The global coronavirus pandemic has hit some industries particularly hard, and live music is one of them.
As one of the first businesses to close its doors in March, live music venue, Esquires, still does not know when it will reopen to the public.
Earlier this year, Esquires’ owner, Gareth Barber, set up a crowdfunding initiative to see the venue through lockdown.
Contributors to one of the fundraising packages had to opportunity to see their name on a mural at the venue and as summer 2020 drew to a close, Bedford-based artist and illustrator, David Litchfield put paintbrush to brickwork and brought the mural to life.
“The mural was part of the crowdfunding efforts earlier this year and includes over 350 names of people who specifically chose that pledge as part of it,” said Gareth Barber.
“We feel so humbled by all the support given to the venue over this period and can’t thank David enough for giving up his time for free to paint this for us.
“As soon as we had the idea of putting together a mural pledge, he was the only person we wanted to do it.
“Instead of something obvious for a music venue, we were keen for it to be its own piece of art, a new piece of art for Bedford and we left it to David’s excellent mind to put together for us.
“We’re really pleased with the final piece and can’t wait for people to finally see it when we are eventually able to reopen.”
The award-winning illustrator and author, David Litchfield, grew up in Bedford and Esquires has a very special place in his heart.
“I have been going to Esquires since I was 15,” David told the Bedford Independent. “My best memories are watching Supergrass, the Longpigs and The Pecadiloes there. And obviously meeting my wife there.”
“Painting the mural was a lot more challenging than I thought and took a lot longer than the two days we had planned. Just writing the 350+ names took a day.
“We used a scissor lift, which I haven’t used before. It was utterly terrifying. But you have to suffer for art.
“I was very proud and honoured to be asked to paint the mural. Esquires is such an important place to so many people.
“I really hope it comes out of this stronger than before. When it does reopen properly it is going to be the best party Bedford has ever seen.”
The time-lapse footage of David painting the mural was captured by Limelight TV.