US singer performs impromptu outdoor show before Cork Opera House gig 

US singer performs impromptu outdoor show before Cork Opera House gig 
Amanda Palmer invited Rebels For Choice to her concert in Cork Opera House last night. Pic: L-R: Luke Field, Paula McDonnell, Amanda Palmer and Kathy D'Arcy.

Palmer was due to perform inside the venue later that evening but wanted to highlight and promote the work of Rebels For Choice, a Cork-based group who advocated for a Yes vote in the referendum on abortion access.

Palmer has been an outspoken pro-choice advocate for many years. As part of her tour, she invites local activist groups or charities to join her on the night of her performance, and she allows them to explain their work to the audience. 

Kathy D'Arcy from Rebels For Choice said the famous singer originally contacted them through the Abortion Rights Campaign. "She's been an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights for years. She originally wanted to have an information stall in the lobby of the Opera House, but as it is a state-funded, apolitical venue, that was not possible.

"So instead she sent out a post on Twitter asking for fans to arrive at 7pm outside the venue. We had a sing-song there and we could hand out leaflets and talk about what our work involved, and answer any questions people had." 

"When we came inside, the conversation continued and those who wanted to engage in it wore stickers. She also opened a tab at the bar for everyone," Kathy reveals.

"The gig was just fantastic, afterwards she asked me to come on stage and explain why we still need to continue Rebels For Choice. This was allowed because the stage was her space for the night." 

Amanda Palmer invited Rebels For Choice to an impromptu performance outside Cork Opera House last night.
Amanda Palmer invited Rebels For Choice to an impromptu performance outside Cork Opera House last night.

"I explained that we still have no legislation for safe access or exclusion zones [to prevent protestors harassing women outside clinics], there's still a lack of rural provision, the three-day wait period is causing issues for women with children who can't afford childcare or get time off work, and the legislation is not trans-inclusive."  

"We had a huge injection of support after the gig, with people wanting to start volunteering with us."

Kathy adds that Amanda came across as a very genuine person. "She was just lovely, and she really is using her platform to promote genuine causes and to make a change." 

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