Wigan mum's charity Big Gig back online for its greatest show yet

A remarkable Wigan cancer survivor who has raised more than £157,000 for charity isn’t letting the matter of a global pandemic get in the way of her latest money-spinning ambitions.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:55 am
Swiss-based band Good News Inc featuring Paul Cross

Carolyn Cross is the brains behind The Big Gig: an annual musical event which in recent years has played to sell-out crowds at Park Hall, Charnock Richard.

And while it has been impossible to replicate the star-studded show at the venue for the second year running, tomorrow will see perhaps the most audacious live concert yet, spanning the best part of 12 hours online and including performances from mainland Europe and the US.

And the 56-year-old mum, who recently moved from Standish with musician-husband John to Chorley, hasn’t been resting on her fund-raising laurels during the toughest parts of lockdown either.

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Carolyn Cross

For more than 10 years she has been raising the profile of and money for Cancer Research UK through the concerts but also regular coffee mornings in Wrightington.

But with those off the agenda for now due to Covid she instead decided, as the song says, to “walk 500 miles” and did so in rain, hail or shine and has raised another £2,600 for the cause.

After losing her mum to cancer and fighting the disease twice herself, Carolyn has dedicated much of her time to charity work while also raising awareness of cancer and the signs to look out for.

Before lockdown she was giving talks in schools, visiting cancer patients and organising all manner of community events to bring people together and raise funds through events the year round.

Starsailor's James Walsh

Early last year she was recognised at the Palace of Westminster with a British Citizen Award.

But now all attention focuses on The Big Gig which begins at noon tomorrow.

Her son Paul, a seasoned musician since the age of 11, has once again arranged the line-up, with musicians streaming live from Zermatt in Switzerland where Paul now lives, Wigan Southport, London, Liverpool and the US.

Last year’s Big Gig 9 Online raised more £7,000 for Cancer Research UK and it is hoped that The Big Gig 10 Online will do the same.

The live streaming continues throughout the day, with performers including Big Noise Inc, of which Paul is lead singer, and James Walsh from Starsailor.

The full schedule is:

12pm: Ben Watling

1pm: Dave Hefford

1.30pm: Calum Gordon

2.30pm: Paul Cross

3.30pm: Joseph Rhodes

4.30pm: Sounds Retro

5.30pm; Ben Joseph

6.30pm: Karl Sweeney

7.30pm: James Walsh

8pm: The Olly Neash Experience

9pm: Spencer Chaplin’s World

10pm: Good Noise Inc

Carolyn said: “Cancer Research UK needs funds just as much, if not more, now than it ever has and we were determined to organise a Big Gig, whatever the pandemic threw at us. And we have got a terrific line-up for everyone to enjoy.

“So go to Facebook and to the page Big Gig 10 Online Again to watch this amazing show and click on the link on this page to donate to Cancer Research UK and help us all Beat Cancer Sooner!

See @biggig10online

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