Marking one year since the tragic passing of the up and coming Warrington band Viola Beach and their manager. To commemorate the accident Arriva have designed five buses and turned one into a mobile recording studio with the iconic picture of the band on the side.
Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, and Jack Dakin were on tour with their manager Craig Tarry in Sweden when the tragic car accident occurred.
In support of the River Reeve’s Foundation, a charity set up by the family of guitarist River, the Arriva buses were launched exactly a year to the day of the accident, to celebrate the lives of the five talented men who lost their lives and to help young people make it in music.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, an Arriva spokesperson said: “We wanted to mark the anniversary of the accident involving Viola Beach which resulted in five very special and talented young men losing their lives.
“The families have taken what was a tragedy and turned it into something positive.”
The River Reeves Foundation aims to secure scholarships and funding for talented young musicians, who otherwise would not have the financial support to pursue a career in music.
Tributes have poured in on social media from the music industry and public alike to commemorate the year anniversary, including fellow musicians Hidden Charms and Blossoms.
Tipped for success from early on, the band were one of the North West’s most exciting new talents. In a backstage interview at Reading and Leeds, singer, Kris Leonard told how he uploaded Swings & Waterslides to the BBC Introducing site and it was played within a day, then on Radio 1 within a week. Supported by the likes of Annie Mac and Huw Stephens, the band were due to play at a showcase at SXSW in Texas in 2016. Following the incident, the band still made it there, with a montage of clips, interviews and music being played at the festival.
The band have received huge support from the music industry since the accident. In April 2016, a celebratory gig was organised at Parr Hall in their hometown of Warrington, which saw bands such as The Coral and Blossoms playing Viola Beach tracks, as well as a touching tribute from Coldplay, who covered single ‘Boys That Sing’ during their headline slot at Glastonbury in June.
In the following August, artists such as The Stone Roses, Liam Gallagher and Kasabian supported a successful campaign to get their debut self-titled album to number one.
Following a successful first year of Rivfest, a festival set up to celebrate the life of River, Rivfest 2017 is in the planning stages, with full details due to be announced soon.
Follow the link to find out more about Rivfest and The River Reaves Foundation. http://riverreevesfoundation.launchrock.com/