North Walsham Live Aid organiser 'happy and proud' after last ever concert

Barry Holden North Walsham

Barry Holden, 77, who organised the North Walsham Live Aid benefit concerts, said he was happy and proud after the last ever gig on May 28. - Credit: John Newstead

The organiser of a North Walsham benefit concert has expressed happiness and pride after raising more than £10,000 from the last of his festivals.

Barry Holden, 77, has raised thousands of pounds for charities including Each Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) by staging a series of Live Aid-style concerts in North Walsham.

The first was in 1985, inspired by Sir Bob Geldof's fundraiser, and the second took place in January 2005 in the wake of the Boxing Day tsunami.

The concerts have taken place every year since then except for the two first years of the pandemic - but it was the end of an era when the final gig was held at North Walsham Community Centre on Saturday, May 28.

North Walsham Live Aid

Musicians performing at the last ever North Walsham Live Aid on Saturday, May 28, 2022. - Credit: John Newstead

It was in aid of EACH and Addenbrooke's Teenagers Cancer Trust and both charities will receive £5,100.

Mr Holden, who has two children and three grandchildren, said: “I’ve got mixed feelings about it being the last one.

“In one sense, it’s a relief and most definitely the right time to call it a day.

“I’m not getting any younger and an awful lot of time and work goes into arranging these events. This one has really taken it out of me.

“That said, I’m also very sad it’s over and have definitely enjoyed the ride. The memories will stay with me forever.

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“I’ve got an awful lot out of it over the years, meeting so many amazing people and celebrities like Eric Clapton and Sir Stirling Moss.

“Then, of course, there’s the amazing amount of money we’ve raised – something that makes me incredibly happy and proud."

North Walsham Live Aid

The last ever North Walsham Live Aid, held on May 28, 2022, raised more than £10,000 for charity. - Credit: John Newstead

In addition to his festivals, Mr Holden started volunteering in EACH's North Walsham shop last summer.

His wife Chris has been volunteering there since 2018.

“The money for EACH was always used to fund music therapy, most recently at The Nook,” he said.

“I was invited along to one of the sessions and that was a very special feeling.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, from the bands and artists to everyone who bought tickets.

“People have been generous, making the event extremely popular and raising a phenomenal amount of money," he added.

“We’ve supported many very special charities and I know the donations have been well spent and appreciated.”