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Rocking Out to Raise Money

Rock The Virus recently appeared on Twitter with some interesting news... A cover version of Foo Fighters “Times Like These” was being used on their charity album. The album, recorded in isolation and using proper social distancing guidelines, is being used to raise money for the NHS Charities Together. Mark Christansen, from Midnight Tornado – Music News & Events, stopped by to talk about the album, how it was recorded under such strict conditions, and how music is helping our NHS and helping to save lives. Over to you, Mark...


Midnight Tornado is a Music News & Media source supporting upcoming bands and artists as well as signed acts worldwide. We also book our own live events and support those suffering depression and mental illness. We are a friendly business with over 5 years experience booking shows, promoting artists as well as charitable fundraising and awareness.

Our main aim is to drop the stress that lies within the music industry and enjoy ourselves whilst working well with others with no politics or prejudice involved.

Midnight Tornado is the creation of Mark Christansen, a family man who loves life, loves friends and loves music. We have a real passion to support upcoming bands and artists along with putting on events to showcase this as well as for fans to enjoy also.

The story began as a DJ/Promoter/ Booker for Live/Wire club night which soon became established as the biggest club night for its genre in Wales. We went on to run our own company, Total Entertainment South Wales, promoting many acts over a number of years.

We also booked and hosted our own events featuring hundreds of acts from all over the world, alongside this we had our own festival brand Seven Sins Festival with acts from all over the country travelling to play for us. A decision was made in 2019 to progress and Midnight Tornado - Music News & Events was born!!!

Rock The Virus is a digital album supporting the NHS 2020. They are working alongside Midnight Tornado - Music News & Events and some awesome people to support the most incredible people on the planet right now... our NHS service who are working 24/7 currently to help stop the spreading of Covid 19 and save us all...

The album features Collateral, Piston, Hell’s Addiction, Tomorrow Is Lost, Liberty Lies, Baleful Creed, Syteria, Feral Sun, Ethyrfield, Ravenbreed. The album also includes a bonus track written by Foo Fighters and recorded by 24 different artists and is now available with 100% raised being donated to our NHS through our Just Giving page.

The album has already been featured on, and supported by, Hard Rock Hell/Hard Rock Hell Radio, Great Music Stories, New Wave Of Classic Rock, North Herts Radio, Anne Estella and more!!!

A few weeks ago whilst at home like many others across the UK right now I started feeling useless regarding the whole Covid 19 pandemic and not being able to really help anyone at this great time of need. At this time, many like myself are awaiting news regarding a return to work and the chance to resume some normality back into our lives when the country is safe enough to do so moving forward. However, there is a sector in full operation right now doing the most they can 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help protect us all from the spread of Covid 19 whilst risking their own lives to save others already infected. The job that our NHS is doing right now is unlike anything I, or many of us, have experienced or witnessed in our lifetime, so personally I salute them all and wanted to find a way to help, support and thank them all for their hard work and effort so far along with the continuous battle that they still face ahead over the coming months.

Now, I am no medical professional myself or expert in this whole field so therefore I offer very little in terms of helping our incredible NHS right now. However, I am well connected within the music industry, I have a fairly large reach across various social media platforms and I have years of proven marketing experience including social media marketing also, so there we have a strong platform to build on whilst restricted at home in lockdown with a strong desire to help.

So I put a plan together in around 2-3 minutes in my head and within 5 minutes the plan was in action to help. A good idea has to be acted on if you want to achieve success and too many good ideas go unnoticed and do not happen. I was not about to let this pass without acting on it and having a go. So I started messaging bands that I wanted involved and inviting them all to help me whilst we were all at home in lockdown following strict government guidelines.

My plan was as follows; the artists all record a track each from home whilst in lockdown then send it over to me. I hire a producer to produce and master the album to industry standard from a home studio, then send it back to me finished and ready to start promoting online from home and support our incredible NHS at this difficult time.

So, the album was finished and sounded amazing. I was emotional at first listening to it as I had never heard anything quite like it, and I had never come across an album before with so much feeling, remembering the fact that the whole project was completed during a national lockdown whilst surrounded by a deadly worldwide pandemic affecting everyone right now in one way or another, also, the album consists of incredible people and musicians who want to help others right now and save lives, so, there is a lot of love and feeling on this album which truly touched me and will do for years to come.

All that was left to do was the most important part so far. We needed the album used in a way where we could support our incredible NHS staff, so I set up a Facebook group through Midnight Tornado - Music News & Events called “Rock The Virus digital album supporting the NHS 2020” and built up an immediate following of around one thousand people. As well as regular updates on there I also included a very important link to a JustGiving page that I had already set up to receive donations and ensuring that all money raised was going directly to the NHS and nobody else.

The way we marketed this was simple and has proven effective. Like most marketing strategies you make sure that you do not over complicate your strategy so therefore it has more appeal to a wider audience. We promoted the fact that if you donate just £5+ on the JustGiving page and leave your email address in the comments along side your donation then you will receive a digital copy of Rock The Virus supporting the NHS 2020.

In the first 48 hours of our JustGiving link going live online we hit 100% of the £1,000 target and we are now well over £1500 raised in just two weeks. The reviews that we have seen online have been amazing and very overwhelming at times regarding the album itself and the love that donators have for it so far. We are now looking to expand the reach of the fundraising project further and as far as we possibly can.

The album took around a month for our producer, Elliott Alderman-Broom, to put together. Obviously circumstances were demanding and quite tough for our artists as they were all following social distancing rules when completing their tracks at home whilst in lockdown. Elliott was also following the rules and did an incredible job mixing and mastering the album to industry standard. We are all extremely proud of the album.

We were thrilled to be able to use a song originally written by Foo Fighters as our bonus track on the album. This came about after a discussion with Tom Rog of Mad Haven. Himself and various other incredible artists had previously put together a mind blowing version of Foo Fighters “Times Like These”. The song was so appropriate and has been made so well that we jumped at the chance to include it on our album. All of the 24 artists involved, including Tom, were really keen to have the track used to support our NHS and others, which we are so thankful for.

Each band, as well as management, were an absolute pleasure to work with. All are incredibly talented as well as helpful with a drive and passion for helping others around them as well as making great music.

I am absolutely crazy about the song as I am about the whole album and we are honoured to be supporting our NHS right now in the way that we know best; using the power of music to help save lives.

When you donate £5.00 or more directly to the NHS using our link, we will then send you a digital copy of the album direct to your email. Please leave your email address in comments whilst donating.

We would encourage everyone to show your support, this is our chance to thank each legend currently risking everything for us right now. The NHS staff are heroes right now and we want to say Thank You.

All money raised on our JustGiving page is going to help with supporting NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients, it is run by NHS Charities Together - ''NHS staff, volunteers and patients impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Together, let's show our respect and gratitude as NHS staff, volunteers and carers work tirelessly in the face of the virus.''

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Rachael is a UK based writer focusing on the importance of music. Send In The Congregation and Skin O' Our Teeth are two of her books.