“Neillbury” was the brain child of the Managing Director Jonathan Neill and his wife Jaci and took a year to plan and pull together; whilst visiting the Pumpkin Patch in October they bumped into Richard and Nikki Bowdidge and agreed that to raise funds for Tom’s Foundation at the same time would be a great idea.
Jonathan Neill said “My family and the team all love live music and big events so we thought what a great idea to bring the team together and raise valuable funds for our company 2017 charity of choice the Tom Bowdidge Foundation. I met Tom at a fundraising event many years ago and was blown away by his passion – a truly inspirational young man.”
The aim was to create a mini Glastonbury but it became so much more. Over 300 people attended and camped overnight – so the night became a weekend.
The festival kicked off at 4.30pm with a line-up of four bands Blank Space, EBIT, The Boleyn Gates and headlined with Bandsubstance a regular performer at the Silverstone F1 Grand Prix races. It was Jon’s intention to then create a live stream from Glastonbury but the party was at such force that the crowd said no and danced the night away until 1am to the Mainstage disco.
The event raised £4,100 for the Tom Bowdidge Foundation, founded on 28th February 2014 and launched by his parents, Richard and Nikki on the 20th birthday anniversary of Tom Bowdidge.
Tom died of a desmoplastic small round cell tumour and extensive peritoneal disease in October 2013, at the age of 19. The Foundation is headquartered in Colchester and its goal is to raise funds to support research projects and to provide physical and emotional support to teenagers and young people with cancer.
Emma Bowdidge, TTBF said “It was an amazing event and we were happy to be involved especially as we were running the children’s entertainment stand; what a great evening and wow the amount that was raised – just incredible”.
Huge thanks goes to all the people that helped bring the event together; Mainstage who provided the staging and sound system for the bands and the much-acclaimed disco, Branded Teamwear for the festival t-shirts, the White Hart in West Bergholt who provided the beer tent from start to finish, Perrins the butcher for the superb hog roast and Barrys fish and chips for feeding the five thousand.
Like Glastonbury, Neillbury will return in 2019.
For the drone footage of the event go to the Sportsafe website www.sportsafeuk.com