Virgin Radio UK and The Sun have announced plans for a very special “Big Thank You Tour”, giving away 35,000 free tickets to coronavirus key workers to enjoy.
The News UK brands are organising what they describe as “three amazing and unique live arena shows this autumn, packed full of chart-topping talent.”
The Big Thank You Tour is scheduled to take place at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Wednesday 28 October, Manchester Arena on Thursday 29 October and culminate at The SSE Hydro Arena Glasgow on Sunday 1 November.
Announcing the plan, Mike Cass, Content Director for the Virgin Radio network, said: “Our fantastic key workers are keeping Britain going through the coronavirus lockdown. From our brilliant bus drivers and posties to the amazing shop staff and delivery drivers making sure we’re stocked with essentials – and of course, our wonderful health and social care workers.
“We wanted to say thank you the best way we know how – by throwing an amazing party. Three, in fact. And we’ll be pulling out all the stops – and inviting some very special guest stars – to ensure three nights to remember for 35,000 key workers and their families. Watch this space for more announcements.”
Victoria Newton, Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, said: “We launched The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards three years ago to recognise the hard work, dedication and sheer brilliance of our NHS staff – from the porters to the nurses to the surgeons.
“The national COVID-19 emergency has put them all on the frontline of battling this horrendous disease, and they’re doing an incredible job. We hope the Big Thank You Tour will give many thousands of them something to look forward to – and I’m delighted that we’ll be kicking off the tour by hosting this year’s Who Cares Wins Awards at the Wembley show.”
The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards celebrate staff who go beyond the call of duty to care for patients and make the NHS the treasure it is. The annual awards, now in their fourth year, were set up to allow readers to pay tribute to the selfless medics, researchers and volunteers who have touched – and saved – their lives. Nominations for this year will open in the next few weeks.
The Sun has also launched its Who Cares Wins Appeal, which has seen Sun Readers donate over £500,000 in its first few days, with all donations going to NHS Charities Together.
Mike Cass added: “I want to say a huge thank you to the management teams at the SSE Arena, Wembley, Manchester Arena and Glasgow SSE Hydro – and to our production partners EMO – for their commitment to helping us make the Big Thank You Tour happen. And if the nation isn’t quite ready for a great big thank you party by October, we’ll just do it as soon as we safely can!”
John Drury, VP & General Manager, The SSE Arena, Wembley, added: “The whole team at The SSE Arena, Wembley is hugely proud to be involved in the Big Thank You Tour. We’re delighted to be able to play a small part in thanking all those who have been working flat out at great risk to themselves, to get the country back to health… and back to concerts.”
James Allen, General Manager of Manchester Arena, added: “During this period of pause and social distance, we are incredibly proud to support the Big Thank you Tour for our key frontline staff and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the arena for an evening of celebration, praise and gratitude.”
Debbie McWilliams, Director of Live Entertainment, Scottish Event Campus, added: “SEC is proud to be hosting one of the Big Thank You Tour shows. As we negotiate the most significant challenge in a generation, we are pleased to be able to show our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all NHS staff and other key workers for their incredible work.”
More details about how to register for tickets and who will be playing at the Big Thank You Tour will be released in coming weeks.