On Monday night Underbelly sold-out the McEwan Hall raising a grand total of £41,055.00 through its third annual Big Brain Tumour Benefit.
100% of the ticket income goes straight to The Brain Tumour Charity, the world’s leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally. In addition audiences gifted £1,035 through Underbelly’s Just Giving page and after a great night of comedy gave an additional £2,010 through bucket collections as they left the venue.
Underbelly matched both the ticket income and the money collected in buckets at the end of the event adding a further £20,010 themselves to the money raised in support of a cause close to Underbelly’s heart. Co-founder of Underbelly, Ed Bartlam’s son Alfie was just 4 years old when he was diagnosed with a form of aggressive brain cancer.
In what has become one of the hottest tickets on the Fringe, the annual line up of star comedians performing in support of The Brain Tumour Charity, this year saw Russell Howard, Jason Byrne, Nina Conti, Danny Bhoy, Iain Stirling and Flo & Joan. The show was hosted by LA-based Canadian John Hastings, who since 2012 has taken every major comedy festival in the world by storm.
Research into brain tumours is severely underfunded in the UK and yet represents the biggest cancer killer for under 40s. Around 500 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed each year but diagnosis times of childhood brain tumours are longer in the UK than in many other countries. The Brain Tumour Charity’s HeadSmart campaign aims to reduce brain tumour and brain cancer diagnosis times to four weeks or less.
Ed Bartlam, Underbelly’s co-founder said: “I’m incredibly grateful to all of the comedians who took part tonight for supporting such an important cause. And to the audience who bought over 1,000 tickets and gave so generously. I’ve seen the devastating effects of brain tumours in children first hand and it’s vital that we raise both awareness of the disease and money to help find cures. Our brain tumour benefit show is a wonderful way to do just that whilst also watching one of the strongest comedy line-ups you’ll find anywhere on the Fringe.”
Geraldine Pipping, The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising, added: “Our partnerships are key to our strategy of raising vital funds for research and awareness of the devastating impact of a brain tumour. The continued support of Underbelly and The Big Brain Benefit is hugely appreciated. We know that their invaluable help will make a real difference for everyone affected.
“Every year, 11,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour – that’s 30 a day – and our five-year research strategy A Cure Can’t Wait aims to double survival within 10 years and halve the harm caused by brain tumours on quality of life.
“We receive no government funding and rely 100% on voluntary donations and gifts in Wills, so it’s only through the support of Ed, Charlie and the team at Underbelly, that we can work towards our twin goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.
“We are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease. Thank you to Underbelly for their continued support”.
Photo credit: Elly White