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(Credit: Alamy)

Music

O2 venue to sell Ukrainian beer in humanitarian relief effort

The O2 has come forward and announced that they will stock Ukrainian beer brand Chernigivske in a bid to support the humanitarian relief effort for a country that is now engaged in war.

The London venue has been engaged in a long term partnership with Budweiser Brewing Group, which is the country’s distributor for Chernigivske, a traditional Ukrainian lager.

The move is part of a grand initiative AB InBev has embarked on, who have pledged to donate at least $5million(£4 million) for designated NGOs, who are doing what they can to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

“We’re delighted to be supporting such a worthy initiative alongside our long-term partner AB InBev, as well as Levy UK, and bringing Chernigivske to fans visiting The O2 arena,” Laura Palairet, senior partnerships director at The O2, wrote in a statement.

Anna Rudenko, managing director of Chernigivske, has spoken in favour of the initiative, adding: “As a business, we’re continually looking for ways that we can make a difference and are proud to be working with partners who share this mission.”

Rock music has become embroiled in the conflict, as several musicians have spoken in favour of Ukraine at this difficult juncture. U2 songwriters Bono and The Edge performed a pastoral set in Ukraine, setting up in one of Kyiv’s subway stations, coming over the landscapes to sing in a way to show support the nation, on the invitation from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sonic Youth released the live album Live In Kyiv, Ukraine 1989, with all proceeds going to benefit World Central Kitchen. Bandmates David Gilmour and Nick Mason, meanwhile, opted to reform Pink Floyd to record a version of ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’. Proceeds from the single and video will go to Ukraine Humanitarian Relief. Roger Waters did not participate in the recordings, although the bassist has been similarly critical of Putin.

Former Police bassist Sting opted to release an acoustic rendition of ‘Russians’. The song was originally featured on The Dream of the Blue Turtles, and this pastoral arrangement was uploaded onto Instagram. His bandmate Stewart Copeland likened the song to that of a “poet”, during his interview with Far Out in 2022.