- South Asia’s longest running concert series for children commemorates landmark 30 years
- Unprecedented audience turnout in 2017 leads to Rs. 1.27 m in donations
Following last year’s unprecedented audience turnout, leading to Rs. 1.27 million being raised for children’s causes, the iconic Country Roads concert will once again smash through another huge milestone in 2018 when it holds its 30th anniversary show on 20 October at the historic Mount Lavinia Hotel.
Scheduled from 6.30 p.m. onwards, the 2018 show will be headlined by the Mavericks from Germany as well as UK’s Astrid Brook. This year, the Mavericks will comprise a five-piece band including a fiddler to enhance their country sound.
Local favourites, Cosmic Rays, Anno Domini and the Country Revival Band with Feizal and Jury will be joining them on stage.
Another key element of this year’s show will be the release of a special edition 30th anniversary Country Roads music CD, which comprises 20 songs from musicians based in six countries, including Germany, China, UK and USA. With a limited run of only 300 copies produced, this CD will not be sold but rather will be gifted to anyone who donates in excess of Rs. 1,000 to Country Road for this year’s charities.
“The 30th anniversary concert is very special to us and is reflective of the many years gone. We are thankful to note that we have reached a countless number of needy children and helped them on this journey of ours. Thanks also to the large number of very talented musicians who have contributed to this gigantic, 30-year effort,” said Country Music Foundation President and organiser of the Country Roads concert series for children Feizal Samath.
Main Sponsor Dialog, as well as Dilmah, Cargills, HNB, LOLC, CPR, Firefly and Host Hotel Mount Lavinia Hotel, are supporting the 30th anniversary concert.
Tickets are already available online via Ticketing Partner 444, powered by Dialog.
Additionally, tickets are available at the host hotel and Cargills Food City outlets in Kohuwela, Rajagiriya (Parliament Road), Kirulapone, Staple Street, Majestic City, Mount Lavinia and Katubedde (Big City).
An entirely charitable undertaking, staffed fully by volunteers, the Country Roads concert series for children always has, and continues to, donate 100% of its proceeds to children’s charities in Sri Lanka. Over the past 30 years, this has resulted in several million rupees in funding, all of which has directly aided only the most pressing causes that help children, a common practice since the concert’s first performers took the stage in 1988.
Proceeds from the 2017 concert, amounting to Rs. 1.27 million, were contributed to:
5 February – Gamini Public School in Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura: Rs. 160,000 worth of musical instruments
12 March – Nildiyawara Prajamula Society (a village society) in Mahawilachchiya: Rs. 140,000 was donated to clean an existing tube well and fix motor and panel boards for a village that has not seen rain in nearly three years, helping a number of families, including children and their mothers
May/June – Kiula Kiyawana Gunaya Free Classical and Folk Music Class in Hambantota: Rs. 205,000 for the purchase of an ESRAJ instrument and provision of scholarships for nine of the brightest students in this music class
30 May – Give2Lanka Batticaloa: Rs. 200,000 for a water project operated by Berendina Sri Lanka with National Water Supply and Drainage Board
14 May – Horizon Lanka in Mahavillachiya: Rs. 130,000 to purchase computers
12 May – PREDO, a community service NGO in Hatton: Rs. 150,000 for a project supporting the children of migrant workers
12 May – ESCO Batticaloa: Rs. 150,000 for children’s project organised by this NGO working to support migrant workers and their families
April – Pimbura Primary School in Agalawatte – Rs. 136,000 donated with support from Ceylon Biscuits and Nestlé
In 2015, the concert contributed to Meth Mihira, a special education school in Koralawella, Moratuwa, run by the Sisters’ Of Charity, as well as the Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka, which supports the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital. Also, musical equipment was provided to the Kudaligama Central College in Kalutara.
Previously, the concert gifted Rs. 500,000 to Save the Children Sri Lanka to support its mother-and-child program for local plantations in 2014. The same year, another Rs. 100,000 was given to the Oxonian Heart Foundation to help treat impoverished and destitute children suffering from heart disease, while a further Rs. 100,000 was contributed to a poor family caring for a special needs child.
To mark its landmark 25th anniversary in 2013, a Rs. 1 million was donated to aid in a special UNICEF project.
Pix by Lasantha Kumara