Marillion's Couch Convention kicks off today at 7.30pm this evening for three days of concert screenings, Q+As and all manner of events as they adapt their award-winning Weekends virtually in the face of COVID-19.
"We have a rare and beautiful relationship with our fans,"” says Steve Hogarth. "“We wanted to do something to let them know that we are with them; find a way to show our appreciation for the support they give to us and more importantly in strange times like these, each other."
Highlights of the upcoming Couch Convention include broadcast of three most popular gig films on YouTube across the three nights, with support acts, introductions from the band and a live Q&A hosted by Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing.
The band will also be hosting virtual Q&A’s with fans, music masterclasses, a quiz, fan club meetups with band members, and even a run-along with keyboard player Mark Kelly and a cocktail class with guitarist Steve Rothery. There are opportunities to win a virtual photo with the band, virtual coffee with a band member and all sorts of other competitions, including an online dog show and prizes for the best photos from the weekend.
"When I realised that our 2021 conventions would not be going ahead, I wanted to give our fans something that might help them experience the amazing feeling our conventions famously have," adds manager Lucy Jordache. "As the COVID-19 crisis deepened, it became more and more important to bring our fans together in a virtual space, where they can feel the love and support from one another and the band.”
All events over the weekend are free. The band have pre-sold merchandise (t-shirts, cushions, wine and beer glasses, banners and even confetti) to help fans get into the spirit of the event, and a rarities auction will take place over the weekend.
"We've been completely amazed by the response of our fans to the idea of the Couch Convention and the merchandise we created for it," adds Hogarth. 'We sincerely thank them for their continuing love and support and hope to see them out on the road soon."
A full programme of events can be found here.
Today's order of service:
7.30pm: Support Acts: The Cyberiam, Haunt The Woods, This Winter Machine, Harry Dunn and Swappers Eleven get things going with a song each. Marillion's You Tube Channel.
8.20pm: Welcome video. Marillion's You Tube Channel.
8.30pm: Marbles In The Park screening. Marillion's You Tube Channel.
10.30pm: Steve Rothery's cocktail corner. Marillion's You Tube Channel.
10.45pm: Lucy's rock disco. Lucy's Facebook Page.
10.45: Stephanie's prog disco. Stephanie's Facebook Page.