‘Live Aid for home­less’ has starry line-up

● Lit­tle­john and Geldof unite to cre­ate Scot­land’s an­swer to Live Aid

The Scotsman - - Front Page - By BRIAN FER­GU­SON Arts Correspondent bfer­gu­son@scots­man.com

Bob Geldof, John Cleese and Liam Gal­lagher are among stars who are to take part in an event dubbed “Live Aid” for the home­less.

It is hoped Sleep in the Park will see around 9,000 peo­ple camp overnight at Princes Street Gar­dens in Ed­in­burgh to raise cash for the char­ity So­cial Bite.

Peo­ple must pledge to raise at least £100 to se­cure a ticket, with music from acts in­clud­ing Gal­lagher and Dea­con Blue and a bed­time story read by Cleese.

The en­tre­pre­neur who brought Ge­orge Clooney and Leonardo Di­caprio to Ed­in­burgh has re­vealed plans to stage Scot­land’s an­swer to Live Aid in Princes Street Gar­dens as part of a bid to “erad­i­cate” home­less­ness in Scot­land within five years.

Bob Geldof has agreed to help Josh Lit­tle­john launch “Sleep in the Park”, the world’s big­gest sleep-out, be­low Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle in De­cem­ber.

So­cial Bite, Lit­tle­john’s so­cial enterprise, has joined forces with Unique Events, the Ed­in­burgh-based pro­duc­ers, for what is billed as Scot­land’s big­gest ever char­ity event.

Oa­sis singer Liam Gal­lagher and Scots stars Dea­con Blue, Amy Mac­don­ald and Fright­ened Rab­bit will per­form acous­tic sets for up to 9,000 par­tic­i­pants be­fore they “sleep rough” overnight. Monty Python leg­end John Cleese and Gavin and Stacey star Rob Bry­don will also be ap­pear­ing at the event, which it is hoped will raise a to­tal of £4 mil­lion.

Peo­ple must pledge to raise at least £100 for So­cial Bite – which has be­gun work on Scot­land’s first “home­less vil­lage” – to se­cure a ticket, while cor­po­rate teams of five will be asked to com­mit £3,000.

Lit­tle­john – who has billed the event as “the Live Aid for Scot­tish home­less­ness” – also wants to se­cure a com­mit­ment from public funding agen­cies to match what­ever the event raises.

Lit­tle­john first came to promi­nence five years ago when he and busi­ness part­ner Alice Thomp­son launched the first So­cial Bite sand­wich and cof­fee shop to help cre­ate jobs for home­less peo­ple in the city. So­cial Bite has grown into a chain of five re­tail out­lets across Scot­land, plus two large staff can­teens, a cen­tral pro­duc­tion kitchen and a cor­po­rate cater­ing busi­ness.

Lit­tle­john, who also founded the Scot­tish Busi­ness Awards, which Clin­ton and Di­caprio have spo­ken at, dreamt up the new idea af­ter rais­ing £550,000 from a “CEO sleep­out” in Char­lotte Square, in the New Town, last Christ­mas.

Lit­tle­john said: “The event with Leonardo Di­caprio raised about £340,000 for So­cial Bite, but that was dwarfed by what we man­aged to raised at the CEO sleep-out. We felt it had a lot of po­ten­tial as a fundrais­ing plat­form.

“In the same way the awards have grown, The idea is to re­ally raise our am­bi­tions with the sleep-out and cre­ate a big, mass par­tic­i­pa­tion event.

“We want to make Scot­land an ex­am­ple for the whole world to fol­low.”

Geldof said: “I first met Josh and Alice from So­cial Bite five years ago and I am de­lighted to sup­port them and their ef­fort to erad­i­cate home­less­ness in Scot­land by sleep­ing out in the cold at the event.

“The event has the po­ten­tial to be a game changer in tack­ling the is­sue and I’m right be­hind it, even if a lit­tle ner­vous to brave a cold Scot­tish win­ter’s night.”

PIC­TURE: LISA FER­GU­SON

0 Josh Lit­tle­john hopes that the mass sleep-out in De­cem­ber will raise a to­tal of £4 mil­lion as part of a bid to erad­i­cate home­less­ness in Scot­land

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