Ghent Jazz Festival: Belgian seniors of 90+, offered best seats at Bjork’s gig

At the care home Ter Rive, one can have the most beautiful view on Ghent’s St Peters’ square, the biggest market square of the city. Unfortunately, there couldn’t be a bigger contrast between the empty visitor seats in the resident rooms and the hundreds of people gathering outside to watch artists such as Leonard Cohen, Prince and on July 11th Björk perform. No fewer than 60% of the elderly feel lonely.

It’s for this reason that Humming, a new Ghent-based creative agency, together with Ghent Jazz Festival (who organizes the unique Björk concert), came up with an idea to fight this form of social isolation. Through www.bjork.gent, they put ten Balcony Seats for sale. Persons who bought a ticket can get cozy on July 11th in the comfy sofas of Marie-Jeanne (96), Urbain (88) or Yvonna (94) and enjoy the best seats for this exclusive concert. The proceeds of these ten Balcony Seats go entirely to vzw Enchanté, a local charity that brings lonesome homeless people in contact with hotel managers who have spare rooms.

The heart-warming video of Marie-Jeanne, Urbain and Yvonna bringing their message to music festival-loving people, got over 13,000 views in no time. One hour later people even started posting disappointed messages about the sofa seats being sold out already.

Hilde Lanszweert, Ter Rive’s manager:

Although our residents are not familiar with Björk’s music, they got excited immediately when we suggested that concert viewers could watch the concert through their windows. Whenever something’s happening outside at St Peters’ square they’re glued against their windows. So it’s extra nice that they don’t just watch this concert, but that they’re actively involved this time. Our slogan is: ‘Make people happy with happy people’. And nothing delights them more than spending time with younger people. We’re convinced that this happiness works both ways.

Humming representatives said:

When we watched Prince perform on St Peters’ square a couple of years ago, we were touched by the contrast between all these people outside and the empty care home inside. The empty seats offering a unique view on the stage seemed like an opportunity to get the festival audience to the elderly. We hope that the seniors as well as their visitors will have a lovely time with ‘Björnk’ and with each other. At the same time we hope to focus more attention to the growing issue of loneliness.

Credits

Client: Gent Jazz Festival

Client contact: Gaelle vanhaverbeke

Agency: Humming

Concept & Creative Direction: Sara West

Art Direction: GJDS
Scriptwriter: Wendy Huyghe
Film Director: Domien Huyghe

Sound Director: Bart Van Lierde

Production Company: Humming

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