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Rivfest17: Viola Beach festival 'to inspire others'

image captionRiver Reeves, Kristian Leonard, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin died along with their manager in the crash

The father of a teenage guitarist who died with his band-mates in a road crash hopes a festival being held in his memory will inspire young people to "follow their dreams".

Warrington-based band Viola Beach were killed in a crash in Sweden along with their manager Craig Tarry.

Ben Dunne, father of 19-year-old River Reeves, has organised RivFest 17, with headliners Maximo Park and Billy Bragg.

The event is being held from 12:00 BST at Priestley College in Warrington.

'Dream dies'

Mr Dunne, who founded The River Reeves Foundation, said: "We want to inspire youngsters to follow their dreams and if they have a talent for the arts to dream big, just like River and his band-mates did."

The charity, which the festival fundraises for, offers support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to become actors, musicians, artists or writers.

image captionBen Dunne said he wants other youngsters to "dream big" like he did

"Working in education myself I know that, if money is tight, sometimes the dream dies at 14 or 15... so we just want to provide those funds", Mr Dunne said.

Other acts, which are all performing for free, include The Voice stars Mo Adeniran and Max Vickers, The Rainband, Stillia and Man and the Echo.

Arriva buses are providing free shuttle services from both Bank Quay and Warrington Central railway stations.

Who were Viola Beach?

media captionViola Beach play Swings & Waterslides in session for BBC Introducing
  • Four-piece band from Warrington, Cheshire
  • Kris Leonard, 19 - guitar, lead vocal; River Reeves, 19 - who grew up in Cornwall, guitar; Tomas Lowe, 27 - bass; Jack Dakin, 19 - drums
  • Formed in May 2015
  • Released debut single Swings & Waterslides in 2015 and put out their second single Boys That Sing on 22 January 2016
  • Played several BBC Introducing sessions
  • Were due to travel to the South By South West (SXSW) festival in Texas in March 2016

Related Topics

  • Cheshire
  • Warrington

More on this story

  • Viola Beach band crash 'awful tragedy', says coroner

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