With the future uncertain due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing, some of Ireland and Scotland's best-known musicians and poets have pledged to do their bit by helping to provide succour for the cultural needs of both nations.

A unique collective of more than 40 artists is set to bring the sense of community and unity back into hearts of music lovers everywhere over the next few difficult months with a series of virtual fireside gigs, hosted by The Duncairn in Belfast. 

The Duncairn Virtual Cabaret will bring these artists together from a safe distance in a series of 90-minute live-streamed episodes on YouTube and Facebook, featuring performances recorded from their very own homes and gardens. 

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In the coming weeks, well-known artists such as Mick Flannery, Damien Dempsey, Julie Fowlis and Eamon Doorley, Ian Lynch (Lankum), Joshua Burnside, Zoe Conway, Pauline Scanlon and Ríoghnach Connolly will play a series of intimate online gigs from their own homes straight into the home of thousands of music-lovers. 

"It’s at times like this that we have an opportunity to reflect on what’s important," explained Virtual Cabaret co-ordinator Ray Giffen.

"We, the creative community, can send out an important message, through our collective spirit and empathy." 

"This might only be a small project, but it can uplift people when they need inspiration now more than ever before."

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All donations to the Virtual Cabaret will be split evenly among all the performing artists and Cabaret will be streamed live on The Duncairn’s Facebook and YouTube pages every Saturday at 8.30pm.  

Donations can be made in advance of the show at the Duncairn Centre's website or during the stream via PayPal.