Festival may become an annual event

GREAT GUY: Evan Page. Evanfest was first held last year to celebrate his life
GREAT GUY: Evan Page. Evanfest was first held last year to celebrate his life
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A festival to celebrate the life of a Preston musician is returning for its second year.

Evanfest was first staged last May to honour one of the final wishes of Evan Page, who suffered from bipolar and died in November 2012.

Now, following the event’s huge success, organisers hope to make the all-day music show an annual fixture.

Shortly before Evan died he asked close friend Kate Jones, who stages gigs around the city, to hold a party to raise awareness of the mental condition.

The event, held at Ships and Giggles on Fylde Road, attracted so many supporters that it will now return on May 3.

Kate, 46, said: “He was part of so many groups that it couldn’t fail - everybody thought the world of him.

“We had said we were going to do it off the back of what Evan had said to me initially.

“But because there was so much interest, the same happened this year and we said we might be able to make this an annual thing.

“It was absolutely bursting at the seams, it was so good.

“We added up all the musicians on the two stages and we got to 65 musicians in the day and night - it was pretty spectacular.

“There was no way we couldn’t do it this year after the success of last year.”

She added: “It would be nice if it was every year.

“If it’s more successful this time we’ll have to look at things like funding and we’ll have to move the venue.”

The two-stage gig will start at about 2pm, and will feature acts including Band With No Name, Priceless and Jonny Reason, Jamie Brewer, Strange Rooftops and more.

There will also be a world record attempt from Frank Willis, who will try to smash 19 concrete slabs with his hands.

Kate teamed up with friends Pete Knight and Lynda Lamb to organise the gig, and also members of Evan’s bike club, Millennium 2000 BC.

Pete wrote a tune for his lost friend, called Evan’s Song, which will be available to buy at the event.

Kate said: “He would have been absolutely amazed and thrilled by it all.

“He absolutely would have been beside himself with joy.

“He was a great guy and its just such a shame. We all really really miss him.”