If on Wednesday the 5th of September you found yourself doing a few double takes of yellow jacket wearing, lycra and leather clad Freddie Mercury look-alikes you are not alone, and you are not going mad. The moustached masses were paying homage to the late Queen front man with the annual Freddy For A Day (FFAD) charity celebration.
The celebration which was set up in 1992 by the AIDs charity Mercury Phoenix Trust is now a worldwide celebration encouraging all of those willing to be involved to don some form of Freddie Mercury fancy dress and to help raise money and awareness of the charities work.
The celebration was the brainchild of Mercury Phoenix Trust volunteer Liz Swanton who donned a Freddy Mercury costume on the late singer’s birthday and attempted to raise money at her workplace in central London. Her efforts proved to be incredibly successful and she rose thousands of pounds for the charity. Her success created a huge buzz and thousands of supporters wanted to get involved in the event. The result was that Freddy For A Day was born and is now celebrated across the world on or around his birthday.
In London, there is an annual Freddy For A Day event and during 2012 the event was attended by Queen bandmates Roger Taylor and Brian May. The event has gained huge amounts of exposure in the last two years. During 2011 Google celebrated the day with one of their infamous Google doodles. This year Rovio the creators of the game Angry Birds have shown their support for the day by “Angry Birdifying” the iconic singer and transposing his features onto one of their trademark birds. Rovio released a limited edition Freddy Mercury Angry Birds t-shirt with a portion of the proceeds going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust. See the Youtube video below.