FUNDRAISING NEWS: Stars gig for War Child and Shelter nationwide

Shelter and War Child have teamed up with music venue owner Channelfly to launch a series of fundraising gigs that will involve major artists such as Travis and David Gray playing one-off exclusive gigs in small venues across the country.

'Passport: Back to the Bars' will offer music fans the chance to win a pair of tickets for one of 21 gigs by texting the answer to a simple question, along with the name of the artist that they would like to see, to a special five-digit number.

Applicants will be charged £1.50 on top of the fee levied by their phone company and all money raised after the deduction of event costs will be shared equally between Shelter and War Child.

Four pairs of tickets for each show will also be auctioned online at www.ebay.co.uk, and all proceeds will be donated to both of the charities.

The gigs, set to take place during the first week of March, mainly at Channelfly's Barfly venues across the UK, will enable winners to see performers play to audiences of between 50 and 400 people. Some of the other acts will include Ash, Atomic Kitten, Craig David, The Darkness and Supergrass.

All the money raised will go to help children in difficult circumstances.

Shelter will use its share to support initiatives to help homeless families in the towns where the gigs are staged, and War Child will use the funds to provide education and child protection services in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The initiative is backed by MTV, which has donated airtime and created an advert about Passport, Also supporting the event are AOL and the Brit Trust, the charitable arm of the British Phonographic Industry. For more information see www.musicpassport.org.

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