Start dancing, stop AIDS

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The fourth Hanoi International Music Festival is rocking for a cause.

All proceeds from the show, which includes performances by local artists Big Toe, Recycle and Ngu Cung alongside Charly B (France), Dengue Fever (USA), Molice (Japan), Queen Sea Big Shark (China), Red Bantoo (Australia), and Up Dharma Down (Philippines), will be donated to Dance4life, an NGO working to involve young people in stopping the threat of AIDS.

The event, scheduled for May 8, has been organized by C.A.M.A. a Hanoi-based collective dedicated to introducing foreign acts to Vietnam since 2005.

"Our focus is creating charity events for organizations doing good work in Vietnam," said Steve Christensen of C.A.M.A.

According to Lieke Berghauser Pont, fundraising and communications director for Dance4life in Vietnam, the program, coordinated by the World Population Fund, has reached about 9,000 Vietnamese youths between age 13-19 and has conducted workshops at 16 schools nationwide since 2005.

"We hope to raise awareness on HIV and help to eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS in Vietnam," she said.

According to Christensen, last year's festival raised US$20,000 for unexploded ordinance and mine removal in Vietnam.

All artists playing the event are performing free of charge.

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