About Given To Live
Given To Live is a project that aims to make live music accessible to all regardless of situation or circumstances.
There is nothing quite like the experience of seeing a favourite band or artist perform live. The moment a song with personal meaning is played, the sense of community. We feel this should be available to everyone.
For so many seeing a band is as easy as buying the ticket and turning up.
For others this is not so simple. A disability, life threatening illness, PTSD, living in a shelter or refuge, being in care. Imagine the hurdles in front of you if you're in a situation like this.
This is where Given To Live come in by providing the funding for the recipient to experience a live performance of their choosing. Country to classical, rock to reggae the funding goes to providing tickets, transport and accommodation if necessary.
How it works
It's as easy as A, B, C. Go to the Application page and fill in the form. We will respond within a week. If your application is successful, we will start the process of making your gig experience come true.
In The Beginning.
To understand why Tom founded Given To Live you’ll have to know a little about his past.
In the summer of 2013 Tom was sitting on a bus traveling through the Swedish countryside when one of his all-time favourite Pearl Jam songs came on the radio. ‘Alive’ sang out filling the bus. Tom had heard ‘Alive’ hundreds if not thousands of times, but this was different and the tears welled up as he wept with the wonder of being alive.
It was seven years to the day since Tom had overdosed, an event that marked the end of a three-year addition relapse. Having spent the following seven years pulling himself out of homelessness, unemployment and hopelessness, Tom wanted to honour this mile stone, his journey and the gift of still being alive.
The question of how was quickly answered as inspiration struck; Pearl Jam were touring the US that autumn, his love of music had been a key support for Tom while he struggled getting his life back on track, and Pearl Jam are his favourite band. Once home Tom quickly booked flights, tickets and arranged a road trip with friends to attend a five-show run of concerts, ending in Oakland on his birthday.
After a whirlwind of the first 4 gigs Tom arrived in Oakland. While waiting outside the arena Tom met a young woman who had traveled from Brazil to see Pearl Jam, but on the morning of the show she had been robbed. She’d lost everything, her passport, credit cards, driver's license, all her cash and after spending hours with the police and the Brazilian consulate she had nothing more than a piece of paper saying she could leave the country. Her story quickly spread among the fans who started a collection for her, raising enough to buy her a ticket and help her until she flew home.
The generosity and community spirit touched Tom and started him thinking.
Tom realised how incredibly lucky he was to be able to give himself such an adventure; that he had a job that paid enough, that physically and mentally he was well despite his history of drug and alcohol abuse, and that by pure chance he was not born into a war-torn country, poverty or famine.
Tom decided he wanted to give others the musical adventure he’d given to himself. Offering it to those who need financial help, or emotional or physical support, so they too can have their day in the sun, their show.
That’s why GTL exists to make dreams come true, and to honour the strength and recognise the struggles of each person we take to a show.
Given To Live
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
- Jane Goodall
As an organisation, Given to Live relies solely on the generosity of public donations to fund the work we do, enabling live music to be accessible to all.
To donate, click the button below.