Eurovision stars Anna Vissi, Constantinos Christoforou and Despina Olympiou will take part in a ‘Cyprus Unplugged’ benefit concert at the Palais des Beaux Arts (Bozar) in Brussels on 9 November. All proceeds from the event, organised under the patronage of European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, will go to charities on the island supporting disadvantaged children and families.
“The social dimension of the economic crisis has been harsh on many of our citizens. Behind the statistics on unemployment and welfare, there are millions of personal stories of pain which are often hidden. I am very grateful to the artists who have agreed to perform without payment. The money raised will improve the lives of vulnerable children and families in Cyprus. At the same time it will send a clear message everywhere on the need for more solidarity, understanding and support,” said Commissioner Vassiliou.
The musicians will perform an ‘unplugged’ (acoustic) concert, accompanied by guitar, piano and bouzouki. The event will also feature Cypriot poetry.
Commissioner Vassiliou, who is inviting fellow EU Commissioners to support the initiative, will open the concert.
“Our political measures in response to the crisis need to be accompanied by a response from society itself. This needs to come from organised groups, volunteers, the church and others – but mostly from citizens themselves. I hope a lot of people will come and show their support,” she added.
Tickets for the concert, priced €30, are available in Brussels from the Bozar box office, 23 rue Ravenstein, as well as Périple, 115 rue Froissart, Kafenio, Rue Stévin 134, and Attica, 49-51 Rue des Treves. They are also available via email from Margarita.Savvidou@ec.europa.eu and Panayiotis.Tsouliaridis@ec.europa.eu. Seating is unreserved.
The following charities will benefit from the concert:
Alkionides Charity – supporting families in need
Social Welfare Services – girls’ hostels
Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family
Anna Vissi, originally from Larnaca, is a music legend in the Greek-speaking world, with a career spanning four decades. She has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest three times, representing Greece in 1980 (Autostop), Cyprus in 1982 (Mono I Agap – Only Love) and Greece again in 2006 (Everything). She has achieved major sales success with albums such as Fotia (1989 and Kravgi (2000).
Limassol-born Despina Olympiou represented Cyprus in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, with the song An me thimasai. Her 2003 break-through album Vale Mousiki, recorded with Michalis Hatzigiannis, went platinum (more than 300 000 sales) in Cyprus and Greece. She went on to achieve further success with Pes to Dinata (2008) and Mia stigma (2010). In 2012, Despina scored another hit with Den s’ afino apo ta matia mou, a duet with Greek hip-hop artist Stereo Mike.
Constantinos Christoforou, also from Limassol, has also appeared at Eurovision three times, representing Cyprus in 1996 with the song Mono Yia Mas, in 2002 with Gimme and in 2005 with Ela Ela. He wrote Erimi Poli for Anna Vissi which topped the Cypriot charts in 2003.