‘Live Aid for homeless’ has starry line-up
● Littlejohn and Geldof unite to create Scotland’s answer to Live Aid
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.”
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