DRPG produces virtual Woo Fest to raise vital funds for charity

Woo Fest is a multi-genre music festival for all ages that raises funds for St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester. Since being launched in 2015 by Luke and his sister, Ria, in memory of their dad, John, Woo Fest has gone from strength to strength, growing from a small festival of friends and family to the first festival on the calendar for many new friends. Raising more than £70,000 since its launch, Woo Fest ensures every single penny of the ticket price goes straight to St Richards Hospice, which provides a service for the Worcester community.

This year, DRPG was approached by the Woo Fest organising team to put together a virtual festival that would give people the opportunity to listen to live music in the sunshine and bring Woo Fest to their homes and gardens despite the live event being cancelled due to COVID-19.

DRPG’s digital team created an online portal where people could sign in to watch the free festival hosted by Nina Das Gupta and Richard Hurst. The virtual event was produced and broadcast from DRP’s studios in Hartlebury, including one new one brought into action to cater to the increase in demand for virtual events.

An extremely quick turnaround meant the team began constructing the sets on July 2 ready for the festival on July 4. Making the most of its in-house production facilities, DRPG created two stages: the first stage, like an outdoor garden, and the second one, like a main concert stage.

The graphics team created posters and bunting to be sent out to attendees to print out and decorate their homes, encouraging everyone to create a festival feel. The event commenced at 3pm and included a mixture of pre-recorded and live performances from many musicians including Sophie Ellis-Bexter. Throughout the day people sent in their selfies and were encouraged to share them on social media to show how they were enjoying the virtual Woo Fest.

With more than 900 users logged in from all around the world including Europe, America, Africa and Australia, Woo Fest was a huge success. Woo Fest was a great day and evening of music with a total of 92 musicians playing a mix of genres and covers/originals from reggae to hard rock and everything in between. Aiming to raise £10,000 for St Richards Hospice, the festival was able to raise more than £12,000 completely surpassing expectations.

Tricia Cavell, fundraising director for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “With our mass participation fundraising events cancelled this summer, it’s a tricky time for charities like us and we need to think of innovative ways to fund our care. You can’t get much more innovative than running a music festival for supporters in their own homes.”