Chorley mum's charity Big Gig back online for its greatest show yet

A remarkable cancer survivor who has already raised more than £157,000 for charity isn’t letting the matter of a global pandemic get in the way of her  money-spinning ambitions.

Carolyn Cross has been raising the profile of, and money for, Cancer Research UK
Carolyn Cross has been raising the profile of, and money for, Cancer Research UK

Carolyn Cross is the brains behind The Big Gig: an annual musical event which in recent years has played to sell-out crowds at Park Hall, Charnock Richard.

And while it has been impossible to replicate the star-studded show for 2021, Saturday May 15 will see perhaps the most audacious live concert yet, spanning the best part of 12 hours online and including performances from mainland Europe and the US.

And the 56-year-old mum, who recently moved to Chorley from Standish with musician-husband Joh, hasn’t been resting on her fund-raising laurels during the toughest parts of lockdown either.

Starsailor's James Walsh

For more than 10 years she has been raising the profile of and money for Cancer Research UK through the concerts but also regular coffee mornings in Wrightington.

But with those off the agenda for now due to Covid she instead decided, as the song says, to “walk 500 miles” and she did, rain, hail or shine and is doing so raised just over £2,600 for the cause.

After losing her mum to cancer and fighting the disease twice herself, Carolyn has dedicated much of her time to charity work while also raising awareness of cancer and the signs to look out for.

Before lockdown she was giving talks in schools raising awareness among younger people of the disease and the need for research to beat it, visiting cancer patients and organising all manner of community events to bring people together and raise funds through events the year round.

Early last year she was recognised at the Palace of Westminster with a British Citizen Award.

Now all attention focuses on The Big Gig which begins at noon on Saturday.

Her son Paul, a seasoned musician since the age of 11, has once again arranged the latest line-up, albeit online this time with musicians streaming live from Zermatt in Switzerland where Paul now lives, Wigan, Southport, London, Liverpool and America.

Last year’s Big Gig 9 Online raised more £7,000 for Cancer Research UK and it is hoped that The Big Gig 10 Online Again will do the same.

The live streaming will and continue throughout the day, with performers including Big Noise Inc and James Walsh from Starsailor.

The full schedule is:

12pm: Ben Watling

1pm: Dave Hefford

1.30pm: Calum Gordon

2.30pm: Paul Cross

3.30pm: Joseph Rhodes

4.30pm: Sounds Retro

5.30pm; Ben Joseph

6.30pm: Karl Sweeney

7.30pm: James Walsh

8pm: The Olly Neash Experience

9pm: Spencer Chaplin’s World

10pm: Good Noise Inc

Carolyn said: “Cancer Research UK needs funds just as much, if not more, now than it ever has and we were determined to organise a Big Gig, whatever the pandemic restrictions. And we have got a terrific line-up for everyone to enjoy.

“So go to Facebook and to the page Big Gig 10 Online Again to watch this amazing show and click on the link on this page to donate to Cancer Research UK and help us all Beat Cancer Sooner!