Big Issue North and Karima Francis present the Big Busk at Home

At this time of year, the Big Issue North fundraising team would usually be preparing for the Big Busk, our touring live music festival. With the onset of lockdown, however, it quickly became clear that this would not be possible this year. The solution came in the form of Blackpool-based singer-songwriter, Karima Francis, whose creativity and desire to help our vendors combined to form the idea of a new kind of festival: the Big Busk at Home.

On Saturday the 20th of June, artists from across the north, and some from elsewhere in the UK, will come together to join Big Issue North on YouTube, Facebook live and Instagram live for 20 minute sets. Our profiles are:

    So far, our line-up is as follows:

    • 3pm – Beans on Toast

    • 3:30pm – Ian Prowse

    • 4pm – Ren Harvieu

    • 4:30pm – Self Esteem

    • 6:30pm – Emily Barker

    • 7pm – Hana Brooks

    • 7:30pm – Karima Francis

    This will be followed by a headline set from Everything Everything at 8pm, and a DJ set from Clint Boon at 8:30pm. Other confirmed acts include KOYO and Ali Horn, and we will be publishing further announcements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn very soon.

    “We’re humbled to be asked to contribute to Big Issue North’s virtual festival,” Everything Everything told us. “Due to lockdown, vendors’ already precarious incomes have taken a huge hit with the streets being much quieter. Added to this, many of the food banks and shelters vendors rely on have been shutting their doors due to the pandemic, and the health of vendors is under threat. Many are in the 'at risk' bracket, often due to age and living situations. We’re grateful to be able to help with this serious situation even in a small way, and encourage everyone to donate as generously as they can.”

    Like our previous Big Busk events, the Big Busk at Home is a pay-what-you-feel event. If you enjoy the music and can afford to do so, you will be able to donate however much you want for as little as £1. To come along to the Big Busk at Home, all attendees need to do is like Big Issue North on Instagram or Facebook or subscribe to us on YouTube, and keep an eye out for when we go live. We hope to see you there!

    Big Issue North began in 1992 as a Manchester supplement to The Big Issue. In 1998, however, it became fully independent, and is now an entirely separate organisation operating in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber. The magazine is sold by people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, and face barriers to other forms of employment.

    The Big Issue North Trust is Big Issue North’s charitable arm, providing vendors with the items, tools and services they need to change their lives. Usually, this includes things like support accessing services, help getting ID, home furnishing packages and projects such as breakfast clubs. Like many charities, however, Coronavirus has meant that our work has changed drastically. At the beginning of lockdown, we pulled our vendors from the streets and set up a hardship fund to provide financial aid to vendors while they couldn’t work. On Monday, however, the first of our vendors, who are not shielding and do not live with anyone who is, returned to work on pitches where social distancing can be maintained, equipped with hand sanitiser, PPE and contactless card readers, which have also been provided by the Trust.

    Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Big Issue North, on Tuesday 16 June, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow

    Big Issue North Karima Francis Everything Everything Beans On Toast Ian Prowse Ren Harvieu Self Esteem Emily Barker Hana Brooks Clint Boon Charities & non-profits Coronavirus (COVID-19) Entertainment & Arts
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