'Lively and colourful' festival in memory of crash victim Jason Mercer

By Adele Forrest | 27/09/2019

'Lively and colourful' festival in memory of crash victim Jason Mercer
The festival logo is a tribute to Jason Mercer's distinctive hair.

A NOISY, lively and colourful music festival will take over a farm to celebrate the life of man who was just that.

Jason Mercer’s family are expecting MerceFest at Lawns Farm to sell out due to his popularity within the town.

Music lover Jason (44), of Broom, died in a road traffic collision in June, leaving behind his distraught wife Claire, who is now organising the event alongside his sister Melanie Squire.

“We had a celebration of his life after his death and now we want to make a whole day of it,” said Claire.

“We are having to cap the attendance at 500 as he was such a well-known guy. We’ve got wristbands and we’re pretty sure we will sell out.”

Jason loved festivals and could often be found at Lawns Farm at the weekend — so the Morthen site was the ideal location for the event.

Claire added: “The best way to describe Jason would be noisy, lively and colourful, so the best way to truly honour his memory is to arrange something noisy, lively and colourful.”

The family-friendly gig will feature what Claire described as “the lighter side of Jason’s musical tastes” — reggae, ska, punk and rock.

Confirmed bands include ska and reggae band Handsome Dan & The Mavericks, Hellbent Forever — the definitive tribute to Judas Priest, soul duo The Hot Soles, and The Thurmanators who are described as ‘not your average punk covers band’.

Claire said: “Jason loved festivals, he was meant to be at one recently, and loved Lawns Farm.”

Funds raised after covering the cost of the event will be donated to men’s mental health charity MAT (Men Actually Talking Together).

Remembering how Jason first wooed her 13 years ago Claire said: “He just walked up to me in Snafu and said: ‘I know you’.

“Apparently he did, I had never spotted him before but we got chatting and the next thing we knew we were married.”

Jason lived in Rotherham nearly all of his life and enjoyed watching rugby and had joined an archery club before his death.

“He played guitar and drums, it was hard keeping him still,” said Claire. “He taught himself Latin, just because he could — he could just drink in knowledge.”

MerceFest will start at 4pm on Saturday, October 5.

Tickets cost £6, to buy visit https://bit.ly/2lCkNON.