QEDG Management has joined wife Lisa Wetton and son Dylan Wetton in announcing a John Wetton Memorial Concert will be held at Trading Boundaries in East Sussex on 3 August 2023.
“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my Dad’s life and the incredible musical legacy he has left behind, son Dylan said. “It’s going to be an amazing night, a unique event, which is exactly what my Dad deserves.”
The memorial event will be hosted by Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing, alongside Geoff Downes, Steve Hackett and artist Roger Dean. The list of performers and special guests who wish to pay tribute to the legendary Wetton is growing by the day, but those already confirmed are listed below.
“To honour John’s legacy in this way with so many of his former musicians, colleagues, and family gathered together shows just what an enormous amount of love, gratitude and respect so many of us held for John and his music,” Geoff Downes said. “It’s going to be a wonderful celebration spanning the whole of John’s amazing career. I am very much looking forward to it. See you all there.”
Wetton died on 31 January 2017 as a result of complications due to cancer. He spent his last days being cared for by the charity Macmillan Caring Locally at the Macmillan Unit, Christchurch Hospital in Dorset.
As a gesture of recognition towards his fans who supported Wetton right up until his death, John’s family and management have decided to allow this private event to be live-streamed so that it can be enjoyed by fans across the globe.
They have also identified the memorial as being the perfect opportunity to highlight the fantastic work done by Macmillan Caring Locally and to raise much-needed funds for the creation of a special hospice suite dedicated to the star.
“It was a privilege to care for John in the final days of his life, and we are so grateful to his wife, Lisa, for her continued support,” Lin Sharp, Fundraising and Communications Director for the charity said. “All monies raised will go to fund a room as a legacy to John, named The John Wetton Suite. A massive thank you to you all for making this possible.”
“I am delighted and humbled that so many legendary artists who worked with my Dad over the years have agreed to come together both to honour him and raise vital funds for the charity which supported him during his last days,” John’s son Dylan said.
Tickets for the live stream can be purchased now, with all proceeds going to Macmillan Caring Locally. In an effort to raise further funds, a special online auction will run alongside the evening’s proceedings boasting some unique lots, including a guitar owned by Wetton himself.
“I am very excited to be a part of the upcoming John Wetton Tribute,” Geoff Downes said. “As you all know, I had a very close and unique writing partnership with John, and we were dear friends, brothers and bandmates for many years.”
This promises to be an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime event, and it is hoped that fans will support it generously by buying live-stream memorial tickets as well as bidding on the various auction lots.
Tickets are available from Trading Boundaries.
Performers and special guests announced so far:
Chris Braide (Downes Braide Association), Roger Chapman (Family), Mel Collins (King Crimson, Alan Parsons Project, Chris Squire, Roger Waters), Jim Cregan (Family, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Rod Stewart, Katie Melua), David Cross (King Crimson), Chris Difford (Squeeze), Geoff Downes, Steve Hackett, Annie Haslam (Renaissance), Dave Kilminster (John Wetton, Keith Emerson, Steven Wilson, Roger Waters), Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), John Mitchell (John Wetton, Icon, It Bites, Fr*st), Martin Orford (John Wetton, IQ, Jadis), Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd, Roxy Music) , Jay Schellen (YES, Asia), Billy Sherwood (YES, Asia) and Rick Wakeman (YES, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe), Laurie Wisefield (Wishbone Ash, Snakecharmer) – all of whom will be supported by The Paul Green Rock Academy.