Monday, 02 August 2021

Talent agency boss takes over music festival

A VOLUNTEER has come forward to run Henley’s annual Music on the Meadows festival.

A VOLUNTEER has come forward to run Henley’s annual Music on the Meadows festival.

Jayson Jaurigue, who runs Henley talent agency Eight Ray Music, is taking over the role from Maggie Atkinson, who had warned the event for young musicians could fold without more volunteers to help out.

Mr Jaurigue, of Station Road, Henley, hopes to expand the free family festival and run more music workshops in schools in the weeks leading up to it.

He wants parents as well as young people to get involved and will be holding a meeting at Magoo’s bar in Hart Street, Henley, next Friday (August 12) at 6.30pm for anyone who is interested.

Various roles are available, from performers and stage crew to marketing and sponsorship staff.

Music on the Meadows was first held in 2013 as a tribute to former Beatle George Harrison, who lived at Friar Park, off Gravel Hill, before his death in 2001.

It takes place in Mill Meadows, where dozens of young artists and bands perform on the bandstand. This year’s festival, which took place on July 16, was attended by more than 3,000 people and raised £1,800 for The Space, a youth drop-in service run by Henley’s Riverside Counselling Service, and music education charity Brass for Africa.

Last week, Mrs Atkinson, of Queen Street, Henley, announced she was stepping down because many of her original helpers had left the area or taken on other commitments and she couldn’t keep the festival going by herself.

She said: “I would love to find someone who can take over and carry on the work I’ve done.”

Mr Jaurigue, who has previously compered the event and performed with his band Junior Guevarra, said it was important to keep the festival going. The former Gillotts School and Henley College student said: “I think Maggie has done an amazing job getting the festival to this point.

“I never had such a great opportunity when I was growing up in this area.

“It’s such an amazing thing for the Henley community and I’d love to drive it forward and expand it.

“We need to get a team together before making any decisions but I think we could improve the site and get more local businesses involved.”

Mrs Atkinson, who will continue to be involved as a helper, said she was delighted that Mr Jaurigue had stepped in.

She said: “It’s still very dependent on him getting a core team together so I would encourage as many people as possible to volunteer.

“I’ll still be working away in the background — I could never leave it completely because those kids mean so much to me.”

Young musicians will be performing at a free summer barbecue at Makins recreation ground, off Greys Road, on Thursday from 5pm to 7pm.

The event has been organised by housing association Soha with the Gainsborough Residents’ Association.

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