35th anniversary Country Roads concert for children launches

– Tickets currently available at selected Cargills Food City outlets 

Colombo, September 12, 2023 – Sri Lanka’s and South Asia’s longest running charity concert for children, Country Roads, returns in 2023 for its ‘most wanted’ show to date. And even better, this year’s musical extravaganza will feature the bright lights and panoramic cityscape of Colombo as its backdrop. Held on Saturday, October 7th, 2023, at the picturesque Virticle by Jetwing, which is situated high atop the city, on the 30th floor of the Access Towers building in Union Place, Colombo 2, the 35th anniversary Country Roads concert for children is sure to not disappoint.

Feizal Samath, President of concert organiser Country Music Foundation (CMF), commented: “We are looking forward to this event being held after a lapse of five years due to unavoidable circumstances.”

The 35th anniversary edition of the Country Roads concert for children will be supported by Official Venue, Virticle by Jetwing, and Official Airline, SriLankan Airlines, as well as its other partners, Jetwing Colombo Seven, Cargills, LOLC, and Firefly. Tickets are currently available, for a charitable donation of Rs 2,000 each, at Cargills Food City outlets at Kirulapone, Kohuwela (Bernards), Majestic City, Mount Lavinia (junction) and Staples Street.

Fan favourites the Mavericks from Germany and Astrid Brook from the UK will once again return to headline the 2023 concert. Joining them on stage will be local legends Cosmic Rays, as well as the Country Revival Band with Feizal and Jury. Sending a message to his Sri Lankan fans, Dirk (from the Mavericks Germany) commented: “2018 was the last time we were here in your beautiful country with the Mavericks band. Then Corona came and with it a long break. I missed you very much during this time. It has now been 5 years since my last visit to Sri Lanka. A lot has changed. The sponsorship that has always made this trip possible for us is gone. But we didn’t just want to end this tradition, which we have learned to love so much since 1992. That’s why we’re traveling to Sri Lanka this year entirely at our own expense, because it’s an affair of the heart for us. We very much hope that it won’t be the last Maverick performance in Sri Lanka. We hope that this unique journey will continue, that there will also be a Country Roads concert in the years to come.”

Dirk also thanked CMF and its leadership for the sometimes herculean effort it takes to continue to put on the concert year after year, especially during Sri Lanka’s turbulent times: “Feizal Samath is the motor, the heart of the Country Roads concert. Feizal is also the man who has brought us to Sri Lanka again and again since 1992. I am infinitely grateful to him for these many years, these countless experiences, these many friendships that we were able to make here. So don’t miss the 2023 Maverick in Sri Lanka concert experience, join the Country Roads Concert 2023. I look forward to each and every one.”

Also commenting, Astrid added: “If you’re able to come along to the Country Roads Concert 2023, I’d like to say a big thank you to you for your support. I’m very much looking forward to seeing you again and singing some songs for you. You’re welcome to wear your cowboy hat or boots if you have them! As always, it promises to be a fun and enjoyable musical evening, and we look forward to sharing it with you.”

An entirely charitable undertaking, which is staffed totally by volunteers, the Country Roads concert for children has consistently donated 100% of its proceeds to children’s charities in Sri Lanka. Over the past 35 years, this has resulted in several million rupees worth of aid, all of which has contributed directly to addressing the most pressing issues faced by children in Sri Lanka, a common practice since the concert’s first edition was held in 1988.

Proceeds from shows held between 2013 and 2018 were gifted to the following organizations and their affiliated charities: Nildiyawara Prajamula Society (a village society) in Mahawilachchiya; Gamini Public School in Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura; Kiula Kiyawana Gunaya Free Classical and Folk Music Class in Hambantota; Give2Lanka Batticaloa (with support from Berendina Sri Lanka with National Water Supply and Drainage Board); Horizon Lanka in Mahavillachiya; PREDO, a community service NGO in Hatton; ESCO Batticaloa; Pimbura Primary School in Agalawatte (with support from Ceylon Biscuits and Nestle); Meth Mihira, a Special Education school in Koralawella, Moratuwa (run by the Sisters’ Of Charity); the Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka (supported by the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital); and the Kudaligama Central College in Kalutara was provided with musical equipment.

In 2014, the concert contributed Rs. 500,000 to Save the Children Sri Lanka, to support its mother-and-child program for local plantations. During the same year, another Rs. 100,000 was given to the Oxonian Heart Foundation, to help treat impoverished and destitute children suffering from heart disease, while a further Rs. 100,000 was donated to a poor family caring for a special needs child. In commemoration of its landmark 25th anniversary concert in 2013, CMF donated a million rupees to aid in a special UNICEF project.

Sponsors and CMF officials (from left) – Dmitri Cooray (Jetwing), Ms. Maljini Jayasekera (Cargills), Feizal Samath (President CMF), Susaan Bandara (LOLC), Deepal Perera (SriLankan Airlines) and Spencer Manualpillai (Dilmah).