In 2019, an unbelievable thing occurred at the GeoCoinfest Europe event in Manchester, England. The first ever full band Travel Bugs concert happened. Were you there?
It took over a year of pratice, planning, hard-work and creative fund-raising by both myself and the musicians in the Belgian geocaching band Bugsy Travels & the Ammo Boxes , but we did it. We managed to get to the UK and perform together as a band. Through numerous Skype meetings, online practices, and countless emails, the Bugsy gang managed to learn The Travel Bugs' songs, and I learned to play along with them... well at least a recording of them.
It's hard to believe we pulled it off. When we joined each other on stage in Manchester, it was the first time we had met in person, and within minutes we were off and running performing together. If you want to read the entire story of the adventure you can check out the BLOG we wrote about it, but here's the short version...
As I got to Manchester first, I went onstage alone performing a combination of acoustic cover tunes and a couple of Travel Bugs songs as a teaser, the entire time sending emails and photos to the Bugsy gang who were en route. When they arrived, they set up and we performed together as The Travel Bugs. Afterwards, they performed as Bugsy Travels and the Ammmo Boxes, which was an unexpected bonus for everyone.
Later that evening at The Old Nag's Head pub, I showed up for the after party concert to find them already set up and ready to go. While they fetched their first pints, I played a couple of acoustic tunes as a sound-check, then Jan joined me on the stage for an acoustic duet of "The Worst Cacher". Finally the whole gang got on stage and The Travel Bugs had their second international full-band concert. It was a blast, and despite the fact that I was going on almost no sleep in 24 hours I was flying high. What a wonderful experience.
Then the crowd was treated to another Bugsy Travels show. The entire pub was hopping and both shows were a huge success. Back at our hotel, we all stayed up until 2:00 am enjoying pints, getting to know each other better, swapping stories, scheming for another performance and starting what was to become a great friendship.
I can't thank the event, the people who supported my fundraising efforts, and especially Hans, Jan, Nico and Yasmine, the musicians from Bugsy Travels, for their incredible work and talent We absolutely can not wait to do it again someday!.
And if you're interested, the entire after-party performance is available on YouTube