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Gemfest 2014 - Family friendly festival will benefit The Brain Tumour Charity


Story by Jack Foley

GEMFEST is an Exeter-based music festival the whole family can enjoy – and which boasts an inspirational story behind it.

Taking place on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Exeter Phoenix, the event will be divided into two sections: a family orientated daytime of activites running from 11am to 4pm and including arts and crafts, drama and dance workshops and and stalls offering handmade goods, face-painting, balloon modelling and a silent auction. This is free.

The evening section will then feature several live bands across three stages, along with comedy and other entertainment from 6pm to 2am.

Headlining the main stage is Audio Razor, while Sound of Sirens will close the acoustic stage.

Gemfest is now in its second year and was created by Exeter resident Gemma Wensley, whose own story is truly remarkable.

Four years ago, Gemma, now 31, was working as a nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital when she was diagnosed an inoperable brain stem tumour and told to prepare for the ‘inevitable’.

Saying her farewells and arranging her own funeral were, she admits, paramount in her mind – although she never gave up hope and underwent four years of gruelling chemotherapy, which has caused the tumour to shrink.

Her long-term prognosis remains unclear but for now Gemma is determined to make each day count and to give something back. Hence, the idea for Gemfest followed her 30th birthday – a landmark she never thought she would celebrate – and she has been working on it with her friend, Susan Luscombe, ever since.

Last year’s event raised over £5,000 and this year’s proceeds will be split equally between The Brain Tumour Charity and Hospiscare.

You can read more about Gemma’s remarkable story here

But the Gemfest 2014 finer details are as follows…

The evening runs from 6pm and will be tickets only (priced at £12.50, with £12 going to charity).

The line-up so far is as follows…

Main stage
DJ Sets from Lee H, Ramsey, Gavin Quiet
Audio Razor
The Fabulous Beaver Brothers
Raining Globe
Soul Traders

Voodoo Lounge
Sound Of Sirens
Supenik (Acoustic Set)
Andy Watts
Leon Oxenham

The Bar
Alex Gregory
Charlotte Ward
Holly Morwenna

The Black Box
Comedy from local improvisation group ‘Improperly’
Comedy from The Comedy Suits

To buy tickets visit

For more information and regular updates visit