Mrs Casey Music…. a brief history (don’t ask for the full story unless you have 2 hours to spare)
Mrs Casey Music (MCM) was formed in 1972 by Steve Heap in response to many requests for assistance with the presentation of music and dance. Initially working as an artist agency then developing into a festival promoter and first taking over the running of Towersey Festival in 1975.
Leaving Towersey after 45 years as its director, apart from two years off for covid-19 the festival is still going strong.
Through the 1970s and 1980s we continued to work as an agent and promoter and built a reputation for event organisation, working on community arts festivals for Hampshire County Council, City of London and Oxfordshire County Council. We also ran festivals for the Rank Organisation, through their Butlins Holiday Centres, over various weekends throughout the year; a relationship that lasted for over 10 years.
Through the 90’s and 2000’s we programmed and ran music events including two American Music Festivals and a Folk and Roots Music Festival weekend at The Barbican Centre (London), and then ran a series of promotions with the South Bank Centre (London), which ran for over 15 years. We were involved in the running and development of a variety of festivals, in particular from 1986 to 2004 Sidmouth International Festival in Devon re-building the event, finishing at the 50th Sidmouth in 2004 with an audience of 65,000 people.
From 2008 to 2011 we worked with BBC Radio 2 to organise the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, running a residential workshop weekend and concert event.
We have also promoted birthday concerts for Ralph McTell , Martin Carthy and Roy Bailey. We have promoted concerts at the Royal Albert Hall including the first visit of Show of Hands, Roy Baileys career celebration and The Mighty River Of Song featuring the whole of the wider Waterson Family.
In 1987 we created and continue to provide the administration and management for The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), which is a membership organisation for festivals, events and associated industries. We organise and promote an annual gathering of these organisers at the AFO Conference once a year, usually in November.
Our record label, Mrs Casey Records grew alongside our promotional work from the1980’s to the present day and have steadily released albums, tutorial DVDs and more recently downloads to complement other work we do. Our latest (January 2022) release is Singing Out, a Roy Bailey box set of 4 cd’s including a 24 page booklet written by Ex Gaudian, NME music writer Colin Irwin.
Mrs Casey Music’s Director and Founder, Steve Heap is also active in the wider arts & events industry. He co-formed The Events Industry Forum (EIF) in 2004 and is an active and long-time collaborator, contributor and supporter of Creative Lives (previously known as Voluntary Arts Network), National Campaign for the Arts, Sound Sense and many other organisations in the arts world. He is a founder board member of LIVE, the live music trade body and a founder member of Vision 2025, a green activist lobby group.
In 2011 Steve was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Festival Awards, and a Gold badge from EFDSS. He was also given the President’s Award from NOEA in 2008. Steve is currently (Jan 2022) working with Colin Irwin, writing his story of life in the music world since 1963.