Budleigh beach tribute for Budstock’s Tobs

Birthday tributes have been paid to a Budleigh Salterton seaside rock founder on what would have been his 40th birthday.

Budleigh beach became an impromptu stage at the weekend when Jolyon Holroyd held an outlaw Budstock evening on Saturday, June 18, in memory of his brother, Toby (Tobs), who was killed aged 25 in a tragic road accident in Spain.

Known for his love of ‘crazy things’, Toby, who died while cycling in Spain, lives on through Budstock - Devon’s longest-running contemporary music festival which began, thanks to two bored brothers living in a town they say had nothing to offer for kids their age.

Toby’s brother Joe, 42, who took over the running of Budstock in Tobs’ memory after his death in July 1996, said the beach Budstock was a fitting tribute to his much-loved brother on what would have been a milestone birthday.

The spontaneous evening of music, attended by close family and friends, was especially poignant for Tobs’ family because, after his death, his ashes were scattered from White Bridge, on the River Otter – close to where a secret memorial seat for Toby now rests.

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Older brother Joe, who grew up in the town with Tobs, said: “We feel that there’s a spiritual presence that resides in that area.

“We decided to put on the outlaw Budstock because it was his 40th birthday and we wanted it to be in the place where his ashes were. But we wanted a more intimate and small scale event with just friends and family.

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“He was a hugely enigmatic character who had a knack of befriending all he came into contact, with a mixture of irreverent humour and a mildly mischievous sense of good fun and optimism.”

Determined not to disturb Budleigh’s residents, Joe deliberately pointed the speakers out to sea, so the music by Count to Fire, Joe’s own band The Fireflies and Hot Dub Bikini Party could not be heard beyond 30-metres away.

Nervous about the rain, the makeshift stage on the pebbles and the wet weather, coupled with the electrical equipment, Joe said he almost pulled the plug on the tribute night.

He said the evening finally went without a hitch thanks to more than a little of Tobs’ spirit.

Joe said: “It was a rainy evening and, as we were using a small PA with a couple of sheets of ply as a stage with no covering, I was nervous about the rain.

“When we arrived and stood chatting about whether to take the risk, suddenly a rain squall hit us and a perfect rainbow appeared over Otter head.

“We were, of course, inspired to do the ‘crazy thing’.

“There followed an evening of beautiful sun and later a huge red moon framed with delicate clouds.”

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