News Release

World rocks for dementia awareness in 2017

London, 9 January 2017

World Rocks against Dementia and The Alive Inside Foundation are calling on the global public to make noise for dementia awareness

  • Events in 15 countries rocked for dementia in 2016
  • UK event will lead global campaign with a day of musical performances, stalls and fun
  • Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds

There’s less than 10 weeks to World Rocks against Dementia 2017 (WRAD17), as events on three continents prepare to build awareness of dementia through music.  

A flagship event on 18 March will lead the global music campaign with a day of music and awareness stalls in Newton Abott, UK, while events in Australia, Canada, India, Nepal, the UK and USA will support global awareness of dementia alongside Alzheimer associations, people living with dementia, their care partners and others. WRAD in 2016 included events in 31 Cities across 15 Countries and it is hoped that many more will take part this year.

Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds and over 131 million people are expected to be living with dementia globally by 2050. Dementia has been widely recognised as one of the most significant global health and social care crisis of the 21st century.

The World Alzheimer’s report 2012 showed that up to 40% of people with dementia report being excluded from everyday activities. It is important that organisations around the world unite for WRAD17 and share their skills, experience and knowledge, while using music as a fun way to build essential awareness and challenge the stigma often attached to the condition.

Kirsty-ann Johnstone, UK event lead for World Rocks against Dementia said, “Dementia does not just affect the person diagnosed. It affects the carer, family, employers, friends and can no longer be ignored. It affects everyone. The time to take action is now.”

Marc Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer’s Disease International describes the project as ‘a powerful way to draw much needed attention for Alzheimer’s and dementia and a great way to reach out to the wider community.’

The UK lead event in 2017 is being organised by Kirsty-ann Johnstone, Purple Angel Ambassador and member of the Plymouth Military Wives Choir, and takes place at Hannah's at Seale-Hayne in Newton Abbot. The event starts at 12.30 with 24 stallholders including support & advice from The Alzheimer's Society, NHS, Action for Dementia and Purple Angels, with performances from many local talented artists including Lionstar, Sandy Sparkle, The Reggaskas, UK Meltones and Plymouth Military Wives Choir. 


Notes to editors

World Rocks against Dementia will be held on the 18 March 2017 with a lead event planned alongside partners and dementia professionals at Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot in Devon, UK.

Lead event

Date: 2pm Saturday, 18 March 2017
Venue: Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, Devon, UK.
Contact: Kirsty-ann Johnstone, Event Lead

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the venue on 18 March 2017 or online at:

About World Rocks against Dementia

WRAD was developed by the Alive Inside Foundation in March 2014 and held globally for the first time in 2016. WRAD is about raising further awareness of dementia and its impact, providing support to those living with the condition and providing a network for care partners. All money raised from the day will be given back to the local community groups to ensure there is always somewhere safe for those who need it most. For more information, please visit:

About The Alive Inside Foundation

Rock Against Dementia was conceived in Cleveland, Oh. USA in March 2014 at a screening of the Sundance Award - Winning Documentary film ‘Alive Inside’ to support the mission of the Alive Inside Foundation. We currently have programs like this in 18 cities in the USA & are expanding. We will be encouraging all to participate in WRAD 2017. Through connection with Norms Mc Namara & the Purple Angels the first Rock Against Dementia events took place in the US and UK in March 2015. Norms suggested it become World Rocks Against Dementia and with his help and that of other Global Purple Angel Ambassadors and Alzheimer's Disease International, the 1st actual WRAD was held in March 2016. For more information, please visit

About Alzheimer’s Disease International

ADI is the international federation of 85 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for persons with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. For more information, please visit