Mark Buchan was familiarising himself with his new AAMI motorcycle insurance policy when he spied details about Brisbane Festival’s AAMI Lucky Club’s Street Serenades competition.
It struck a chord with the Ashgrove man and he entered immediately.
“I saw the part when I had to write in 200 words or less why my street deserved a Street Serenades performance and I knew exactly what to say,” Mark, who has lived in his street for 20 years, recalled.
“These are strange times we’re in and I knew I had neighbours who were struggling. I thought it would be lovely to have something entertaining and uplifting happen in our neighbourhood.”
That came in the form of Ella Fence, a Gold Coast songwriter and musician, who rolled into Mark’s neighbourhood to perform a free mini-concert on Street Serenades’ Troubadour travelling stage.
“What an event!” Mark enthused. “The whole thing ran like clockwork. Ella has such a great voice and really original songs and the sound quality from the caravan-style stage was ridiculously good.
“I hadn’t heard of Ella Fence until I was told she’d be performing. So I jumped online, listened to her on YouTube and loved her style; now I’m a follower and a fan.”
Mark hadn’t told his neighbours he entered the competition but said they were thrilled when he revealed their prize.
Ella Fence’s Street Serenades evening performance took place in a public park a few metres away from Mark’s house on Friday 11 September.
Mark and his housemate Margie Strong were mindful of COVID restrictions so kept invitations exclusively local, estimating 40-50 people attended, all of whom lived within 500m of the park.
“People were thrilled and were thanking me – all I did was enter the competition!” Mark said.
“I’m so glad that I entered and was able to lift people’s spirits in some small way during what has been a really lousy year for a lot of people.”