Finneas also sent in a video message of support during the show.
Every song in the concert, was chosen specifically for its meaning and messaging. Snow Patrol opened the show with their Top Ten single ‘Run’, and Tom Odell performed a defiant ‘Another Love’, the song that has been adopted by Ukrainians as a symbol of resilience and hope. The Kingdom Choir, Becky Hill and Camila Cabello all covered poignant and uplifting songs; the Choir singing a version of Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’, Becky singing The Source & Candi Staton’s ‘You Got The Love’ and Camila performing Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, before launching into her latest song ‘Bam Bam’, for which she was joined on stage by Ed Sheeran – who had previously performed a double-set of ‘Perfect’ and ‘Bad Habits’. Other artists on the line up included Anne-Marie with ‘Beautiful’, Emeli Sandé with ‘Brighter Days’ (accompanied by The Kingdom Choir), Manic Street Preachers ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’, Gregory Porter ‘Revival’ and Paloma Faith ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’. Nile Rodgers & Chic closed the concert with a joyous set of ‘Everybody Dance’ and ‘We Are Family’.
ITV, STV and Livewire Pictures joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and the Media & Entertainment group Global to bring together names from the world of music for a unique event spreading a message of hope and support, and most importantly, raising funds for the ongoing DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The live show broadcast across ITV, STV, ITV Hub and STV Player and was produced by Livewire Pictures. Global, the Media & Entertainment Group, joined as media partner, and Marks & Spencer were headline sponsors for the broadcast. The concert took place at the Resorts World Arena, Birmingham.
All sponsorship and advertising revenue generated from the broadcast of the event (primetime across both linear and simulcast) will also be donated by ITV to the DEC appeal.
Global were broadcasting live from backstage at the concert on the night with a show across the Heart and Capital networks – the first simulcast for an event of such importance. The three-hour show, hosted by Capital Breakfast’s Sian Welby and Heart’s Dev Griffin featured key performance moments, interviews and backstage atmosphere from the artists performing as well as detail on how listeners can donate to the DEC appeal.