I launched Cheeky as a Facebook group in Jan 2013 to help musicians connect with others and promote themselves. My tagline was “Connect through music”. I want(ed) to help them to use social media, to be social, to communicate. I help you to think about what, how & when to share your stories / content / work. I’ve done countless (written) interviews with musicians & entrepreneurs.
Having been involved in an accident in Sept 2011, in 2016 I started thinking about organising an event to fundraise for the London Air Ambulance service who rescued & treated me and took me to hospital. Then I wanted to fundraise for another charity - Nordoff Robbins; the UK's leading music therapy provider - as well, so I thought ‘let’s split the profit 50/50'. Whilst talking with a friend in the USA, the idea of a one off music gig grew into a UK-USA music festival tour, then into an arts community & series of festivals — initially in London, and hopefully happening in other cities / countries in the future.
The creative & performing arts are experiencing an emergency due to the CoronaVirus. With campaigns such as #SaveOurVenues, we need to encourage, enable & inspire collaboration, communication & community, provide relevant education and empower artists, creatives & performers in all fields as well as those in associated roles to continue to be active and to make money doing what they love.
With your help, CheekyFest will re-embolden the arts around the world! As most of the world struggles with the social, economic and mental health impact of the CoronaVirus through 2020, artists need to be able to pay rents / mortgages, buy enough food to feed themselves & their families and maintain their wellbeing. Creatives are not a priority for most governments; for the arts and the people to survive the pandemic, we must keep our them alive.
I have been a member of, a part of bands, choirs, friend/social groups. I remain a part of my family. Some people understand or 'get' me more than others. I hadn't found a place where I felt like I fitted in online. When I created the Cheeky Facebook group, I wanted to provide a space for musicians, to educate, empower, encourage and inspire them to connect with other people who could help them and create somewhere where I felt like I fitted in, to make friends.
'Being in bands & choirs made me feel valued. Music ensembles are welcoming places. People need to feel valued and part of something authentic, meaningful, and purposeful. Music ensembles provide this, and more. Being in an ensemble teaches you to think about, & value, those around you. The magic of collaborative creativity is manifested through friendship. Just as music strengthens our neural pathways, it also strengthens our connection pathways. When you make, rehearse, and perform music with others, you bond beyond the norm. You bond for life. Music bonds us. The Arts is where we finds our voice, where we realise that our unconventional thinking makes sense, where we discover that we're not alone, where we come out of our shell; where we find ourselves.' [Adapted from tweets @VFleischfresser]
"Always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself you felt that if you could manifest it in someway, you would understand more about yourself and how you co-exist with the rest of society." (Bowie)
Cheeky Fest supports creative / performing artists; the Cheeky Foundation will provide funding to keep artists, creatives & performers alive & venues open through the pandemic and post-Covid. A number of groups and platforms / businesses are already enabling, curating and promoting online / livestream events. Artists have long struggled to access to affordable arts education / funding / performance opportunities; through social entrepreneurship, we can change that. In the future, Cheeky Space will be the physical home of all things Cheeky.
We've experienced the correlation between creativity & mental health. In late May 2019 tragedy struck in my own life, and I lost a dear friend & musician with whom I used to play. He had taken his life after struggling with bipolar disorder. I (Rupert) have struggled with depression at various points in my life. A number of famous musicians have committed suicide as a result of mental health issues e.g. Chester Bennington. We raise awareness of & provide resources to manage mental health.
I'm looking for people to join the team, who are looking for an exciting, human-focused social enterprise to work on for 5+ years. If you have, or would like to build experience in; any or all of the arts, business, education, events/festivals, funding (business / arts), marketing / social media / partnerships / sponsorships / legal / social enterprise or non-profits or startups, PLEASE email email@example.com and let me know how you'd like to help.
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