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Big Gig to celebrate opening of Invictus UK Trials

Alfie Boe
Alfie Boe

Headlined by Alfie Boe, The Big Gig will take place on Monday 22 July at Sheffield FLY DSA Arena.

Other major acts announced are classical artist Laura Wright, pop-sensation Heather Small, Suggs from Madness and Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance.

The Big Gig is produced and presented by Sheffield’s Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer Eliot Kennedy, and designer Emma Willis, founder of the charity Style for Soldiers.

Eliot Kennedy said: “This is going to be epic - as fans know, as with all my charity gigs, you never know who could turn up. There’s inevitably a major surprise artist that will make the night even more special. I can’t wait to sing proudly with some of the biggest voices out there for the inspiring Invictus UK Trials.”

Alfie Boe is one of Britain’s best-loved performers. The powerhouse voice with Platinum album sales has conquered the world’s most prestigious opera stages and theatres, and stole the show at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace.

Charles Dance, the legendary British actor who has gained a huge young following playing Lord Lannister in Game of Thrones as well as Martin Benson in ITV’ s current The Widow, will be galloping into Sheffield to perform at the Big Gig.

Heather Small became one of the seminal voices of the ‘90s with massive worldwide success as part of M People. The title track of her solo album, Proud, became the soundtrack to major sporting and charitable events, such as England’s victory at the Rugby World Cup.

Heather Small 'Proud' artist Heather Small

English soprano and classical-popular crossover singer, Laura Wright is a Royal favourite - she has performed for the Queen at her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations and at numerous sporting events.

Lead singer of Madness, Suggs, arrives in Sheffield in May with The Madness Musical at City Hall as part of their UK tour and joins July’s Big Gig line-up in support of our wounded veterans and service personnel.

Emma Willis MBE, founder of Style for Soldiers, whose exhibition Art in the Aftermath shows injured service personnel’s painting, poetry, film and sculpture over the Trials week, said: “It’s a show-stopping line-up of singers and actors who all powerfully evoke the emotions Invictus represents and the courage, ability and passion of our servicemen and women. I’m proud to be working with Eliot to help produce a celebratory concert worthy of these incredible men and women and their families.”

Sheffield will host the Invictus UK Trials between 22 and 26 July 2019, giving nearly 500 competitors the chance to take part in an adaptive multi-sport event as part of their recovery journey, supported by their friends and family. The programme is delivered by a partnership of Help for Heroes, the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion.

Rear Admiral Jim Macleod, Head of Invictus UK, said: “We are delighted that Eliot has offered his much-admired expertise to kick off what is set to be an incredible week of events in Sheffield. The Big Gig will include some fantastic acts and we are honoured that Eliot and his team have chosen to support Invictus UK in this way.”

Eliot Kennedy has supported military charities since 2013 after travelling to Camp Bastion with Gary Barlow for an ITV documentary, Journey to Afghanistan. Barlow then performed at Kennedy’s Hidden Wounds concert in 2016 in Doncaster to help raise £60,000 for Help for Heroes’ psychological wellbeing services for veterans.

Eliot said: “When I went to Afghanistan with Gary, it was an incredibly eye-opening experience. The Armed Forces risked their lives out there on a daily basis and the emotion of that trip stays with me. The Invictus Games show the incredible rehabilitative power of sport. I’ve long believed music has a similar power to bring people together, access our common humanity and be an uplifting force for good. The wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans inspire us all with their spirit and strength.”

The Big Gig, Sheffield FLY DSA Arena, Monday 22 July 7.30pm. Tickets £25. A limited number of VIP tickets to include after show party are available at £40.

Proceeds of The Big Gig will be donated to Invictus UK and Style for Soldiers to support the recovery journeys of our wounded, injured or sick.

Tickets can be purchased from:

Further information about the Invictus UK Trials can be found at: