Gracie Spinks' life will be celebrated at multi-band Shinefest in Chesterfield club

Organisers of a Chesterfield music festival to celebrate the life of murdered Gracie Spinks are calling on the public to support the event.

By Gay Bolton
Monday, 1st August 2022, 1:15 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 1:16 pm

Tracey Leeds and Mark Hewitt are the driving forces behind Shinefest that will take place at New Whittington Social Club on Saturday, August 13, 2022.

The eight-hour festival, beginning at noon, will feature back to back music from seven of Chesterfield’s top bands playing on an outdoor stage, a children’s play area and food.

Mark said: “The event is free to attend so please come along, have a great day and help us to celebrate the life of Gracie Spinks. There will be some fundraising buckets around if anyone would like to donate. Anything raised will go towards the upkeep of Gracie’s beloved horse, Paddy.”

Black Top Sliders, Sound Thieves, The Shoals, Escape Plan, Take The Seven, The Grace, The Suffrajetz will be performing at Shinefest.

Tracey, who set the ball in motion for Shinefest, said: “I had known Gracie almost her whole life, and had watched her grow up into the kind, generous caring, fun-loving person she was. Gracie’s dad is local radio presenter Richard Spinks and her mum Alison Heaton is involved in the organisation of several local community events. Gracie would also help out with these events and she was very well known and liked within the community.

"Gracie had been around great music her whole life and one of the last conversations we had shortly before she died was about her wanting to see some more live local bands when all the final Covid restrictions were lifted and they started gigging again. The last thing I said to her was I would take her to see any band she wanted to go, this was on June 14, sadly four days later someone made sure that would never happen.

"In the days that followed Gracie’s death her family, myself and the rest of her friends were all trying to come to terms with the loss, and I couldn’t get that conversation out of my head, so I came up with this idea to put on an all-day music event so that we could all come together and celebrate her life. After she had told me she wanted to see more live bands all I wanted to do was make that happen for her.

"I spoke to Gracie’s family to ensure I had their blessing and once they gave me the go-ahead I knew I would never be able to pull this off on my own. I would need a lot of help from someone who knows the bands, knows the local venues and knows how to make the best it could be. After years of incredibly successful Bandfest events I knew there was only one person I could ask and that was Mark Hewitt.”

Proceeds from Shinefest will go towards the upkeep of Gracie Spinks' horse Paddy.

Mark said: “I was humbled to have been asked, as were the bands, who have all donated their time and services for free. All the band members have shown great support and offered to help in any way they can.”

The line-up of bands comprises: The Grace (in which Mark will play alongside his brother Steve), The Suffrajetz, Sound Thieves, Black Top Sliders, Escape Plan, The Shoals, Take The Seven.

Tracey added: “We have also booked Sparkle Station Chesterfield who recently did the Ashgate Hospice Sparkle Walk, so you’ll be able to get your face painted or get covered in glittery sparkles...or both! Gracie’s favourite colours were pink, purple and bling so feel free to sparkle and shine at Shinefest!”

New Whittington Social Club on Wellington Street was chosen to host Shinefest as it is local to the area that 23-year-old Gracie lived in with her family.

Tracey Leeds and Mark Hewitt, organisers of Shinefest