Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi will visit Armenia in June 2019 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Rock Aid Armenia charity project.
The visit and celebration of the anniversary are being organised by the Mediamax Media Company and DoSomething (Australia), whose co-founder Jon Dee organised the 1989 Rock Aid Armenia project to help the victims of the Armenian earthquake.
On 5 June 2019, Yerevan will host a gala night under the auspices of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which will feature Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi and Jon Dee. The event will also include a public showing of the documentary about Rock Aid Armenia’s all-star 1989 remake of Smoke on the Water. This documentary includes footage of the recording sessions featuring members of bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden, ELP, Free and Bryan Adams.
The sponsor of Rock Aid Armenia’s 30th anniversary celebrations and the rock stars visit is IDBank. Koor Wines is the partner of the event.
“We thank IDBank and Koor for supporting this important initiative. Rock legends joined forces 30 years ago to help our people and soon, thanks to the support from IDBank and Koor, we will celebrate the anniversary of that fantastic project,” said Ara Tadevosyan, Director of Mediamax.
During their stay in Armenia, Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi and Jon Dee will visit the Gyumri Musical School N6, which was initiated by the Rock Aid Armenia/Armenia Grateful 2 Rock project.
The decision to build the new music school was taken in October 2009, on the 20th anniversary of Rock Aid Armenia. Mediamax and DoSomething joined forces to carry out the project, which included a visit by Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, Jon Dee, Geoff Downes and Pat Cash.
During this 2009 visit, the stars visited Musical School N6 in Gyumri, a city in the Armenian earthquake zone. In the 20 years following the 1988 earthquake, the children had been forced to learn music in a decrepit and damp temporary building that had never been properly rebuilt.
During that visit, the rock legends offered to help with the proper rebuilding of the school.
In March 2010, Ian Gillan gave two charity concerts with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra in Yerevan, and later that year Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi formed the fundraising supergroup WhoCares.
Fundraising and construction of the music school building were coordinated by Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), Mediamax, and DoSomething. The opening of the new building was held in September of 2013 and was attended by Ian Gillan and Jon Dee.
“It is wonderful that Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi will be joining us in Yerevan in June. Ara Tadevosyan and I would like to thank Tony and Ian for their incredible 30 year commitment to helping the people of Armenia. The event on June 5th will enable Armenia to remember and celebrate the ongoing support that Ian and Tony have given to children in the Armenian earthquake zone,” said Rock Aid Armenia Founder Jon Dee.