Marillion ask fans to become Lightsavers to secure tour and gig at Edinburgh's Usher Hall
They started off as Market Square Heroes asking their faithful if they were following them and for nearly four decades Marillion fans have done just that. Now the band are asking for their help, again.
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The legendary prog-rock band who went from playing Edinburgh’s legendary rock club upstairs at the Playhouse to the venues’ main 3,000+ auditorium almost overnight when they emerged into the public glare in 1982 have asked their followers to 'insure the tour' as they prepare to embark upon the 10-date ‘The Light At The End of The Tunnel Tour’, which is due to bring them to the Usher Hall on November 15.
Marillion and their manager Lucy Jordache have come up with a unique way to solve the problem of not being able to buy pandemic insurance ahead of hitting the road, asking fans to 'pledge' money in case one of the band members or road crew contracts Covid and the rest of the tour has to be cancelled.
Jordache explains, "We tried to get the tour insured, but it has proved impossible. No companies want to take the risk.“We're asking our fans to pledge money that will be held in escrow and if it all goes Covid free it will be returned to them at the end of the tour. But if we do have to cancel, then their money will be used to pay the band's unavoidable expenses. We are calling it Lightsavers."In return, fans who donate money to the cause will receive "money can't buy items".She continues, "Regardless of whether their money is eventually returned or not, every person who donates will receive money can't buy items in return."Depending on the amount pledged, fans could see their name in the tour programme or receive a free download of a gig. Some could find themselves in a group chat or even a personal meeting with the band via Zoom. All will also be entered for a raffle with prizes such as a handwritten lyric of their choice, a full set of guitar plectrums, and personal shout-outs at concerts.
Marillion frontman, Steve Hogarth, believes their loyal fans will be only too happy to help out."We are blessed with having the most amazing fans. They are incredibly supportive and loyal. We are desperate to play in front of those wonderful crowds again and I know they are so excited to see us," he says.
"Like so many other bands, we've been in deep freeze for the last 18 months. It has been a dark time of course for everyone but now there is, indeed, light at the end of the tunnel, and we need our Lightsavers to ensure we reach there."With more than £150,000 already invested in the 10-date tour tour any cancellation would be "absolutely devastating" says Jordache.
Marillion became a household name in 1982 with the release of Market Square Heroes fronted by monumental Dalkeith singer/songwriter Fish, real name Derek Dick. Based now in Haddington where he continues his solo career, Fish quickly established himself as the band's lead singer scoring Top 10 hits with the singles Kayleigh, Lavender and Incommunicado, leaving the band in 1988 when he was replaced by Hogarth.