Thanet folk rock group loses entire performance gear collection in Broadstairs fire

The band lost all their performance equipment in the fire

Members of a Thanet folk rock band have lost their entire performance gear collection after a fire set in a wheelie bin spread to the Broadstairs property it was being stored in.

Thousands Army – made up of Stuart Jones on Rhythm Guitar/Vocals, Stefan White on Violin, Greg Bayliss on Banjo and Bass player Kevin O’Shea – are now fundraising to try and replace the equipment that has taken them some 16 years to collect.

The fire took place in Fairfield Road on Sunday (June 2) at 2.53am. It started in a wheelie bin and then spread to the building.

Kent fire crews and police were called to the scene. It is thought the fire was started deliberately.

The equipment that went up in flames included two PA systems with fold back speakers, an analogue Equalizer unit, a small mixer used for live setup in the violin, a bass amp and cab, two drumkits, a six-string bass guitar, an Ibanez electric guitar, an epiphone Les Paul electric guitar, three live performance microphones, an entire rack of guitar effects pedals, a djembe, a cajon and leads and adaptors that make the equipment operational.

Band singer Stuart has now launched a gofundme appeal with a £2,000 target in a bid to try and replace some of the lost items.

He said: “A wheelie bin outside our practice room was set alight by persons unknown. Sadly, the building caught and our entire performance gear was engulfed in flames. The devastation represents 16 years of collective skimping and saving, bargaining and borrowing by all members of our extended folk family to acquire this equipment and we are truly gutted.

“Luckily, due to us having played a show very recently, and our inseparable love for our tools of trade, our primary instruments, guitar, violin, banjo and bass have all survived, but the destruction and loss to our collective outfit has been immense. It has been heart-wrenching  as we wrestle with the magnitude of this blow.

“We have decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to allow those who wish to do so to donate what they can or choose to in a formal and organised way. The outpouring of warmth and concern we have received these last couple days has been truly awesome to experience and we are beyond grateful for the offers of assistance we have received. Whether it be through lending us equipment for shows, even donating it entirely, wanting to contribute financially to a budget to rebuild, organising fundraiser events or simply wishing us good luck and encouragement to continue, it has all been so overwhelming and so very greatly appreciated.

“Of course it was not just equipment that went up in flames but the place where some of us lived.  Thankfully, no one was hurt in the event.”

The band is also now planning a fundraising event.

To donate find the gofundme page here


  1. Surely they would have had all this equipment covered under an extension to their household insurance ?

    Surely they would not be so foolish as to not have it insured ?

    Oops – sorry – I forgot – nobody bothers with insurance – they just rely on crowd-funding to recompense them for life’s little disasters . . .

    If your house burns down or if you fall ill whilst on holiday abroad – crowd-funding will come to your rescue !

    • They were acting as property guardians (live in security) which means that would have been impossible. Also, no one’s asking you to give anything…

  2. What are property guardians and why does that make it impossible for the guardians or the owners to have insurance?

    • Hmmm . . . property guardians – that’s an interesting use of words.

      Clearly not guarding the property well enough !

      But as you say – a property guardian would be insured to provide that professional service.

  3. Not everyone can afford to have ‘household insurance’, John.

    Since becoming disabled I have been living in severely reduced circumstances and, with the continued ‘cuts’ & ‘welfare reforms’, ‘austerity’ etc., that have been introduced by this government, each year gets tougher & poverty hits harder. As a result I can no longer afford my house insurance and live in fear of what would happen if disaster or fire were to hit me. House insurance is a luxury when the stark choice is ‘heat or eat’ and sometimes not even that.

    If it wasn’t for my local Gurdwara which gives me free food whenever I visit them and/or food donations by friends and well wishers (often their out of date or left over food, us beggars can’t be choosers) thankfully I am not starving, but many are, so please, be kind, be considerate, be thankful if you are one of the lucky ones who can still afford household insurance and please, if you can’t support those who can’t afford this luxury, which you take for granted and expect that everyone else can too, at least please do not attack them for their having to get by in reduced circumstances, whatever the reasons for that may be. Thank you.

    I leave you with one of my favourite songs. I hope you enjoy it:

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