Former head of BBC Music James Stirling has joined the Emmy-winning company Harder Than You Think (HTYT) as VP of their For One Night Only (FONO) initiative.
FONO, created by figures behind Comic Relief and London 2012, brings in big names in music and entertainment to donate their time to create one-off experiences, raising money for charity.
For One Night Only was launched with a global exclusive – Ed Sheeran performing new material for the first time in an intimate and unique gig at the Union Chapel. It raised over £250,000 for the charity SHOUT.
FONO aims to raise £1 million in the next year for good causes through unique events with some of the biggest names in music, entertainment and sport.
James Stirling, who left the BBC after 14 years, said: “I’m honoured to be leading FONO. The reaction to Ed Sheeran’s show was phenomenal and the format is perfect for artists, audiences and those who benefit from the fundraising element. I want to replicate the model globally and my conversations with the music industry excite me that artists, managers and labels sense the huge opportunity for world-class events and global positive change through FONO.”
Stirling left the BBC after delivering the BBC’s centenary celebrations in 2022 and working on Eurovision 2023. He also ran BBC Music from 2014 to 2020, BBC Radio 6 Music from 2012 to 2014 and had a spell as an executive producer for the ABC in Sydney.
Greg Nugent, founder of HTYT, said: “‘FONO is an ambitious new project and we are delighted James will lead. The global creative and entertainment industry is incredibly generous and with FONO we think the fans can witness once in a lifetime experiences alongside charities and foundations and all round good causes benefiting from the generosity of fans and artists”.
FONO will return in 2024 with a series of shows and events to be announced.