A campaign to create the world’s largest sing-along in solidarity with Ukraine during the Eurovision Song Contest is bringing together choirs, musicians and the general public.
HelpUkraineSong is asking people to perform and upload a version of the 1967 Beatles song “With a Little Help from My Friends”.
The Museum of Liverpool will then hold a “flash mob” moment at midday on the day of the final, 13 May, with people at famous UK attractions including the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Warwick Castle, joining in simultaneously. Gatherings will also take place around the world.
Eurovision 2023 is being held in Liverpool after the UK was chosen to host the competition on behalf of war-torn Ukraine (last year’s winners).
Valerie Bounds, 47, who co-founded and runs a creative agency in Liverpool, thought of the idea last year.
She told the PA news agency: “I came up with this idea while I was watching someone play the piano in Euston station at Christmas time, and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do an incredible moment in public spaces?’
“I’m a big fan of Eurovision, I also volunteer with the Red Cross and [I] have worked with Ukrainian refugees, so it kind of all melded together.”
Partners involved in the campaign include President Zelensky’s United 24 fundraising platform, the children’s charity War Child and the Ukraine Ministry of Culture.
“It’s going really broad here, but the really fantastic thing is that we have joined up with organisations and institutions in Ukraine and they are very enthusiastic about it,” Bounds said.
“Having been told directly from Ukrainians themselves, music and singing is integral to their culture so this is the perfect way to express support.”
She said Eurovision seemed like the right opportunity to “create a platform [and] a moment of solidarity with Ukraine”, adding: “Obviously Eurovision is that anyway, but this was about taking it outside of Liverpool, taking it UK-wide and international and giving people an opportunity to join in.”
For Eurovision on Saturday 13 May the #HelpUkraineSong will see people and organisations coming together to perform ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ to create the world’s biggest ever physical and digital flash mob 🎤
We were busy preparing something last night 👀 ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/CyG7GkgBJB
— Hull City Council (@Hullccnews) April 27, 2023
Ukraine’s Eurovision 2023 act TVORCHI and British actor and contest host Hannah Waddingham have both been spreading awareness of the event.
“We’re getting all kinds of people now taking part,” Bounds said.
“Most of the choirs that we’ve talked to all across the country are community, inclusive choirs that include Ukrainians, so it’s about seeing that integration and connection.”
Bounds stressed that those interested can contribute to the campaign in whatever way they like.
“We don’t care how they do the song, that’s really important. This is about including everyone.
“We would love to see people signing it, [or] just breaking into song acapella!”
Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian group who won 2022’s Eurovision song contest, have high hopes that the country will be able to host next year’s competition.
This year’s Eurovision will take place in Liverpool at the 11,000-capacity Liverpool Arena between 9 May and 13 May.
Additional reporting by Press Association