A benefit concert organised by a University of Northampton technician has raised more than £1,000 for a youth music project that bridges ethnic divides in Kosovo.
Tim Halliday, who works as a performance technician in the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, masterminded the fundraiser, which saw much-fancied London lo-fi rockers Happyness headline – with support from Northampton’s hotly-tipped OhBoy!, and Brighton three-piece Broadbay.
The event, which was held in Northampton’s Picturedrome venue on Saturday 22 October, raised £1,245 for Mitrovica Rock School.
Set up by charity Musicians without Borders, the school provides a neutral platform for youth from both sides of ethnically divided Mitrovica to meet as young musicians and aspiring rock stars. Mitrovica is one of Europe’s most divided cities, where the conflict between Serb and Albanian communities still continues with barricaded bridges over the Ibar river, increased tensions and regular outbursts of violence.
Tim became involved with the rock school after visiting Kosovo to document a University of Northampton initiative being run for young people there.
“I was humbled and overwhelmed by the support for the fundraiser on Saturday,” said Tim. “The total raised far exceeded my expectations and will have a lasting impact for the Mitrovica Rock School. Northampton did itself (and me) proud.”
The University’s links to the benefit don’t stop with Tim. OhBoy! feature University graduate Meg Amirghiasvand and former staff member Jay Brook, in their ranks.
Meg said: “We expected a fairly sizeable crowd due to the amount of hard work Tim put into organising and promoting the show, but couldn’t believe how many people actually came.
“The place was packed out and everyone was getting really into the music, which is pretty rare for a local gig. I can honestly say it’s the most fun I’ve had at a non-festival gig all year. Just great people, great music and a great atmosphere, all for a great cause.”
OhBoy! photo from the event: Richard Byles.