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Charities launch prize draw for super limited edition ‘Merry Xmas (War Is Over)’ records

By | Published on Friday 10 December 2021

John Lennon & Yoko Ono

I know we’re all meant to think that ‘Fairytale Of New York’ by The Pogues is the best ever Christmas record, while secretly favouring Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. But whenever I sit down to watch 79 hours of festive pop videos on whichever of the music channels it is that you get on Freeview – Christmas Day being the one day I still actually sit in front of an actual old school telly – for me the highlight is usually John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Merry Xmas (War Is Over)’, a 1971 classic that’s just had a 50th anniversary re-release.

But this is no ordinary cash-in re-release. Instead, 50 limited edition twelve-inch vinyl acetates have been made, which Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon then sent out at the start of the month to 25 independent record stores and 25 charities and not-for-profit organisations, with the message: “This is one of only 50 limited edition acetates hand-cut at Abbey Road. It’s yours – to sell, auction, raise money to help your business or your favourite charity or to fund your Xmas party – to spread Xmas cheer”.

A number of those organisations have now come together to stage a big fund-raising prize draw, with seven of the records up for grabs. The organisations include Music Venue Trust, Help Musicians, Karousel Music, Collage Arts, Attitude Is Everything, Movimientos and Youth Music.

Commenting on the initiative, MVT CEO Mark Davyd says: “This was such an incredible gesture by Sean and Yoko that we were immediately inspired to think how we could use this fantastic gift to do the most good supporting great causes. We are delighted to be working with such a great range of colleagues representing organisations that really demonstrate the enduring power of music as a force for positive change. With this prize draw, someone is going to get the Lennon fan’s ultimate Xmas gift”.

Meanwhile, Help Musicians CEO James Ainscough adds: “We are extremely grateful to Yoko and Sean for these rare and wonderful records in the lead up to Christmas. By collaborating with other valued causes, we can all really make a difference to those who dedicate their time, energy and lives to giving us the gift of music; something we all value that little bit more over the festive period. It’s no secret how challenging the COVID crisis has been for those who work in music but the path back to career recovery is still rocky, so every entry into the prize draw really does make all the difference”.

To enter the prize draw to win one of the super limited edition records – while donating to all these good causes – go to this Crowdfunder page here.

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