We heard the phrase ‘Bearwoodstock’ on the Bearwood grapevine but had no idea what it was all about. Was it bears dressed as hippies or hippies dressed as bears? We like the idea of both!
As you can imagine all kinds of images kept conjuring up in our minds so we knew we had to find out more and decided to contact Mark who runs the Bearwoodstock events.
This is what Mark told us about how it all started...
“In the very beginning of this, my partner ran a Pub in Smethwick, The Dudley Arms and we used to do a Barrel Push once a year around pubs in Smethwick and Bearwood to assist local people. What I do now is a continuation of that.
With that in mind around four years ago I had decided to organise "a gig" to raise funds for a charity. I mentioned this to a few friends over a drink in The Bear Tavern one evening, they too agreed it was a fun idea. As it happened at that time one of my pals "John the Gardener AKA Farmer John" had some connections with Marie Curie and gave me their local contact's details. So we had a cause to work for.”
Santa's bed push for Marie Currie
Like your style Mark, we get all our good ideas whilst we’re at the pub too!So what about the name Bearwoodstock where did that come from...
“As happens in pubs with people chatting it was also decided that "The Gig" should have a name. As this "Gig" was going to be a mini music festival and was going to be in Bearwood it seemed the logical step to call it "Bearwoodstock". For those who don't know Woodstock Festival was probably the origin of all music festivals across the globe.” Aahh, it all makes sense now!"
So have you raised any money for other charities?
“Sadly on September 11 (9/11 easy to remember) that year my partner lost her mother to Alzheimers. It wasn’t a hard decision to hold the next "Bearwoodstock" in aid of The Alzheimers Society.”
Last year's push for Help for Heroes
Where can Bearwood folk find out more about Bearwoodstock from?
“I built www.Bearwoodstock.com as a way of keeping people informed about all the events that are organised as part of fund raising for the year's chosen charity. There are videos, photos and text for people to see and read at www.bearwoodstock.com”
Setting up for Bearwoodstock II
What plans do you have for 2012?
"This year’s events centred are in aid of Guide Dogs for The Blind. The first of these events will take place on June 16th 2012 and is a "Bed Push" around Bearwood / Warley. People will know it’s us as the bed itself will look more like a Dog's Kennel (there is a connection here as its in aid of Guide Dogs).
The second event which, as with all events are open for anyone to join in, is a Golf Tournament organised by "Taffy". This will take place at Brandhall Golf Course on July 7th 2012. It will Tee of starting at 10 am. Entrants will need to pay their own "green fee" plus £6 to the charity.
The third event this year will re-introduce the Bed on August 25th 2012 departing from The Bear Tavern at noon and heading to Harborne and back.
September 22nd 2012 is the fourth event which is "Bearwoodstock" This takes place each year at The Bear Tavern. This year’s acts are, John and Susie (an acoustic duo), Lost Horizon, Loud Noises (a punk rock band who have played every year), The Sharp Darts (another talented local band) and the whole night ends with The Trevor Burton Band. Doors open 4.30 with the first act on stage at 5pm. Admission is £6 for an all day wrist band.
The final event is on October 5th which is a show incorporating A Drag Queen, A DJ and a Comedian or two. Again this will take place at The Bear tavern. Details will go up in full at www.bearwoodstock.com as I have them.”
Wow! You are busy! Do you have a team of people to help you?
“There are several local people who make all this happen so in no particular order there’s Farmer John whose van does most of the Donkey work, Taffy who has helped with contacting Bands and is "the creator" of all the disguises the bed has had, Les who I have done 2 cycle rides with, Stokes Cleaning for donating Raffle prizes, Willy for recording and uploading the live video, Adam the DJ from The Bear for acting as M.C. at Bearwoodstock, Mark B for the loan of guitar amps and drums, Tim for the loan of lighting each year, Sue for her efforts fund raising, Klunk for being Klunk, Sandra the Boss at The Bear and anyone I may have omitted. Thanks also to anyone who has taken part or contributed in any way.”
Adelaid's David Williams at Bearwoodstock
Is it ok if we ask you a couple of questions about Bearwood? What do you like about living here?
“What makes me "smile" about Bearwood is my partner. Outside of that I am pleased that both Lightwoods Park and Warley Woods are being used in a positive manner. “
Mark added..."Having said that, I have applied to both bodies with a view to setting up a stall at their events to promote both mine and a friend’s local Businesses and been told "NO" for a variety of reasons by both. I have also asked Warley Woods again this year if I can take The Bed to "Picnic in the Park" As of May 30 2012, NO REPLY. It appears to me that both venues are being run "By The Committee"who are being too selective or is it "Jobs for the Boys"? That removes the "Smile" somewhat for me. OK Off the soap box now. "
And finally our favourite question that we like to ask everyone. What makes Lightwoods Chippy’s chips orange?
“As a calculated guess the orange comes from Food Colouring or perhaps a spice, say Turmeric perhaps??”
Thanks Mark – definitely an A+ student!
Remember Bearwood to watch out for Bearwoodstock events coming soon!