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From cuts to chords: Portadown barbershop transformed into charity acoustic lounge

On the night, around 50 people were packed into the revamped barbershop, which was put together with the help of a variety of local businesses

A Portadown barbershop has – for one-night only – been transformed into a vibrant acoustic lounge showcasing a range of talented local musicians!

Craft Barbershop is, by day, your typical barbers, offering skin fades, hot towel shaves and ones all over.

On Sunday, December 10, however, that all changed, as four local artists grabbed the opportunity to showcase their work – all in aid of the Cancer Fund for Children.

It all proved a huge success, with the event having raised over £1,600 to date – knocking the original £500 target out of the park.

The idea initially came about when owner Roger Mulholland got chatting to a client about running a charity event for the benefit of the local community.

They became interested in the concept of taking local businesses and spaces and transforming them into a fundraiser for a night.

They decided they wanted to run an event to showcase local musicians and raise a bit of money for the Cancer Fund for Children in the process.

Roger Mulholland (R) with the barbers at Craft who all helped

Said Roger: “I had a client in the past where I’d go out to her house and shave her wee lad’s hair off, as he was going through cancer and that charity helped him.”

With the idea on paper, Roger set to work, organising the mulled wine and taking donations of tray bakes from kind customers.

“Stuart, another client of mine, provided lighting at the PA system, so we stayed behind on Saturday and turned the shop into a wee space for a gig!”

On the night, around 50 people were packed into the revamped barbershop, which was put together with the help of a variety of local businesses.

The event was the perfect opportunity for the four local artists – Jack Fairon, Aaron Gardiner, Joe McKeown and his older brother Matthew McKeown – to bring their music to a wider audience of people of all ages.

Photo by Joshua Glass

Added Roger: “It came out brilliantly! Everyone involved was a customer or a friend of a customer as we tried to keep it local and within the community.”

By all accounts, the event was a roaring success and that success has amped up the fundraising efforts.

He said: “The target was £500 and I thought, because it was short notice, if we got that we’d be doing well. We actually hit that before the night started!

“Then on the night we lifted around five or six hundred just with people throwing money in the tin. Then as we were uploading our footage onto socials we got another five or six hundred. We’re sitting now at just over £1,600!”

You can donate to Craft Barbershop’s fundraiser through GoFundMe. Donations will close next Friday.

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