35th anniversary Country Roads concert for children launches


Sri Lanka’s and South Asia’s longest running charityconcertforchildren,CountryRoads,returnsin2023forits‘mostwanted’showtodate.And even better, this year’s musical extravaganza will feature the bright lights andpanoramic cityscape of Colombo as its backdrop. Held on Saturday, October 7th, 2023,at the picturesque Virticle by Jetwing, which is situated high atop the city, on the 30thfloor of the Access Towers building in Union Place, Colombo 2, the 35th anniversaryCountryRoadsconcert forchildrenis suretonot disappoint.

FeizalSamath,PresidentofconcertorganiserCountryMusicFoundation(CMF),commented:“Wearelookingforwardtothiseventbeingheldafteralapseoffiveyearsdueto unavoidablecircumstances.”

The35thanniversaryeditionoftheCountryRoadsconcertforchildrenwillbesupported by Official Venue, Virticle by Jetwing, and Official Airline, SriLankan Airlines,as well as its other partners, Jetwing Colombo Seven,Cargills, LOLC, and Firefly. Ticketsare currently available, for a charitable donation of Rs 2,000 each, at Cargills Food Cityoutlets at Kirulapone, Kohuwela (Bernards), Majestic City, Mount Lavinia (junction) andStaplesStreet.

Fan favourites the Mavericks from Germany and Astrid Brook from the UK will onceagain return to headline the 2023 concert. Joining them on stage will be local legendsCosmicRays,aswellastheCountryRevivalBandwithFeizalandJury.Sendingamessage to his Sri Lankan fans, Dirk (from the Mavericks Germany) commented: “2018was the last time we were here in your beautiful country with the Mavericks band.Then Corona came and with it a long break. I missed you very much during this time. Ithasnowbeen5yearssincemylastvisittoSriLanka.Alothaschanged.Thesponsorship that has always made this trip possible for us is gone. But we didn’t justwant to end this tradition, which we have learned to love so much since 1992. That’swhy we’re traveling to Sri Lanka this year entirely at our own expense, because it’s anaffair of the heart for us. We very much hope that it won’t be the last Maverickperformance in Sri Lanka. We hope that this unique journey will continue, that therewillalsobeaCountryRoads concertintheyearsto come.”

Dirk also thanked CMF and its leadership for the sometimes herculean effort it takes tocontinue to put on the concert year after year, especially during Sri Lanka’s turbulenttimes: “FeizalSamath is the motor, the heart of the Country Roads concert. Feizal isalsothemanwhohasbroughtustoSriLankaagainandagainsince1992.Iaminfinitely grateful to him for these many years, these countless experiences, thesemany friendships that we were able to make here. So don’t miss the 2023 Maverick inSri Lanka concert experience, join the Country Roads Concert 2023. I look forward toeachand every one.”

Also commenting, Astrid added: “If you’re able to come along to the Country RoadsConcert 2023, I’d like to say a big thank you to you for your support. I’m very muchlookingforwardtoseeingyouagainandsingingsomesongsforyou.You’rewelcometowearyourcowboyhatorbootsifyouhavethem!Asalways,itpromisestobeafunandenjoyablemusicalevening,andwelookforwardtosharingitwithyou.”

An entirely charitable undertaking, which is staffed totally by volunteers, the CountryRoads concert for children has consistently donated 100% of its proceeds to children’scharities in Sri Lanka. Over the past 35 years, this has resulted in several million rupeesworth of aid, all of which has contributed directly to addressing the most pressingissuesfacedbychildreninSriLanka,acommonpracticesincetheconcert’sfirsteditionwasheld in 1988.

Proceedsfromshowsheldbetween2013and2018weregiftedtothefollowingorganizations and their affiliated charities: NildiyawaraPrajamula Society (a villagesociety) in Mahawilachchiya; Gamini Public School in Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura;KiulaKiyawanaGunaya Free Classical and Folk Music Class in Hambantota; Give2LankaBatticaloa (with support from Berendina Sri Lanka with National Water Supply andDrainage Board); Horizon Lanka in Mahavillachiya; PREDO, a community service NGO inHatton; ESCO Batticaloa; Pimbura Primary School in Agalawatte (with support fromCeylon Biscuits and Nestle); Meth Mihira, a Special Education school in Koralawella,Moratuwa (run by the Sisters’ Of Charity); the Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka(supported by the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital); and the Kudaligama CentralCollegeinKalutara wasprovided withmusicalequipment.

In 2014, the concert contributed Rs. 500,000 to Save the Children Sri Lanka, to supportits mother-and-child program for local plantations. During the same year, another Rs.100,000 was given to the Oxonian Heart Foundation, to help treat impoverished anddestitutechildrensufferingfromheartdisease,whileafurtherRs.100,000wasdonated to a poor family caring for a special needs child. In commemoration of itslandmark 25th anniversary concert in 2013, CMF donated a million rupees to aid in aspecialUNICEF project.

Sponsors and CMF officials (from left) – Dmitri Cooray (Jetwing), Ms. MaljiniJayasekera (Cargills), FeizalSamath (President CMF), SusaanBandara (LOLC), Deepal Perera (SriLankan Airlines) and Spencer Manualpillai (Dilmah).

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