Side of Stage is a new national initiative conceived by Hilltop Hoods and proudly led by the CanTeen, which offers free access to live gigs, festivals and performances across Australia.
Approximately 23,000 young Australians between the ages of 12-25 are impacted by cancer every year; this includes people dealing with having cancer themselves, a friend, parent or sibling with cancer, or the death of a loved one from cancer.
Hilltop Hoods said they were aware of the impact cancer has on so many people’s lives.
“Cancer is something that affects us all at some point in our lives, whether a personal struggle or someone close to us. We seek to empower and give strength to the suffering.”
Giving young people impacted by cancer special access to gigs and festivals across Australia was the driving force behind Side of Stage and bands have jumped on board the initiative.
CanTeen Side of Stage is open to young people aged 12-25 whose lives are currently being impacted by cancer, because some days according the Hilltop Hoods, “you just need the music.”
The initiative recently welcomed 23 Side of Stage supporters including renowned festival Beyond The Valley, Groovin The Moo, A Day on the Green and Laneway Festival; artists joining Hilltop Hoods as ambassadors include Alice Skye, Bakers Eddy, The Montreals, Kingswood and Midas.Gold.
The response from teens able to attend has been exceptional with many relishing in the opportunity to attend events they’d normally miss out on due to their health.
“I enjoyed being with a friend and having the opportunity to see and meet some incredible artists,” said Sophie, 20, who lost her brother to cancer in 2010 and was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011.
“I love music and I love dancing with my friends. Being able to do these things and not worry about my treatment is amazing,” said Chelsea who was diagnosed with cancer at 16.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma and said these moments were so important for young people affected by cancer.
“There is something about live music that really allows you to live in the moment. In my experience, cancer was not only physically traumatic, but mentally as well,” she said.
“During this period in my life, I really had to stay strong and focus on getting through day by day. Now, being able to enjoy live music again (something I have always loved doing) allows me to enjoy life to the fullest.”
For more information and to find out more go to canteen.org.au.