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Ladyhawke to play a special “one ticket” gig – winner gets to invite 400 people from social network

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by Cancer Research UK | News

17 June 2009

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Ladyhawke will play an exclusive gig for just one person¦ and their online social network. The new ‘Skindividual’ initiative, from SunSmart (Cancer Research UK’s skin cancer awareness campaign), aims to encourage young people to protect their skin from too much UV by harnessing the power of social networks and rewarding those who grow the biggest online guestlist.

The campaign launches in response to a survey suggesting that young people are engaging in ‘competitive tanning’ with their mates – a worrying situation given the link between too much UV and skin cancer. Rates of malignant melanoma – the most serious type of skin cancer – have more than doubled among young people in the past 20 years, and it is now the most common form of cancer in Britain among 15-34 year olds.

A specially created new networking site,, will allow users to grow gig guestlists via their existing profiles on social networks – such as Facebook, MySpace, bebo and Twitter – along with any other imaginative ways they can think of. Skindividual members can start a guestlist of their own or join one or more started by their friends. To enter the competition they need to identify themselves as ‘skindividual’ – someone who recognises that their skin is unique, wants to protect it from too much UV and is proud to do so.

The ten people with the largest guestlists on 17th July will be invited to submit a short film – taken on a mobile phone, camera or webcam – expressing why their network should win the gig. These films will be judged by a high-profile panel, which includes Jamie Brittain, the 23 year old co-creator of Channel 4’s SkinsLet’s Go CrazyUnderage Festival.

The ‘skindividual’ gig takes place at The Relentless Garage in Islington on 26th August, where Ladyhawke will be joined by some of the UK’s freshest young talent, including winners of Channel 4’s Road to V, Bombay Bicycle Club. Further acts will be announced over the coming weeks.

A new survey into the sun habits of 16-24 year-olds, which was conducted via The Student Room, the UK’s no. 1 student website, reveals almost a quarter (23 per cent) of young people placed getting a tan as one of their top priorities during the summer holidays, with 28 per cent admitting their peers can be competitive over who has the best tan. 45 per cent of young people admitted to not protecting their skin as much as they should, and 27 per cent reported they would be more likely to apply sunscreen when alone, compared to when they are with their mates.

Other worrying findings include:

  • 27 per cent were not likely to take any measures to protect their skin this summer
  • 29 per cent were more concerned about getting wrinkles than developing skin cancer
  • 14 per cent wouldn’t let ‘a few scare stories about skin cancer’ stop them from sunbathing
  • 8 per cent saw burning as a key step to achieving a bronzed look

Ladyhawke says: “Being individual and doing your own thing is one of the most important parts of being young. And let’s face it, your skin is a pretty major part of what makes us who we are, so it’s something we should take extra care in protecting – particularly since skin cancer’s a growing problem in the UK.”

Ed Yong from Cancer Research UK comments: “Few people are aware that sun damage at a young age can make your skin look old, wrinkly and leathery well before its time. It can also dramatically increase the chances of developing melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It’s not just older people that are affected – increasingly we are seeing young people being diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease.”

To find out more about skindividual or to start growing your own guest list visit

For more information on Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign visit


For more information, please call the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8300.

Note to editors

  • Research was conducted online with a sample size of 1,014 UK residents aged 16 – 24 between 20th April and 15th May 2009 through the UK’s no.1 website for students

About SunSmart

  • Report mole changes or unusual skin growths promptly to your doctor.
  • It is the seventh year of the SunSmart campaign, commissioned by the UK’s Department of Health, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection and early detection against skin cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign is funded by UK Health Departments.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients.
  • Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.
  • Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.
  • For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit our homepage.