Warwick musical festival to return in memory of much-loved musician

Sylvie Latimer and Mick Shaler.

Sylvie Latimer and Mick Shaler.

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A music festival is being brought back to Warwick, in memory of the well-known musician who created it.

Mick Shaler organised the Piganini Trilogy five years ago to raise money for cancer charities, after batting against cancer himself.

Mick Shaler

Mick Shaler

His cancer returned and he died aged 64 in May 2015.

Sylvia Latimer, who is also known as Sylvie, was with Mick for 18 and a half years.

In his memory, she is now bringing the festival back.

In 2010 Mick was diagnosed with a rare form of throat and tongue cancer. After receiving treatment Mick went into remission and decided that he wanted to help other people affected by cancer.

Sylvie said: “After going through the process Mick said ‘let’s make something better for someone else going through this’. So in 2012 he created the Piganini Trilogy event, which was made up of three concerts. He also played at them. We raised about £2,500 for both Macmillan and the Arden cancer centre in Coventry.”

Mick’s cancer returned in 2013 and the treatment was unsuccessful.

In April 2015 Mick and Sylvie moved into Myton Hospice in Warwick and Mick died.

After five years, Sylvie has decided to bring back the music festival as a fitting tribute to Mick.

The event has been named Folk Off Cancer, which will take place at Warwick Racecourse next month and will feature 11 acts. The festival will also feature a special ale from Slaughterhouse Brewery, who also provided a special ale at the 2012 event and at Mick’s funeral.

Sylvie said: “Mick was quite a character and we say that once seen he was never forgotten. This is a tribute to Mick, and this is what he would be doing if he was still here.

“This event has three purposes, to raise funds for Macmillan and Myton Hospice, to raise awareness for the two charities and as a tribute to the man, music and mayhem that was Mick Shaler.

“We are continuing the work that Mick started. The idea behind the event is that we are challenging the bands to play at least one folk song in their normal style and any folk bands must perform a folk song in a different style.

“Mick was a talented violinist and he could play any style of music. This event encompasses his talent by challenging the musicians.”

Sylvie and Mick used to perform in their band Octarine. Three original members of the band will be returning for the festival with two new members under the name MJS, which was chosen by Sylvie.

She said: “It is Mick’s initials and includes the initials of the band member’s first names. We haven’t played together since Mick died so this is another tribute for him.”

Folk Off Cancer will take place at Warwick Racecourse on June 17 from noon until 10.30pm.

Food will be available on the day and there will also be a raffle, which includes six prize bundles made up of prizes from local businesses such as vouchers, days out and a holiday.

There will also be a tombola.

Tickets for the event can be bought by clicking here or on the door on the day of the festival.

Tickets for the festival and the raffle can also be bought at the Folk Off Cancer stall at Warwick Market on May 27.