In 1969 Give Peace a Chance was top of the pops and in Belfast an unlikely coalition tried to help avert breakdown into sectarian conflict. Pop for Peace was a free open-air concert that aimed to attract 10,000 Catholic and Protestant teenagers away from rioting in the streets. It even got a message of support from John Lennon and Yoko Ono. However, hopes for the event were dashed when severe rioting broke out in Belfast the same night; violence spread across Northern Ireland over the following days.

The National Trust asked us to put our creative skills to the test as they prepared to mark the 50th anniversary of the fated concert. For us, Pop for Peace epitomised all that we both love and hate about living in Northern Ireland; it is the joy and hope of people coming together to create change, threatened by tribal politics and the shadow of violence. Our proposals aimed to celebrate the largely unrecognised achievements of peaceful protest over the past 50 years and the people that might just point us towards a different future.

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