Laughs, Tunes and Romans: GCU students raise the bar with charity event

Mon, 19 Apr 2021 16:19:00 BST
Chrissy was part of the group involved in organising the event
Chrissy was part of the group involved in organising the event

A group of GCU students have showcased musical and comedy talent to an international audience – all while raising over £300 for charity. 

MSc International Tourism and Events Management Tourism students were set the task of organising and delivering an online event as part of one of their modulesStudents were split into groups and encouraged to put their own spin on things – something which definitely suited GCU comedy king, Chrissy Ross.  

He teamed up with Lydia Ahmed-YahiClarissa Botchway, Mafruda IreenGarry Molloy and Michael Rankin to deliver the event at the end of March and raise money for Who Cares? Scotland - continuing the fundraising efforts started by students during Trimester A. 

Chrissy said: “This year obviously presented the challenge for us that we’re not able to do events in-person. We started talking about an online concept and something that would encourage people to tune in, because there’s obviously been a lot of things happening via Zoom and other platforms 

Michael, Gary and Lydia all had contacts in the music industry, so they booked them and I basically begged the comediansI’d worked with a lot of them before as an act and a promoter, so there was trust there.  

Everybody was very keen to support the work and the charity. I think they realised how important it was to me, so I was exceptionally grateful.” 

He added: “We initially wanted to broadcast it live but were aware of the risks associated with that, so we decided to do it as a watch-party. We were really conscious that we were representing the University and charity, so there was a bit of paraphrasing involved to get acts onboard.”   

There was an impressive line-up on the night - with sets provided by a host of comedians, including: Rachel Jackson; Gary MeikleStephen Buchannan and Live at the Apollo’ sensation, Larry Dean.   
Music came from a variety of up-and-coming Scottish bands, with: The VanitiesJekyll And The Moon; Pizza Crunch and Pleasure Heads, all showing what they’re capable of producing at gigs when restrictions are eased. Also joining them on the packed bill was magician and GCU Graduate, Cameron MacTavish. 

Chrissy and his group were delighted with the amount of money raised and the overall attendance – with the latter bringing about some surprise inclusions. 

He explained: “We raised a total of £310, which stunned us because we were honestly just looking to hit three figures. In terms of views, we started off in the low 50s and then hit around 500 at a couple of points - which was great given it all took place during the Scotland game. 

Chrissy added: “There was a bit of a bizarre moment where we had five or six people commenting, saying, ‘Hi from Rome, Italy!’. I have no idea what the YouTube algorithms were doing but you’ll take what you can get!” 

Despite the event being forced to take place online, Chrissy insists that the experience will be of benefit in the future. 

He said: “Obviously this year has been tough for everyone but I actually think it’s great to have such diverse learning and opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get. I really value having the chance to do something like this and it will allow me to take different skills into my future career. 


By Ross Clark 
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