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WATCH: Music festival honours Tunisia terror attack victims

Sandwell | News | Published:

Well-known musicians joined up with local talent to take to the stage and honour three Black Country victims of the Tunisian beach attack.

Streetly singer Connie Talbot joined Reef's Gary Stringer and Ocean Colour Scene's Andy Bennett for the concert in memory of 19-year-old Joel Richards, of Wednesbury, his uncle Adrian Evans and grandfather Patrick Evans.

Hundreds of people packed into Wednesbury Town Hall for the mini-music festival which was also a tribute to late Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes.

The musician, who was originally from Wednesbury and later lived in Burntwood died in August 2013, aged 44, after battling a brain tumour.

Organisers raised thousands of pounds at last year's first Jon Brookes Mini-Fest and this year decided to repeat the successful event - but this time they wanted to pay tribute to student Joel and his family.

As well as the well-known musicians a host of local bands and performers were at the show on Friday night.

Joel's mother Suzanne, who was at the concert with her son Owen, 16, a survivor of the attack, said it had been a great night.

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"It's been overwhelming - everyone has been so supportive.

"I just want to say a massive thank you to Karen and Adam for organising it and to Jon Brookes' family for agreeing for his name to be used. It's an amazing tribute.

"It was hard for us to come here but once we got here we were fine. It's been great to see so many people and family and friends."

Reef frontman Gary, who lived in Burntwood until he was five, said: "It's great to be a part of an event like this.

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"I'm pleased to be able to do my bit by singing. It's fantastic to see so many people turn out for it."

Karen Phipps, a childhood friend of Mr Brookes and also a friend of Joel's mother Suzanne, helped to organise the event.

More than 350 tickets were sold for the festival and the proceeds will be split between Joel's family and the West Midlands Animal Charity.

Mrs Phipps, who runs Serenity beauty salon in Wednesbury, said: "We want to make the Jon Brookes Mini-Fest an annual event and support different local charities.

"We wanted to do something for Joel after what happened and show our support to Suzy and Owen."

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