Try walking 64 miles
in my shoes!
Double BAFTA winner, 2021 Emmy WINNER for Ted Cruz &
Comedy Director, Declan Lowney
reads Rocker Bye Baby....
"Powerful and so very moving, Claire’s story has given me a fresh perspective on the tragedy of stillbirth. The writing is raw and touches deeply. A beautiful and heart wrenching book, that left me uplifted. Thank you Claire and Brian for sharing your amazing story.”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MEARFEST BEGINNINGS 2000 -2010
Brian Mear had been a paramedic within the Berkshire area for 30 years. Sadly, he lost his mother Sally Mear to cancer in 2010 and as a way to channel his grief, he set up Mearfest within weeks of her death. Brian wanted to celebrate her indomitable spirit by organising a rock music festival that would raise money for various cancer & hospice charities.
With no previous experience, Brian made his first wooden stage by hand and organised the whole event from his Nokia 3310 to the cost of £34.20! The event sold out. Luckily, soon after losing his mother, Brian met the love of his life Claire. Claire had previous experience working in the music industry so was able to work alongside Brian on three annual events. from 2011-2016 they have hosted Mearfest raising funds for various hospice and cancer charities.
In their mid-forties, Brian and Claire were surprised and delighted to be expecting their first child together in August 2013. Unfortunately, in the thirty-ninth week of the pregnancy, tragedy struck. Molly Mear was born at 40 weeks sleeping on the 12th August 2013. She died two days before her due date. This left the couple shattered by their grief and they drew even closer in their love and strength together. Six months after losing Molly they got married in April 2014. Two years later in 2016 and stronger than ever, they decided to brave it by telling their heart-breaking story to the world in order to bring awareness to the possible causes of stillbirth and the emotional devastation this leaves behind.
Mearfest was re-branded with a new focus and Molly’s handprint which has become their copyrighted logo, it is all Brian and Claire had left of her, this handprint has kept her spirit well and truly alive. It symbolically allowed everyone's hearts to beat to the rhythm of rock, neatly contained beneath Mearfest’s strong fabric and colourful hues; her small hand has been held close across the world. Mearfest specialises in new wave of British heavy metal music, which has brought many people of all musical persuasions near and far together. The rest they say is history.
Molly’s memory along with the genre of NWOBHM has created something unexpected, yet remarkable, her memory has forged new friendships across the globe. This has also resulted in a surprising development as many others involved in the event, especially grieving fathers, who came forward and shared their own experiences, some never having a chance before to express this kind of grief. It provides a positive platform where others can seek understanding and loving support, giving so much goodness, insight and awareness back into this crazy planet.
So far they have raised £6,000 The Willows support group stillbirth charity Berkshire.
£2194.00 for Royal Berkshire Hospital stillbirth unit.
Down Syndrome North East a total of £10,000, as Molly was a Down’s baby.
They have also raised around £5,000 for other smaller charities, the official list is below.
2020- Mearfest supported Cradle; a miscarriage and baby loss group who tirelessly work out of most hospitals across the UK to help direct parents to various support groups, along with supplying them with a bag of toiletries and other necessary items while they are at hospital.
The future was looking bright with Mearfest growing year on year, then COVID hit the world! They were being approached by amazing bands who had heard of this event and want to get involved. Despite the restrictions brought in with social distancing and Covid-19, they had to cancel June 2020 event, they donated all the ticket money raised to their chosen charities. They have continued to get their supporters to donate via this website, by hosting a rockeroller tombola raffle in Molly's name on her 7th birthday 12th August 2020, raising £1000 for Cradle.
But they were not going to let the shutting down of the entire planet get them down, oh no.........
Brian WALKED FOR SANDS during the month of October 2020, during baby loss awareness month raising £1468.16
Claire's Facebook birthday fundraiser February 2021 for SANDS and managed to raise £700.00
During March 2021, Brian along with Danny Hynes from Weapon UK collaborated on a unique one off download of all Mearfest greats. One album of 14 songs by 14 bands for the SANDS Challenge 14, for which they raised £1291.00
Walking the SANDS 100km (64 miles) challenge in ONE DAY. June 25th from 4am Brian started his walk of 64 miles returning home at 1am on 26th June. HE DID IT!!! He raised £2,882.17
During 2020-2021 Brian and Claire Mear have raised £6341.00 for SANDS in just one year, with no live event.
MEARFEST FINAL DANCE 2022
Brian and Claire Mear decided to let Molly rest in divine peace, they felt that she has worked so hard for so many people and raised over £40,000 for various charities. Their final event took place on the 1st May 2022, May day bank holiday, at Trillian's Newcastle. THEY SMASHED IT!
