Horsham makes some noise for community spirit
PUBLISHED: 01:16 25 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:54 20 February 2013
There's plenty to see and do in the West Sussex town this month, including the first Festival of Sound, set up to showcase the best of local music
The inaugural Festival of Sound, planned to take place every year to showcase Horshams lively local music scene, starts on 4 September to coincide with food event The Big Nibble. The day, featuring 31 bands across several stages, will begin a month of live music in Horsham and the villages of Broadbridge Heath, Southwater, Slinfold and Billingshurst.
Organiser Sharon Dow was approached by the Council to organise the event three months ago. I have been successfully running a live music Facebook page for the last 18 months that has become more and more popular with over 5,000 regular visits a week.
I set up the page because as a live music lover I used to get very upset when I heard Id missed a gig. I set up the page and learnt how to write in HTML so I could produce an online gig guide to make sure none of us ever had to miss a gig again.
Sharon lives in Horsham with her husband, a musician, and many of the bands playing on 4 September are friends. I know so many people that are in bands anyway Horsham being such a small community, everyones friends with everyone else. I needed to get my friends to volunteer to play, and I did it all through the Festival of Sound Facebook page.
All the bands are playing for free, for charity. Were supporting the Horsham 100, which is a new charity set up by Tanbridge House School. Every year they are going to choose a different charity to support, and this year they are supporting Dame Vera Lynns charity, which helps children with cerebral palsy.
Assisting Sharon with the business of staging over 100 live music events within a month are Garry Mortimer-Cook and Shannon Mackey-Witton from the council. Simon Griffin, a friend, is helping with the technical aspect. Simons background is at the BBC he worked there for 25 years, so he is the perfect person to help with sound engineering and setting up the stages.
Theres a lot of live music in Horsham the music scene here is much bigger than Crawley or any of the other surrounding towns. A music festival for Horsham is good news for everyone all the shops and businesses will have more trade. Horsham Council is trying to expand the nightlife, have the restaurants busy and have Horsham as an entertainment destination. People can come, see a spot of music, and have a spot of lunch or dinner.
On the day I think Ill be here, there and everywhere I might have to get myself some rollerblades or something! Id like to thank all the amazing bands who are giving up their free time for charity. Without them none of this would be possible.