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Queen's students aim to raise funds for charity through online concert

Students at Queen’s University Belfast are warming up their vocal chords, checking their WiFi and tuning their instruments ahead of an online concert hoping to raise thousands of pounds for St John’s Ambulance.

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The Qulture Shock concert, which has been organised by the International Student Response Group (ISRG), Queen’s International Students Society (QISS) and St John’s Ambulance NI, will take place on 25th May 2020, on the ISRG Facebook page.

Entitled ‘Qulture Shock: Unity Concert’, it comprises performances by current Queen’s students, recent graduates as well as local musicians. The concert was the idea of Malaysian student Adam Farhan, President of QISS. Adam, who studies Anthropology with Politics at Queen’s, set up the International Student Response Group which aims to provide activities and information for international students during the pandemic.

Those attending the concert can look forward to an evening of musical entertainment from around the globe. 

Director of the concert, Adam Farhan, says that it is an evening to be enjoyed by local and international staff, students and the wider community: “Qulture Shock: Unity Concert is a special instalment in our events calendar. We have all been affected by the pandemic. We are holding this concert to raise our spirits through a celebration of the many different cultures represented at Queen’s. Featuring performances from local bands and talented international students, this concert aims to unify the diverse student body Queen’s University Belfast for a worthy cause”.  

He added, “The University campus may be closed but Queen’s remains a strong community and this concert is one way of being able to support an important charity and as well as showcase local and international musical talent. This concert is not just for students but for the whole community so we hope many will join us for these online concerts.”

Qulture Night will have cultural representations from Ireland, the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and more. Performances – which are directed and performed mainly by Queen’s students – will include Balinese Gamelan, musical theatre, blues, pop and Irish trad. 

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Daniel Baker said: “Qulture Shock is a brilliant initiative from students of Queen's at a time when we all need a boost. With concerts and events cancelled, it’s fantastic that home-grown and international talent will be coming to together to celebrate their own cultures and unify us all in music. Belfast is a diverse, multi-cultural city and this is reflected in our student population. We are delighted to welcome students from all over the world each year - students who have chosen Belfast as their preferred location of higher education.

“It’s great to see our international students volunteering their talents to bring positivity and music to the people of Belfast during this time of pandemic and raising money for our St John’s Ambulance Service. I commend all students involved for their initiative in bringing the public together in music and look forward to tuning in to this multi-cultural virtual concert on 25th May.”

In March, St John Ambulance NI made an urgent public appeal to raise £100,000 in donations to support their efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Mobilising 1,860 ‘front line’ volunteers in Northern Ireland, they have provided essential ambulance resources and facilitated patient transfers. On average, they deploy roughly 70 vehicles per week, placing unprecedented stress on volunteers to cope with the spike in demand during the pandemic.

Since 20th March, St John Ambulance NI have been unable to generate income from providing medical assistance and ambulance cover at events. With this loss of income, which is expected to last until 2021, the organisation’s ability to provide essential first response training to volunteers, purchase and maintain equipment and maintain the fleet of ambulances has been severely strained. 

For further information, contact the ISRG by e-mail or visit their Facebook page.

Qulture Shock: Unity Concert is part of the QISS Qulture Shock brand, facilitating the annual Qulture Night extravaganza which aims to be the largest single cultural showcase in Northern Ireland and the largest student-led celebration of all cultures at any university in the UK.

The ISRG has been running since March 2020, currently has over 150 members and runs regular online activities through their Facebook group.

QISS aims to provide support to international students. It runs a number of events throughout the year, celebrating the many culture and traditions represented by the vibrant international student community at Queen’s.

Queen’s University Belfast currently has around 3,000 international students from 85 different countries.

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