Mearfest was initially set up by Brian Mear in 2010 following the death of his mother, Sally, to cancer, as a channel for his grief. As his mother was the foundation of the family he used her spirit as an indomitable woman to host a rock concert to raise money for cancer charities. Having no event planning experience, Brian handmade the stage himself and hosted the first Mearfest event which sold out and was a fantastic success.
Not long after this first event, Brian met his wonderful now wife Claire. Claire had previous experience working in the music industry so was able to work alongside Brian on three annual Mearfest events. Since then they have hosted Mearfest raising funds for various hospice and cancer charities.
Both in their mid-forties, they discovered that Claire was pregnant with their first child. Unfortunately, in the thirty-ninth week of the pregnancy, tragedy struck. Molly Mear was born at 40 weeks sleeping on the 12th of August 2013. She died two days before her due date. This left the couple shattered by their grief and they drew even closer in their love and strength together. In 2016 and stronger than ever, they decided to brave it by telling their heart-breaking story to the world in order to bring awareness to the possible causes of stillbirth and the emotional devastation this leaves behind. Mearfest was rebranded with a new focus and Molly’s handprint became the logo, her perfect hand symbolically kept everyone's hearts beating to the rhythm of rock, neatly contained beneath Mearfest’s strong fabric and colourful hues, her small hand has been held close across the world. Molly’s memory along with the genre of rock music has created something unexpected, yet remarkable, her memory has forged new friendships across the globe. This has also resulted in a surprising development as many others involved in the event, especially grieving fathers, came forward and shared their own experiences, some never having a chance before to express this kind of grief. It provides a positive platform where others can seek understanding and loving support, giving so much goodness, insight and awareness back into this crazy planet. They now also raise money for stillbirth organisations.
Merefest plus Brian and Claire respectively were 2019 finalists in 3 separate categories at the prestigious baby loss awards ceremony The Butterfly Awards. They were seated at a table with other finalists from all categories but they got talking to Kerri and Bruce who were attending the awards as Our Angel Bears were finalists in U.K support organisation category. Though sadly neither the Mears nor Our Angel Bears "won" an award in their categories, strong friendships were formed and Mearfest decided to partner with Our Angel Bears. We hope this partnership brings new supporters to both amazing groups who have so much to offer.
More about Molly and Mearfest