Liverpool’s grassroots Black arts organisation BLACKFEST are ending a busy year with a live music night in memory of a member of the local community who passed away from Sickle Cell disease earlier this year.
Valued member of the community, Naomi Loy died suddenly at a young age in early 2021 from the disease and the show at District on December 18th will look to raise awareness and money to help medical research so that no family in the future will have to go through the same fate.
In collaboration with Naomi’s family and District, Winterfest will be a ‘white party’ featuring live performance from local musicians and food from L8 Caribbean restaurant, Rayrayz. There will be also be prizes up for grabs including afternoon teas and bespoke confectionary from local businesses.
The show sees a host of Merseyside artists all come together to collaborate and raise awareness and money around sickle cell. Live acts on the night include Amique & The Ecstasy, Wavertree Gospel Choir, iamkyami, Ni Maxine, Remée, Sorelle, Shak Omar, DJ Shenice and Tyrone Lewis.
Jubeda Khatun, Artistic Director at BlackFest said:
“Naomi’s death was a huge shock and affected the whole community. Her sister Rebecca, in collaboration with BlackFest, will be starting a few campaigns to raise awareness and money for this disease and we feel passionately about supporting the cause.
“In the UK, sickle cell disease is seen most in people of African and Caribbean backgrounds, but a simple blood test will show whether you are a carrier. This is done routinely during pregnancy and after birth, but you can ask for the test at any time. As we work with the Black African, Caribbean communities, it is essential we impact substantially to make change and save lives.
If there were more funding for research and general knowledge in the medical community, many deaths due to sickle cell could be prevented, as recent research published by the Sickle Cell Society has found.”
Profits raised from Winterfest will go to The Sickle Cell Society, a national sickle cell charity, with a portion of proceeds also going to the Haemoglobin Unit at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Naomi Loy’s sister, Rebecca has also set up a GoFundMe page for the cause with the aim of raising £5000. Those unable to make the event but would still like to donate – or would like to donate more than the the ticket purchase price to the cause – can do via the page here.
Rebecca said “Naomi was a beautiful soul whose life ended far too soon. We would love to see more awareness raised of Sickle Cell Disease so that no more families need experience the pain, suffering and trauma that Naomi or we have been though.”
Winterfest takes place at District in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle on Saturday 18th December at 7pm. Tickets are available now via Skiddle.