Merseyrail and Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C. have partnered up to provide visibility and opportunities to buskers from Ukraine who have lost their audience due to the ongoing war.
Buskers will have the chance to perform for the audience of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest at Liverpool’s four main metro stations.
The campaign will run from 9 May through to the Eurovision Song Contest final on 13 May. QR codes will be available for passers-by to scan and find out more about the musicians’ stories and donate to the cause. All proceeds will go directly to Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C.
Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C. aims to provide lifesaving, essential equipment to civilians and volunteers on the front lines of Ukraine. Since it was established in March 2022, the organisation has impacted hundreds of Ukrainians, delivering tactical medical kits, protective gear, communication tech, drones and vehicles.
Remote busking spots will be set up along the Merseyrail network at the following stations:
- Liverpool Central
- Lime Street
- James Street
The music will be recorded by Ukrainian street performers in Kyiv before it is streamed remotely in Liverpool’s central stations. The Ukrainian musicians (pictures here) include:
Frumin & Galaydyuk
Pavlo Frumin and Stas Golodyuk are modern musicians from Kyiv. At the outset of the War in Ukraine, they decided to adapt their repertoire. Previously, they had only performed foreign compositions, but now they exclusively perform Ukrainian songs in celebration of their heritage and culture.
Oleksandr was in the choir that sang the anthem of Ukraine for the first time. This led him to become a traditional Ukrainian musician and inspired him to build two Ukrainian national instruments, the Lyra and the Bandura, which he plays on the streets of Kyiv.
Viktoria, who is 28 years old, has been making music since the age of five. She plays a very rare Ukrainian national instrument called the Okarina. Last year, she performed multiple times internationally to raise awareness of Ukrainian culture. All the money she raised was donated to volunteers in Ukraine. The war has influenced her work, and she now plays every performance like it’s the last.
Khrystyna is 18 years old, she has been playing the Bandura – an authentic Ukrainian instrument – for 12 years. She is a proud street performer who is keen to get the sounds of the Bandura out for the rest of the world to hear.
Ivan is a 40-year-old wheelchair user who fell in love with street music after a trip with a friend to the sea with no money but two guitars. In 2016, he decided to leave his job in the IT field and pursue his ultimate dream by completely switching to busking.
Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail said:
“Merseyrail is honoured to be hosting this fantastic initiative to honour Ukrainian buskers.
“We’re delighted that we can provide an opportunity for these musicians to have their music heard during Eurovision, just as they would have done if Ukraine was able to host the event.
“We believe our passengers will really enjoy the music and it will help everyone celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest. We are sure our passengers will join us in giving help and support to Ukraine at this time by donating to this very worthy cause.”
Alfie Roberts, Director at Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C. added:
“The ongoing war in Ukraine has robbed these incredibly talented musicians of the opportunity to share their passion and the joy of their music with the world. We are privileged in working with Merseyrail to offer them spaces that allow them to showcase their talent. We hope that through this campaign, we can raise awareness of the situation in Ukraine and the remarkable talent that is born from its people.”
To find out more about the campaign, please visit: https://www.suppliesforukraine.com/soundsoftheunderground