17th February 2015
For immediate release.

The Hand In Hand festival of UK and Ireland LGBT choirs, to be held in Brighton this June and jointly organised by Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus and the Rainbow Chorus, has received an exciting gesture of support from a US musician and LGBT activist in the form of a concert in March. Here is the full press release from the Hand In Hand website:


17th February 2015
For immediate release.

Justin Utley, the proudly gay ex-Mormon turned LGBT activist and singer/songwriter has excitedly announced he will be performing a gig in BrIghton during his UK tour this year. His gig will take place at 7pm on Sunday 15th March at Rialto Theatre, Dyke Road, Brighton (just by Churchill Square), with Advance Tickets costing just £8 (£10 on the door).

As a gesture of support for the local Brighton LGBT music community, Justin has pledged that a substantial amount from ticket sales will be donated to the Hand In Hand National UK/Ireland LGBT Choral Festival taking place in the summer.

Adam Betteridge, organiser of Justin’s gig and trustee for Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, who also arranged a gig for fellow US singer Matt Alber for Brighton Pride last Summer, has said “We’re really excited that Justin has agreed to come to perform for us here in Brighton as part of his UK tour. After the success of Matt Alber’s gig last year, it seems there is genuine interest in hearing performers from the emerging LGBT music scene both here and internationally. It’s a real testament to Justin’s active support for the LGBT music scene that he should pledge as much as half of sales to the Hand In Hand Festival.”

Over 15 LGBT choirs from across the nation have already signed up for the Hand In Hand festival, taking place 12-14 June this year, and which will be helping raise funds for various local charities including the Sussex Beacon and Lunch Positive. The festival will culminate in a joint public show at Brighton Dome on Saturday 13th June.

The Co-Chairs for the Hand In Hand Festival in Brighton, being Paul Charlton (Chairman of Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus), and Finola Brophy (Chair of Rainbow Chorus), together have said “We are tremendously excited about the Hand In Hand Festival, one of the largest LGBT choral events to take place in the UK & Ireland to date. We are also extremely appreciative for Justin to have agreed to donate such a large proportion of the takings from his gig in support of this cause. As you can imagine, putting together such a large and prestigious festival is a costly affair, and it’s donations such as these that will help make a real difference to its overall success.”

Born and raised in Utah, Justin Utley began his career as a Mormon-Contemporary singer/songwriter, and was a featured performer at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. After publicly breaking ties with the Mormon Church and sending his own “self-excommunication letter”, Justin became a noted activist and advocate for civil rights and LGBT equality in the United States, and an outspoken personality against the Mormon church’s use of conversion ex-gay therapy, a method Utley endured for two years after serving a two-year full-time mission for the church.

In June 2010, Utley released Stand for Something a single written to inspire and motivate to take action towards securing LGBT equality in the United States. The single was nominated by the LGBT Academy Of Recording Arts for 4 OutMusic Awards, including Best Songwriter and Artist of the Year, winning Best Country/Folk Song of the Year.

Justin has also gained many accolades in a short time including being a headlining performer at Pride Festivals worldwide, including Stockholm, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, San Diego and Las Vegas, & opening for international acts, including Icona Pop, Tegan & Sara, and Margaret Cho. He has been a contributor for CNN’s Faces Of Faith Sunday News segment, and testified in the first ever hearing on LGBTQ Job and Housing Discrimination in front of the Utah State Senate.

If you’d like to buy tickets to his Brighton gig, these can be purchased online for £8 in advance (£10 on the door) via www.rialtotheatre.co.uk/whats-on/music-events/justin-utley

More info about Justin Utley is available from his website www.justinutley.com, and for the Hand In Hand Festival here www.handinhandbrighton.org


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