What is Life Aid?
Cancer affects all of us. I'm no stranger to the disease within my family. I'm pretty much sure most of us could tell a similar story. We are within sight of making major leaps forward in the prevention and treatment of cancers in the 21st Century. Would you like to help to make a major impact on this terrible set of diseases? We aim to raise £50 bn over the course of a year for Cancer.
The trigger for this project was the day when David Bowie died - I was called up at 7.30 am by CNN to appear on their News to comment. I was filled with a complex set of emotions - at some level I considered David Bowie immortal, having grown up and lived with his groundbreaking changes in our outlook on many things, not just music. With a heavy heart I went to London, quite unable to foresee what was about to happen.
After the CNN broadcast, some music friends contacted me about building a tribute concert. Through further conversations with Patti Russo, songstress with Queen, Meatloaf etc. and Sir Paul Mc Cartney and Queen's Monitor Engineer, I decided to see if we could scale the approach to global proportions.
So, I'm bringing my business skills, a passion for healthcare and my music background together to organise a series of "Live Aid" concerts around the world, starting with "Rock Against Cancer" in May 2016 and scaling up to a series of major events in Summer 2017 all around the world, via thousands of concerts staged internationally, culminating with something like The Glastonbury Festival in Summer 2017.
How will organisations qualify to receive funds from these events?
We will support between 50 and 100 organisations worldwide. Bids must address the main question “How will you achieve a superior return on investment for a broad spectrum of cancers in the short, medium and long term?” Bids will be evaluated by a small expert panel of healthcare professionals, economists, individual experts and so on. I am unable to make that decision alone as I do possess the relevant knowledge to do so, neither can it be made by any one individual or cancer organisation. Nor will I set up a committee the size of the UN to do this as this inevitably produces additional cost for little return. The bid team will be led by someone without a partisan interest. Sir Richard Branson springs to mind, as someone who has the leadership capabilities to ensure we make decisions that are fair, balanced and which give us the biggest kick of cancer's butt for our bucks.
How will people qualify to stage a fundraising concert that bears the Life Aid brand?
We will accept bids from people staging concerts using strict criteria – the most important of these will be (a) the demonstration of a superior return to cancer and (b) events will be filmed for streaming into the future. I'm all too aware that many charity rock concerts mainly pay for champagne and helicopters and we want to put the money to better uses. Streaming the concerts will ensure that Life Aid produces a return for cancer long into the future and not just a one hit wonder.
If we succeed in our Kickstarter campaign, we aim to raise £50 billion to help end a broad spectrum of cancers. Will you help beat world cancer as part of your legacy on planet earth? Here's Paul Young and Queen's Jamie Moses talking about the project:
And Lorraine Crosby, the woman who sang on Meatloaf's "I would do anything for Love" on the subject: