The Solar Cymbals concert, on Friday, June 17th, will be held in memory of Clitheroe father Matt Evans who died suddenly last September aged just 47.
Matt was a well known and popular face in music and art circles locally through his work as the Grand’s programme manager and promoter and co-founder of the Cloudspotting Music Festival in Gisburn Forest.
From humble beginnings, the festival was first staged in the beer garden at the Aspinall Arms near Whalley, with original co-founder Boo Gilbraith at the helm in 2010. Since then, and at a new home in the Forest of Bowland, Cloudspotting has emerged as an award-winning international music festival, attracting acts from across the world.
The Solar Cymbals gig will raise money towards the outdoor stage within the woods at Gisburn Forest – a project Matt was intent on completing for use this year. This fulfilment of Matt’s dream can then serve as a legacy for future music and arts events.
One of Matt’s many friends, Millie McLeod, approached The Grand with the idea for the event.
She said: “I felt an overwhelming need to arrange an event in honour of such a wonderful man. Matt assisted me in enrolling in both my college course and my current degree programme, and he went above and beyond to assist with any musical projects I was working on, as he did for so many others.
"Matt will always have a special place in the hearts of those he touched, and I am grateful to have had so many creatives express interest in participating in this event.”
Father to Roscoe and Marlon and husband to Judy, Matt was a former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School student who worked for the Clitheroe Advertiser and Burnley Express before going on to study at university in Sheffield. After working there in the music industry and for the local press, Matt returned to the Ribble Valley in 2009 and began work at The Grand as the programme manager.
Steven Lancaster, executive director at The Grand Theatre, said: “Friday evening is set to be an incredible yet emotional event, Matt was such a special person who was loved and respected by so many.
"All the artists approached were keen to play and be part of Solar Cymbals, which will benefit the ongoing developments at Gisburn Forest.
"I extend our personal thanks to Millie for her enthusiasm and help, all the artists involved for giving their time so generously and to our audience, thank you for your support.”
Local bands Henge, Good Foxy, Neutrino and Toni & the Kah-Cumber will be performing, as well as spoken word artist Tom Ainsworth. And after-party is taking place at The Old School Rooms from 10pm with DJs, including DJs from Cloudspotting and Gypsy Carrot.
Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for concession and event proceeds will go towards the Forest Stage at Gisburn Forest, which Matt was really excited about building for bands and artists to be able to use.
Anyone wishing to attend can pay or the door or book tickets and see further information by visiting the Grand’s website.