A COUNTY DURHAM-based singer/songwriter is continuing his series of concerts at which there are no fixed ticket prices, so people in financial hardship are not excluded from attending.

Steve Pledger will perform at the Re-F-use Cafe in Chester-le-Street on Friday in his latest On Trust Event.

The aim of On Trust is to take original, live music into the hearts of communities where, for some, access to such might otherwise be limited due to financial reasons.

The gigs are offered without a fixed ticket price and are promoted through groups who work amongst, or who have regular contact with, people who might especially benefit from this approach. The first event happened in Annfield Plain in April.

Steve says: “The hope is that nobody who might wish to attend is prevented from being able to do so and whether folk are able to contribute something, not very much, or even nothing at all, everybody is welcome.

“Live music is a source of encouragement, support and joy to many and it might be argued that many who could benefit the most are being unintentionally excluded by means of the barrier of fixed-price tickets.”

He adds: “The ‘pay as you feel’ format makes it possible to remove money from the equation for a couple of hours and bring a few folks together around a simple, shared desire to hear some original live music. Anyone coming along who is genuinely unable to pay much – or anything at all – is equally welcome and appreciated; in all other regards, it’s a regular gig.

“It is called On Trust Events because that’s very much the basis on which these events will be run. I believe that the more we are given the opportunity to prove ourselves trustworthy, the more trustworthy the majority of us will show ourselves to be.”

Doors at the cafe, at 143b Front Street, Chester-le-Street, open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start on Friday, November 15. There is no fixed ticket price, and audience members are asked to pay what they are willing to, or what they can, at the end.

Places can be reserved at www.ontrustevents.co.uk/ot-gigs and at the venue itself ahead of the gig. Entry cannot be guaranteed without reserving in advance.