You won’t have missed that Northern Ireland is host to this year’s G8 conference. Hosting the conference is a fantastic opportunity for the province to raise its profile in a positive way and also an opportunity to raise the issue of world hunger.
Headlining the event were local success story (and ultra talented) Two Door Cinema Club but we will get to their set later.
The day kicked off with a Fringe event at Fitzroy Presbyterian Church. This event featured politicians and representatives from those countries worst hit by hunger. The Fringe event was hosted by Steve Stockman (Fitzroy) and Tim Magowan (Tearfund) who challenged the audience from their own experiences and through interviews with those who have witnesses hunger in their own countries. Naomi Long should be acknowledged not only for taking part in the event but for her role in bringing these issues to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Despite a weather forecast of scattered showers the rain was torrential but it didn’t dampen the mood those who had ventured to the Botanical gardens.
The main stage played host to speakers from Zambia, India and Tanzania who communicated the impact of hunger in their countries and the difference that your campaigning could make. The host for the afternoon was Northern Ireland’s own Zoe Salmon.
Many of Northern Ireland’s best known celebrities have placed their support firmly behind the campaign. Jordan O’Keefe famous from his success on Britain’s Got Talent.
The Ulster Orchestra, the Belfast Community Gospel Choir,
The talented Mr Jim Broadbent performed with this natural theatrics a Seamus Heaney poem on Ireland’s Great Famine, ‘For the Commander of The Eliza’.
Next it was the turn of Duke Special with General Fiasco a slightly more rocked up version of the classic Duke Special repertoire, it was stunning.
For those interested in such things, camera wise, sadly BigIf was a deluge of rain from start to finish so the focus was very much of staying dry which mean using weather sealed equipment. For the most part I was using the Canon 5D and swapped to my Fujifilm X100s for all the backstage shots, as thankfully the backstage was rain free.
The X100s was particularly handy in the cramped backstage areas where is very little light. This is a X100s shot of Richard preparing to go on stage. I will have a few more X100s candid portraits in the next few days.
Headliners of the event Two Door Cinema Club brought a surge of excitement. A glimpse of fellow Fujifilm X fan Alex Trimble ignited the awaiting crowd ahead of their introductory video.
The band really demonstrated their commitment for the EnoughFoodIf Campaign having being on stage in Barcelona at 1am that morning the group flew to Dublin and travelled through the day to make the event.
There was a total disregard of ego backstage it was clear all involved were taking part, not for themselves but to show their support to what is a serious global issue. Their wasn’t any of the usual backstage tension in fact the back stage team were perfectly organised and calm throughout for such an undertaking the entire day went without a single glitch.
Everyone was taking part for the sole purpose of trying to put the issue of world hunger on the G8 agenda. Through the day hunger was brought to focus with each performer separated by a series of moving speakers who communicated their own experiences and eye witness accounts of hunger to the crowd.
In so many ways these people were more important that the artists who took part and performed. Justifiably these were the people who gained some of the biggest reactions from the onlooking crowd.
I realise this post misses a plethora of performers who equally merit a mention, Flash Harry, Baaba Maal, Prodijig and Beyond Skin to name just a few. They do appear in the full flickr set of the day which is worth checking out.
A massive congratulations to Tim Magowan and the other members of the Coalition, the stage crew, Zoe and the cast of performers. There has been considerable work in getting an event like this off the ground and it was truly a resounding success.