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Lennon concert raises $90,000+ for charity

All You Need is Love: Tony Brannon and Michael Freisenbruch, the executive directors of the Double Fantasy Bermuda tribute, shared out money raised from the Lennon Bermuda concert with charities. Pictured from left is Masterworks’ curator Elise Outerbridge, former Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert, The Coalition for the Protection of Children executive director Nicola Feldman, Tony Brannon, Masterworks’ executive director Tom Butterfield, Gavin Djata Smith, executive director of The Chewstick Foundation, and Mr Freisenbruch.

A tribute concert to John Lennon has helped Island charities and organisations to the tune of $92,500.Now plans are being drawn up for a second Bermuda Peace Day concert in 2013, which is expected to be part of an expanded two-day event.It is hoped artwork created by famous music stars can be exhibited at Masterworks, close to the concert site in the Botanical Gardens, while a laid-back concert of orchestrated music might wrap up the multi-day event.The Lennon Bermuda concert was held on September 21 the International Day of Peace and celebrated the music of the late Beatle, who spent two months in Bermuda during the summer of 1980 writing what became his final songs.Bermudian and international musicians, including Maxi Priest, Biggie Irie and Heather Nova, performed at the event in front of an audience of 2,500.Following the success of the concert, event producers Tony Brannon and Michael Freisenbruch were able to share out proceeds to a number of groups.The Coalition for the Protection of Children, Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art and the Ride the Wave music initiative each received $30,000. A further $2,500 was presented to Chewstick.Thanking all those who had contributed to the event, particularly Mr Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono who supported the initiative, Mr Brannon said: “We created a world-class event and we expect even more visitors in 2013.”He indicated that ideas being explored for next year include reaching out to world renowned speakers and famed yoga experts to get involved, as well as a peace-themed exhibition of artwork by music industry figures.“Perhaps we could bring one or two people to exhibit,” he said, suggesting names such as Julian Lennon and David Bowie.As part of this year’s celebration Ms Ono allowed artwork by Mr Lennon to be exhibited at Masterworks to coincide with the unveiling of a Lennon sculpture in the Botanical Gardens.The sculpture was designed by Bermudian artist Graham Foster and stands outside Masterworks.It was funded by Masterworks members and supporters and is proving to be a tourist attraction. Tom Butterfield, executive director of Masterworks, said a group of visitors had even travelled from Chicago just to see it.“They heard about it and made a trip to be photographed next to it,” he said. He believes the free-to-view outdoor artwork will attract other travellers interested in the life of Mr Lennon.Then Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert expressed a similar sentiment. “The love for John Lennon will make Bermuda a place to visit,” he said.Mr Furbert, who was one of the featured singers on a locally recorded version of The Beatles’ ‘All You Need is Love’ a track on this year’s Lennon Bermuda tribute CD, praised Mr Brannon for sticking to his vision to bring the Lennon Bermuda events to fruition.A Lennon Bermuda box set, containing a double CD of Bermudian and international musicians performing versions of Mr Lennon’s songs, along with a Lennon Bermuda book about the superstar’s time on the Island, is now on sale at various outlets including Gorham’s, Brown & Co and Masterworks.The book and an international version of the CD, which will include contributions from Bryan Ferry and Roy Young, is due to be launched in the UK next year.Useful website: www.doublefantasybermuda.com