Kenny way to have rockin’ great night

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kenny brown
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KENNYFEST is back for its sixth year.

The annual two-day rock spectacular began in 2006 in memory of Kenny Brown who lost his battle with spina bifida.

The musician, instantly recognisable with his meteor-emblazoned wheelchair, did not give in to his condition and played bass in bands including Cap’n Flint, Flying Out and Fairhaven during the 1980s and 90s.

Kenny also became one of the first disabled driving instructors in the UK.

“Kenny was a lovely guy,” said Chris Sumby, Kennyfest organiser. “In his eyes the world was his oyster.

“He was a keen musician and he was keen on Sunderland becoming a popular place for live music.

“As he was a big fan of live music and there was next to nothing in Sunderland when he was around, we decided to do a one-off gig in memory of him and we have been doing it ever since.”

Kennyfest takes place on Saturday and Sunday at Bar Independent, Holmeside, with more than a dozen rock bands set to raise the roof for charity.

Bands performing are Sunderland’s Battleaxe, Sabbatica, Thyn Lyzzy, Nightrain, Judas Beast, Metalizer, Spartan Warrior, Def Con One, Beyond The Grave, Risen Prophecy, Wild Thorn and DJ Hellhound.

Black Magic have had to pull out, but have been replaced by The Crows, from Seaham.

A limited stock of Kennyfest 2011 T-shirts will be available.

Chris is hoping the stellar line-up will help swell the crowd and the coffers raised for charity.

“Last year we managed to attract 250 people per day,” he said. “We are hoping to increase this to 300 this year.

“We would ideally like to make around £3,000 for charity this year and make the total raised since we began Kennyfest £10,000.”

Tickets cost £5 per day or £8 for the weekend.

They can be bought in advance from Hot Rats, via, or on the door on the day.

All proceeds will go to Macmillian Cancer, St Benedict’s Hospice and the PDSA.

For further information contact the Kennyfest team on 07739 964 195

Twitter: @sunderlandecho