I'm going to assume given the 'word-of-mouth' nature of how you will have heard of this campaign that you will be aware of Mark Brierley's situation. We all wish we could do more for Mark because as you all know, he's a top bloke and this is rightly reflected in the outpouring of support he's received.
This crowd-funding is to arrange a gig. Not just any gig. Let me explain...
Mark is a HUGE Jonah Matranga fan. Jonah Matranga is a San Francisco based singer-songwriter who has released material under his own name, under 'onelinedrawing' and as part of 'New End Original'. He's also formerly of the group 'Far' and has amassed many album and single releases.
A year or two back Jonah toured the UK and performed at Nottingham where Mark watched him. Mark spent some considerable time at the gig explaining to me why I should have been equally excited to see Jonah perform!
I happened to be there because a friend of mine was there touring with Jonah and I'd already agreed that Jonah could stay at my place in Derby overnight
When I told Mark that Jonah would be staying at my house it pretty much blew his mind! 'Jealous' probably doesn't do it justice! (I deliberately mentioned 'casually' a few times in the weeks that followed that Jonah had stayed over just to get him going!) The night Jonah stayed I got loads of texts and attempted calls from Mark asking if he could come over but (and fair enough) those guys understandably wanted to chill out and get to bed. The next day he was messaging me apologising for his uncool 'fandom' exploits and for trying to come over (he was very embarrassed!).
It always stayed with me, that Mark was such a massive Jonah fan and it occurred to me to see if we could use the connection of my friend (the touring buddy) to do something for Mark.
We started with a request for anything. We asked if he'd record something for Mark for example. However, as soon as Jonah heard, he offered to jump on a plane and fly over to the UK to play for Mark! He's been incredibly supportive and an absolute star.
Mark's nearest and dearest have given the go ahead and so it's on!
On 7th January Jonah will be flying from San Francisco to London and onwards to Derby. On 9th January Bar One on Newland Street, Derby will be closed for a private function for Mark and all of his friends and family (This includes an open invite for anyone who has directly contributed to this campaign).
Subject to any last minute tweaks, Mark will be brought to the pub where he will discover that it is full only with friends and family and that one of his musical idols has flown over from the USA to play a set for him!
It's going to be awesome! Not only that, it will be yet a further demonstration to Mark of the support he has, how highly he is thought of and that people are prepared to go to pretty much any length to ensure he has a great time.
Why £1500 for a gig?
The flight from San Francisco is in the region of £1100. On top of that there are all of the other travel costs, trains, food and drink etc. £1500 is an estimated (possibly even optimistic) all-in cost to get everything done. Jonah has not asked for any fee whatsoever and is only asking, quite rightly, that we cover the expense of him getting to the UK and back. If there is spare money or if we go over the target, it will be used responsibly. Either it will go to Mark and his family or to a suitable charity. No-one but Mark, his family or charity will gain financially from this idea.
What if Mark is too unwell?
Please pay attention to this bit because it is important that you understand that there are no guarantees that this will work as planned out. Mark's health is up and down. On some days, he simply would not be able to attend. If Mark is unwell but Jonah is still here, we will ask Jonah to continue with the gig to thank those who have contributed. If for any reason we should have to cancel Jonah coming altogether due to Mark's health then unfortunately we cannot offer any refunds. The flight will have been paid for and non-refundable. This is regrettable but I see no way around it. Any money left after the cost of the flight would be given to Mark, his family or charity.
Clearly it is a risk but Jonah is staying in the UK until 13th January specifically for the purpose of allowing a few days leeway, such that if Mark cannot make the Friday, we will wait until he is a bit better and Jonah may attend his house and perform for him / play guitar with him there.
We will adapt and do anything within our power to ensure that Mark has a brilliant experience and to ensure that your contributions are well spent.
Lastly, thank you so much for reading. I hope you can all dig deep even though we appreciate it's an expensive time of year. Let's take the chance and show Mark what he means to you all!!!!
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