The Power of Music: One off garden party to mini festival in 6 years

In my spare time i am involved with a small female choir who sing at a number of events in the Cambridge area including this mini festival, Hendstock.

One of the interesting elements to this festival for me is how the power of a small event can not only raise so much money for a charity but how they can start to attract sponsorship and commercial interest. Six years ago David and Hayley Donnan organised a small garden party to celebrate the life of their close friend Ian Hendry. Now in it’s sixth year the event is attended by over 300 invited guests, has over 24 acts, has raised over £5500 for Meningitis Now and attracts sponsorship from some of the big brands in the Cambridgeshire area.

Businesses can see the value of this targeted sponsorship and the feel good factor PR that they can piggy-back on with the small community events and when you compare this to the cost of traditional print based marketing and hosting your event or even attending events then it’s a no brainer. With some great photography, a well constructed blog and a social media plan for the event pre, post and during the event businesses can very easily start to grow communities, reach additional customers and align themselves with charities. Companies such as Moma’s Foods and Pukka Teas have been seen at smaller regional events, taking their products to the customer and aligning themselves with events that their target customers would attend.

The event is named after their friend Ian Hendry, who died aged 43 of complications following meningitis and was inspired by David and Hayley’s love of music.

Meningitis Now’s vision of the future is one where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives. It is estimated that about 3,200 people get bacterial meningitis and associated septicaemia in the UK each year and although there is a vaccine available to provide some protection against the five types of meningococcal disease, take up is worryingly low.

“We hope to do even better next year,” said Hayley, who also performs as part of female vocal group ‘Ding Dong Belles’. “With the help of our friends, guests, sponsors and a bit of British summer sunshine, I’m sure we will!”

Acts this year ranged from a choir to a brass band to a full on rock covers band. They included The Ding Dong Belles; 3 Clowns; Copper and Zinc; Robbie; Infinite Recall; T, Nat and Dave; Janine and Jamie; Jamie, Dave and Emma; The Mighty Choir of Revenge; Atomised; The Scarlet Ladies; Ted and The Accelerants, who, as always, closed the night with 90 minutes of high-energy rock

Thanks to our sponsors
Sponsors included local businesses Millers Music, Ethos, Cheffins, Mr Barbers, Beaumont Butchers, Igentics, Adrenaline Creative and Nextnorth.

Hendstock dates are being set already for 2018 and acts such as The Scarlet Ladies, Accelerants and Ding Dong Belles are already planning their big entrance. David and Hayley are always on the look-out for new sponsors to the event and new acts so if you would like to support this boutique festival and get noticed by over 300 people then get in contact with David on and join the Facebook Group @Hendstock

If you want to chat about event marketing and social media as a way to get your brand in front of more customers and to grow an engaging community, get in touch with us at Brick Marketing via the contact page.