A collaboration of all-star musicians from around the globe are banding together for an epic musical pilgrimage to the summit of Mt Fuji in conjunction with the Love Hope Strength (LHS) foundation, the world’s largest rock n’ roll cancer charity.
Leading a group of 30 cancer survivors and supporters from four continents will be Mike Peters, front man for popular Welsh band, The Alarm, Glenn Tilbrook, lead singer of internationally renowned band, Squeeze, wildly popular American pro surfer and singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter and his band mate Matt Grundy, and Brien McVernon, lead singer of the Retro Rockets, a favorite in their native Australia.
The journey, taking place Aug 21–29, will raise money and support for the international bone marrow donor registry and LHS’s efforts to help people everywhere – regardless of economic status or location – gain access to life saving treatments.
The trekkers will begin at The Fuji Sengen Shrine, where the pilgrims of over 500 years ago came to pray before they started their climb up the sacred mountain. After a two-day journey on foot, the hike will culminate with a musical ceremony at the summit. The trek will be followed by a voyage to Fuji Yoshida for the Fire Festival or “Yoshida no Himatsuri,” an annual festival held to appease the Goddess of Mt Fuji and mark the end of the hiking season. To learn more about the details of the Mt Fuji voyage, click here.
For LHS, this concert marks the fourth year in a row it has brought together musicians from all walks of life to hike a global landmark as inspiration to those affected by cancer and to help those in need. Previous musical pilgrimages include Mt Everest in Nepal, the highest concert performed on land, Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, Machu Picchu in Peru, Mt Snowdon in the UK, the Empire State Building and for the previous two years, Pikes Peak in America. Each of the thirty hikers have made a commitment to raise money for the foundation’s cause, and LHS expects to raise additional funds via its website and mobile giving.
For Mike Peters, a two-time cancer survivor and LHS co-founder, this journey will be his third in the last month and the tenth musical voyage he has led. Peters recently raised money for Welsh cancer centers by leading the fourth annual hike of Mt Snowdon and a special hike and concert in the Rhondda Valley in mid-August. Also making a repeat performance to show solidarity in the fight against cancer are Glenn Tilbrook and Brien McVernon. The Squeeze front man has journeyed with LHS to Mt Everest and Mt Kilimanjaro while McVernon has been to three of four annual pilgrimages.
“Cancer is now the world’s leading cause of death. This event, like others before, will drum up funds to fight the disease with something tangible and hopefully produce inspiration to many people touched by cancer,” said Peters. “The deep spiritual virtues of Mt Fuji and the warm, wonderful Japanese culture provide an incredible setting for this journey. We are at once thankful to the Japanese people for welcoming us and excited to wave the prayer flags on peak in a tribute to the love, hope and strength we have for all those who must endure cancer in one form or another.”
"Every one on earth has been affected by cancer in one way or another so it's an honor to be part of a cause that is doing something very tangible to fight this disease. I'm really excited to hike and play music and in the process help bring awareness to everyone about the importance of bone marrow donation" said Frankenreiter.
“I am very proud to be involved in my 3rd trek. Like many, I have had people close to me suffer from cancer and LHS are using vision and imagination to do some amazing things. I have been lucky enough to experience the warmth and generosity of the Japanese people and feel sure they will join me in my admiration and support of LHS” said Tilbrook.
The Mt Fuji Rocks experience will be documented by director/producer Alex Colletti (creator of MTV’s “Unplugged”), who premiered the first LHS documentary, Everest Rocks, on MTV’s HD channel Palladia in September of 2008. Also joining the crew will be James Chippendale, cancer survivor, co-founder of LHS and President of CSI Entertainment Insurance, one of the world’s largest event and sports insurance brokerages and George Devanney, the County Manager for Union County New Jersey.
“Everyone coming with us to Japan this year understands that music is a hugely powerful vehicle for change” said Chippendale. “In under two years, we have brought bone marrow donor registry programs to concerts in the U.S. and started the first saliva based testing in the UK. The results are tangible, with over 7,000 new people signed on and 35 potentially life-saving matches found already. I am living proof that bone marrow donation can save a life and its my hope that through events like this we can accelerate these live giving programs.”
Those wishing to support Mt Fuji Rocks or future LHS initiatives can sign a prayer flag, shop for goods or make a donation at www.lovehopestrength.org. In addition, those in the U.S. wishing to donate can text the word LOVE to 50555 to make a $5 contribution.© Japan Today