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Charity music festival to pay tribute to well-loved Grantham guitarist




A music festival paying tribute to a well-loved musician will fund-raise for a Grantham charity.

Gripper Fest will be held in memory of local bass guitarist Mark Berridge, who died tragically in a road accident back in 2014.

The festival is set to take place in the garden of the Royal Queen pub, on Belton Lane, and will raise money to help Grantham’s GRACE charity.

Mark Berridge, a well-loved musician, passed away aged 48 in 2014. (46186046)
Mark Berridge, a well-loved musician, passed away aged 48 in 2014. (46186046)

Scheduled for Saturday July 17, Gripper Fest, after Mark’s nickname, will host six live bands.

The event is free to attend, but attendees will have the opportunity to donate money to GRACE.

Gripper Fest’s line-up opens with D!ABLA, who play a blend of classic covers including Queen, Poison and Blondie. The BluesBursters, featuring a handful of Grantham music legends, will also take to the stage at Gripper Fest.

The 1855, described as Grantham’s very own steampunkers, are on the line-up. (46243951)
The 1855, described as Grantham’s very own steampunkers, are on the line-up. (46243951)

The 1855, described as “Grantham’s very own steampunkers” are also on the line-up, along with Type 40, who play electro-inspired covers and originals.

Basket Case will also play Gripper Fest, with the line-up capped off by Aubrey Eels, a solo poet and bass guitarist.

The event has been organised by Mark’s friend Shaun Muffett, with the help of Trevor Bunn and Royal Queen landlady Sarah Harlock.

Shaun organised a memorial concert back in 2015 to celebrate Mark’s life, which raised money for Help for Heroes and the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Aubrey Eels, a bass guitarist, is one of the confirmed acts set to play Gripper Fest. (46186059)
Aubrey Eels, a bass guitarist, is one of the confirmed acts set to play Gripper Fest. (46186059)

Shaun said: “I organised a memorial concert then, and we got some local bands together down at the old Westgate Club. It was a big success. A lot of people came and we raised a lot of money for a couple of different charities.

“The idea was that we were going to carry it on every year, but after that one, the family thought it’s not going to get any better than that, so we haven’t done one for a couple of years.

“I was talking to his dad and they were saying, maybe we ought to do another one.

The Royal Queen pub will host Gripper Fest on July 17. (46186064)
The Royal Queen pub will host Gripper Fest on July 17. (46186064)

“I found out about GRACE, which is fantastic. I thought it was a great idea [to support them], so we all got together and had a chat about it and decided to put [Gripper Fest] on.

“Everybody’s just dying to see go and some live music. Bands are dying to play. I’ve got six bands on that I know. I’ve got a stage going in the beer garden, take some buckets round and hopefully collect as much as we can.”

Shaun reminisced about his days playing music with Mark.

He said: “Mark was a well-known local musician and I was in a few bands with him. We started working together years ago. He was in a band, I was in a band and the friendship sort of just grew from there and we ended up in bands together.

“The family wants him to be remembered, which we all do. He was a well-loved character and I’m sure he would be quite supportive of the cause that we’re doing it for.”

Shaun described the work of GRACE as “incredible,” and hopes to organise two more live music events following Gripper Fest in aid of the charity.

For more information, search for ‘Gripper Fest’ on Facebook.



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