Wow – what a brilliant Blues and Rock Weekender event. Probably over 800 people in all over the two weekends saw some great bands and heard some quality music.
There are so many people to mention in the thank you list, it’s a totally impossible task. But if we consider that Arnie (Andrew Arnold, the organiser) was able to organise a marquee, a stage, sound, stage lighting, external lighting, a licensed bar, catering, external toilets, St Johns Ambulance, then there are a lot of businesses there who gave their time at their cost to make the weekend happen. From a people point of view, volunteers arrived to work behind the bar, do security and car parking, electrical and maintenance work, etc… None of them wanted to receive any money for the work and we are massively grateful for their support and contribution to making the event such a successful one.
Arnie and Bob (Ethan’s dad) are due to discuss where they take the Blues & Rock Weekender from here but based on their initial thoughts and certainly from the feedback received over the course of the weekend, there is an appetite to make this an annual event.
Bob wants to take this opportunity to pay homage to Remus Down Boulevard. “It was the first time I had seen them play personally and I was literally blown away by their quality and tightness. They should be playing in front of many thousands, not hundreds. I realise now how lucky we were to get them to play at our event and I am massively grateful they gave their time to do so”.
The event became much more than “just a Blues Brothers and Remus Down Boulevard weekend” when we proposed a young support act competition. Not only did we create an opportunity for young local musicians to shine (a sentiment that’s absolutely central to Ethan’s charity) but it formed the foundations of what we hope will be a new facet to our charitable activities – introducing young people to playing a musical instrument and then creating an environment to come together to form bands, rehearse and ultimately, play live to an audience. A big ask but we have the bit firmly between our teeth!
The highlight of the whole weekend was seeing and hearing young musicians playing in front of a large audience, sensing their nervous excitement before going on stage, seeing their elation and pleasure when they were applauded off at the end and just generally being around such great energy and enthusiasm. That feeling will stay with us for a long time and will energise the charity as we work hard to create more opportunities for local young musical talent.
We believe the organisers gave Saffron Walden a great weekend of live music. More importantly though, we hope that our collective efforts this last weekend will ultimately enable many young people in the Uttlesford area to one day enjoy some of the musical experiences similar to the ones that all the musicians who got involved over the weekend have the privilege of enjoying.
If any of you came to either of the evenings, please feel free to post comments on here so others can hopefully get an idea of what it was like and hopefully start forming an orderly queue to get tickets for next year’s event!!!