As of June 2022 Brian and CLaire will be concentrating on a few new ventures, including The Flame Still Burns/Mearfest 2023, where they are already busy planning this next big two day event 29th and 30th April 2023 at Farnham Royal village hall. Keep an eye out for line ups and new information on the events page.
MEARFEST FUND RAISING FROM 2000-2021
Geno Printing Company ltd
The best guitar picks
in the world!
We wish to thank the following who have been vital in our quest to make our events exciting and professional.
The Hitmen, Sacred Alien, Fallen Mafia, Seventh Son, Stormchild, The Undaclass, The Crimson Brigade, Sister Rose, Skyrider, Dark Heart, Dethonator, Thunderstick, Airforce, Weapon UK, Quartz, Chemikill, Rampant, Victorius Empire, Dead can wait, Blackmayne, Denial of Humanity, Abaddon, Jack Mylchreest, Snatchback, Stuckfish, Ray Phillips band, Culloden, Quartz, Bawls Out, The Bandoliers, Trespass, Kaine, The Deep, Desolation Angels, Satan's Empire, Troyen, Sacrilege, Not fit for humans, Avenger, Tysondog, Spartan Warrior, Mandora, Millennium, The Clan, Damaj, Wounded Cross, State of Anxiety, The PFJ, Dealer, Malleus, Neverworld, Toledo Steel, GANG, Osmium Guillotine, The Darker my Horizon, Desolate Pathway, Nitroville, Hammerex, Dai herbert, Chris Tinkham & DJ Dawn King.
ADDITIONAL MEGA SUPPORT
Darren Joyce DJ, Jon Mikl THOR, LIPS from ANVIL, Karl Wilcox-Diamond Head, Steve Grimmett, Ray Phillips, Tracey Lamb-Girlschool, Antony Bray-Abaddon, Bill Gang.
Claire Mear, Christopher Francis, Jim Donnelly, Martyn Turner,
Steve Ritchie, Jon Wilmer, Gosha, Ian Coult,
John Lambton, David Wilson, Ruth Hindson,
Christophe Vernimmen, Rebel Crow, Nick Grimley
STAGE SOUND LIGHTS MANAGERS
Ian Coult, Alison Metcalfe,
John Bell for his brilliant sound machine
& Abi Martin.
Alex Perry, Jon WIlmer
Dave Hills, Shaun Young, Gary Young
Martin Walkyier - Molly t-shirt printer
Graham Orion Pax - our main poster man!
Robin Brancher -
(1st poster & Mearfest font & 1979 design)
Tysondog Steve - (2013-2016 Molly hand of bands)
Andy Wallis - backstage passes
Andrew Ormston-(North 2019 backstage passes)
Angela Holland-Yousaf - MEARFEST poster
Steve Ellis - for your poetry
Claire Mear - Everything else!
VOLUNTEERS & KIND FOLK!
Dave Bonney, Marie Edwards, Ian Purvis for millions of guitar picks, Mick Durion, Karen Barker, Aidan Tierney, Ultan Tierney, Pete Hood, Keith Adams, Peter Adams, Barrie Dorling, Linda Dorling, John Bellinger, Ruth Moore, Jim Miller, Daniel Boon, Ian Warner & Richard Johnson MF south security, Adam Mear, Simon Meer, Glennis Irish, Verina Charlesworth, Paula Evans, Vikki Rutherford, Andrew Ormston, Ian Coult, Linda Campbell, John Dunn, Nick and Nikki Patterson, Gosha, Sarah-J Gentil, Chris Gentil, Keith and Gemma Sallis,
Uncle John, Gosha & Tom,
Revd Carl Flynn Edwards for your prayers,
Alva Chapman and Ella, Angela Holland & Carol Lyon for babysitting Amélie.
SUPPORTERS & DONATIONS
This list of individual names is endless,
we thank you all on behalf of all our charities
S.A.N.D.S (310,00 steps) 10.2021 £164.00
S.A.N.D.S (100km walk) 06.2021 £2842.17
S.A.N.D.S (Challenge 14) 03. 2021 £1291.00
S.A.N.D.S (Birthday fund) 02. 2021 £700.00
S.A.N.D.S (310 mile walk) 10. 2020 £1458.00
Trillian's (Covid fund) 2020 £200.00
Cradle 2020 £1000.00
Our Angel Bears 2019 £150.00
DS North East 2017-19 £9878.00
Willow Support Group 2016-18 £5770.00
Steve Grimmett Fund 2018 £500.00
Charity for Kids 2017 £400.00
Reading Hospital 2013 £2194.99
Trinity Hospice 2012 £1870.00
Thames Valley Hospice 2010-12 £4959.00
Other causes 2000-2009 £24,995.00