Genesis legend becomes patron of North Walsham’s Live Aid festival

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Picture: SUBMITTED

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has agreed to become patron of North Walsham's annual Live Aid charity rock festival.

The coup, on the eve of this year's event, has delighted organiser Barry Holden.

Mr Hackett was lead guitarist with the superstar group from 1970-1977.

Musician and rock fan Mr Holden said he had met him two or three times and Mr Hackett had signed items for North Walsham Live Aid's annual rock memorabilia auction.

'It occurred to me that it would be good to have a patron for Live Aid so I asked him - and he agreed, which was absolutely brilliant' said Mr Holden, 70, of Birds Road, North Walsham.

'It's a huge boost, and a massive step for us to have the support of such a legend.'

Mr Hackett's wife, author Jo Lehmann, has family in north Norfolk.

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This year's Live Aid, in the town's community centre on Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16, will raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

North Walsham Live Aid was launched as a one-off in 1985, at the time of Sir Bob Geldof's international Live Aid concert raising money for the Ethiopian famine.

Mr Holden resurrected it in January 2005 to help victims following the Asian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.

Since then it has been held annually, raising more than £50,000 for children's charities.

A popular feature of the event is the rock memorabilia auction featuring many items signed by stars.

This year's haul includes a guitar with an authenticated scratch plate signed by American blues legend BB King, who died last year.

A T-shirt signed by the Who's Roger Daltrey, a miniature Mercedes bearing champion racing driver Sir Stirling Moss's signature, and items signed during a recent stay in north Norfolk by Queen's Roger Taylor, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Mike Rutherford, of Genesis, will also be on sale to the highest bidder.

Bands appearing at this year's North Walsham Live Aid are:

Friday April 15 (8pm-midnight): Norwich band Burning Crows; Rolling Stones tribute The Rollin' Clones, from the Midlands; and local acoustic duo Cruel Folk. There will also be a secret auction of donated items.

Saturday April 16 (7.30pm-1am): headliners Walkway who have been supporting Status Quo on tour; Ace, North Walsham acoustic soloist Ade Cockburn; Live Aid local rock stalwarts Raw Edge, Norwich duo Pure Passion, and glam rockers the Glamtastics. The memorabilia auction will be held during the event.

Tickets are £10 for each night, or £15 for both. For more details visit: