A music festival that was held in Warwick to keep the memory of a great friend alive has been heralded a success.
Over the May bank holiday weekend (May 26-28) Malcolm Cook, owner of tapas restaurant Bar Catalan in Jury Street, hosted his first music festival.
The festival, which was called the “Scally Ally memorial Jazz, Blues and Soul Festival”, was held in memory of Malcolm’s friend Alastair Pinnock who died in 2016. He put on the event at the restaurant and Pageant Gardens after Alastair’s family challenged him to create a lasting memory.
Malcolm said: “Alastair was known as our “VP of Marketing”, for the many people he introduced to us from 2004 to his sudden passing after the May Bank Holiday in 2016.
“Alastair’s brother Jeremy, his wife Jackie, and his daughter Sarah, came to me to ask if we could host Alastair’s wake at his favourite venue.
“The problem was there were upwards of 400 people expected and we just couldn’t accommodate so many.
“It was then that we had the idea of annexing Pageant Gardens accessible directly from the Bar.
“So with permissions sorted, Jeremy booked a jazz band for the funeral and wake, we erected a marquee in the gardens and more than 400 people celebrated Alastair’s very full life with music, drink and lots of stories.
“After the wake, Alastair’s family challenged me to create a lasting memory of Alastair and his day, so we came up with the mini music festival idea, which Alastair would have loved.”
“The whole idea was for Alastair’s family and friends to be able to come along. We had around 50-60 family members. We managed to get the Town Crier to open Sunday and he gave a special cry for Alastair.
“We had around 1,000 people over the three days who specifically came for the music. It was a very successful event with lots of great comments on social media.
“Everybody wants me to do it again. I am possibly doing a similar event on the August bank holiday too.
“I would like to thank Alastair’s family for inspiring me to come up with it in the first place, the musicians, the staff, Warwick District Council for letting us use the Pageant Gardens, Warwick Court Leet for use of their marquee and Matt Hernandez, Jonathan Waller and Leigh Hunt for the PA system.
“I would also like the thank the Town Crier, Live Local for their stage, the food stalls, the visitors and The Courier for their editorial.”