IF campaigners set for G8 concert
Thousands of anti-poverty campaigners are to gather in Belfast ahead of next month's G8 summit in Northern Ireland to demand action from the world's most powerful leaders.
The Big IF Belfast event in the Botanic Gardens has been billed as a musical extravaganza with an important message.
Organised by the "Enough food for everyone IF..." campaign, participants will urge the leaders of the eight nations to put tackling hunger in the developing world at the top of their priority list when they meet in Co Fermanagh.
The concert will be held on Saturday June 15, two days before the summit meeting starts 90 miles away at the Lough Erne resort outside Enniskillen. The IF coalition is made up of a variety of charities, aid agencies and trade union groups.
Event director Dan Schofield promised an "amazing" day of music and entertainment with an eclectic mix of artists.
"With exactly one month to go, we are looking forward to a fantastic, fun family event, albeit one that has a very serious underlying message," he said.
"People want the opportunity to make their voices heard in a positive and dignified way so that the leaders attending the G8 summit will be in no doubt that justice for the world's poor has to be top of the agenda in Fermanagh."
He added: "This is a great chance for people from Northern Ireland to show the world that they care about men, women and children who are struggling to survive every day and to do this with one voice and as one community. We are really excited about this event and can't wait for June 15th."
The Ulster Orchestra will be performing at the event, as will other Northern Ireland acts including Flash Harry and the Belfast Community Gospel Choir.
Rosa Solinas, chief executive of the Ulster Orchestra, said: "The eyes of the international community will be on our part of the world in June for the G8 summit, which gives us a historic opportunity to showcase the best side of Northern Ireland. As the only symphony orchestra in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Orchestra are delighted to be appearing at the Big IF Belfast and doing our part to convince the G8 leaders of the need to address the issues of world hunger."