Music venues across the north-east have been in silence for more than a year, with their stages empty and the lights off.
But as coronavirus restrictions begin to lift, one musical duo have set their sights on changing that.
Scott Reid and Charlie Munro are the organisers of the Aberdeen Band Weekender, a two-day musical event set to feature nearly 20 bands from across the north-east.
Taking place on September 25 and 26 at The Tunnels, the gig will be the first live event many of the bands have played since March 2020.
But the weekend isn’t just an excuse for some live music and a few pints. The organisers are donating all cash raised from ticket sales to the Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre in Kincorth where one of their friends and fellow musicians lives.
“Me and Charlie have been in bands all our lives and played all around Aberdeen,” said Scott.
“With lockdown, performing live was something so important to us and other bands that was just taken away overnight.
“So we really wanted to arrange something for coming out of lockdown, something to look forward to.
“Initially the plan was to just hold it on one day, but we had so many bands interested that we’ve extended it to two days.
“We’ve still got folk getting in touch now including bands from the central belt. I hate saying no but we wanted it to be a local north-east thing.”
Many bands have already signed up, including Salem’s Lot, The Swampsnakes and Dead Fire.
September is Aberdeen Band Weekender✌️
A charity 2day festival @tunnelsaberdeen aid of Sue Rider Neurological care Centre Kincorth
This is where Jon Davie lives and Jon will be on stage performing too. Donations at the door for entry!
More bands to announce soon🙌
— fathippyrecords (@fathippyrecords) April 5, 2021
They chose the Sue Ryder charity knowing that their friend Jon Davie now lives at the centre.
The Aberdeen rocker was left paralysed in a mysterious incident in the city in September 2017.
He was rushed to hospital after he was found unconscious and seriously injured on Charlotte Street.
Police carried out investigations but closed the case when they couldn’t establish exactly what happened to the singer and guitarist, known for his performances with popular city band GutterGodz.
“I’ve known Jon 20-odd years,” said Scott, “going back to when we used to do open-mic nights and he’d come in after school.
“I saw him grow up with music. It was such a shock to find out what happened to him.”
Scott said: “Jon always supported live music in the city, and so when I saw on social media that he’d been back recording some vocals during lockdown something just clicked in my head and we thought this would be an amazing platform for him to be up on stage again.”
Jon, 33, was pleased to be invited along to the gig, and it will be the first time he has been back on a stage since his injury.
“I think it’s a great idea for an event and I’m excited to get back on stage and see lots of old friends,” Jon said.
“I’ve no idea how many people will be allowed in the audience because of Covid, but it will be great to perform again.
“I used to basically live in Drummonds – I was always seeing bands if I wasn’t on stage myself.
“Lockdown has been hard. Since March last year I’ve only been allowed my mum and dad in to visit me at the centre so this is really something to look forward to.
“But I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much because of how things have gone in the past with lockdowns.
“I just really, really hope it goes ahead, not only for me and the other bands but for people who miss going to see live music.”
All proceeds from the event being donated to the Sue Ryder care facility where Jon lives, and he is hopeful that the cash injection will help the centre become more accessible for all residents.
“It’s such a great thing for them to do,” he said, “the charity needs all the help it can get.”
“I’m hoping the money might go towards a new lift for residents, but any amount raised is brilliant.”
For more details, visit the Aberdeen Band Weekender Facebook page.