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Thank EU for the Music: celebrate Europe Day with a tango theme

Pack your flags and mark May 8 with a spectacular afternoon of music celebrating our continent

St John's (Credit: Southbank Sinfonia at St John’s Smith Square)

Thank EU for the Music, in association with the European Movement, is organising a tango-themed concert in London for Europe Day – May 8.

The group – which has been behind the distribution of EU flags and berets at the Last Night of the Proms in recent years – is encouraging music fans from the capital and beyond to bring along flags and wave them at the concert at St John’s in Smith Square.

Europe’s music cultures will be celebrated with a wide variety of music including Ode to Joy, God Save the Queen and the Ukrainian national anthem. On every seat there will be an EU Flag, courtesy of the EU Flag Mafia team, as well as a packet of sunflower seeds – the national symbol of Ukraine – in solidarity with the besieged country.

Paolo Arrigo, lead organiser for Thank EU for the Music said: “I have looked into holding a pro-EU concert at the Royal Albert Hall and this is a small start to fulfilling this great dream. Instead of being outside handing out flags as we do for Last Night of the Proms we want to be running our own concert there.

“Brexit has done so much damage to the music industry and has frustrated efforts by musicians to travel freely around Europe playing their music. There were no borders before Brexit.”

And Peter Benson, part of the organising team, said: “This is an awesome opportunity for music lovers to come together and socialise. It’s on a Sunday afternoon and the venue is directly opposite the office of the EU with great pubs and restaurants all nearby. It’s a perfect day out and the added attraction is the pre-concert rally.”

The rally, outside the EU’s offices in Smith Square, starts at 1.30pm with organisers advising people to arrive by 1pm. The location for the rally is outside the offices of the EU in Smith Square, next to the venue. It is scheduled to last around 30 minutes giving people plenty of time to get to their seats in the baroque former church for the show at 2.30pm. Organisers are encouraging people to bring flags and wear EU colours.

Confirmed speakers include philosopher and author A C Grayling, Mike Galsworthy, co-founder of Scientists for Europe and Louise Brown, co- founder of Northeast4EU.

The show features the Romano Viazzani Ensemble, who bring together seven outstanding musicians from the worlds of classical, jazz and Latin-American music to play and create tango and tango-inspired music. Based on the line up of Astor Piazzolla’s famous quintet they recreate music that ranges from Piazzolla’s own works to classic Argentine and European tango. They also arrange music in the style of tango and write their own original tango-inspired music with a twist of swinging London.

When buying concert tickets there is a special 25% discount for readers of The New European – just use the code NEWEUROPEAN when booking. The rally is free to attend.

Book tickets here and find out more information here.

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