The idea of staging family-friendly matinee gigs came to promoter Toby Chelms back in 2013.
“I was chatting to a neighbour who has two daughters aged nine and 13. They said they wanted to keep involved in the music scene. There are a lot of good things for children, like Disney On Ice, but they’re more entertainment than a community you can get involved in,” he says.
Then a new parent himself, Chelms decided to found a quartertly event of his own, called Youth Anthems, “to make music accessible to all regardless of age, income or ability” – at Wharf Chambers in Leeds.
Though his background was in organising concerts by punk bands – “I’ve been putting on gigs myself since I was 15; I’m 34 this year,” he says – he decided to choose bands that would not be “horrifically noisy” for a family audience. “We’ve had babes in arms to teenagers,” he says. “People with babies can’t put ear defenders on them so we decided every gig had to have at least one acoustic band and we’ve stuck to that.
“Some gigs have been more folky, some have been a bit punky. We’ve had other bands get in touch, even hip-hop. If the right one came along I would book them.”
This Sunday Chems will celebrate two years of Youth Anthems with a special birthday party featuring music from Wakefield’s Protectors, Garforth’s Jacobean Ruff and The Keatings, from Bradford.
Leeds patisserie That Old Chestnut will provide cakes and entry is £5 for over 15s and free for those 14 and under.
In keeping with Chelms’ charitable aims, the show will aid PAFRAS, which works with refugees and asylum seekers; there will also be a collection for the Trussell Fund’s food banks. Proceeds from a colouring book, designed by an illustrator friend, will go to City of Sanctuary.
Youth Anthems starts at 1.30pm on Sunday. For details visit https://youthanthems.wordpress.com/gigs/