AN AWARD-winning county music festival which switched to an online format because of social distancing measures has been hailed a huge success after it raised more than £13,000 for a Worcestershire-based hospice.
Woo Fest was streamed live to homes and gardens around Worcestershire and beyond on Saturday (July 4) and featured a mix of live and pre-recorded sets from big-name performers including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Grant Nicholas, from Feeder, and Toyah Willcox as well as local acts.
The free-to-view festival has raised £13,245.57 so far with music-lovers donating as they watched.
Luke Simons, festival organiser, said: “We’ve been blown away by everyone’s response to a virtual festival here in Worcestershire. We had 92 individual musicians in 24 sets – across a range of genres – keen to give our wonderful county a brilliant day and support the care St Richard’s provides locally at the same time.
“And the production on the day was absolutely incredible; all thanks to our friends at creative communication agency DRPG, who streamed the event live from their local studios.”
The family-friendly festival, which donates every penny to St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, was set up in 2015 by Luke Simons and his sister, Ria, in memory of their Dad, John.
Since its inception, Woo Fest has now raised more than £70,000 for St Richard’s, which cares for patients and their loved ones facing serious progressive illnesses
“We would also like to thank all the talented musicians that supported us with the event with either pre-records or live on the day – their support was magnificent,” Luke added.
Tricia Cavell, fund-raising director for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We must also thank all the incredible performers, who gave us their time for free, and our amazingly supportive Worcestershire community for getting behind the event, setting up their home festivals and giving so generously.
Anyone who didn’t get chance to donate to Virtual Woo Fest, and support St Richard’s work locally, or who would like to donate again, can give online at http://strichards.org.uk/virtualwoo or can text CARE to 70140 to donate £10.