THE legacy of a band who were on the cusp of greatness along with their manager will be celebrated at the college where they honed their musical talents.

To mark the second anniversary of their tragic deaths, loved ones will gather at Priestley College on Tuesday to remember the five friends from Warrington.

Viola Beach members Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe, River Reeves and Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry died following a car crash in Sweden while on their way home from the band’s first international gig on February 13, 2016.

The tragedy sent shockwaves across the town and the music industry, but their loved ones rallied together to ensure they would not be forgotten.

Family and friends will join students and staff at the Wicked Café at the college on Loushers Lane for a musical celebration from 2pm to 4pm in memory of Viola Beach and 32-year-old Craig.

The college is considering a consultation on renaming the Wicked Café ‘The Viola Beach Cafe’ in honour of the boys.

There is also a proposal to construct a Viola Beach Introducing Stage in the café as a permanent reminder to the young acts following in their footsteps.

While it would be a bittersweet moment for the families, Ben Dunne, River Reeves’ dad, said it was remarkable to see the legacy the five friends have left behind.

He said: “The celebration at the café will be a fitting tribute to the Viola Beach lads and Craig.

“Whether together or apart they would have walked through the café while studying at the college.

“It is remarkable to see the legacy they have left behind and how their memory lives on.”

The outpouring of support in the wake of their deaths helped to raise almost £30,000 after a memorial fund was launched in partnership with the council shortly after the devastating crash.

From charity cycles to gruelling marathons, the town turned out in force raising thousands of pounds in the process. 

The families are hoping to reveal their plans for a fitting tribute later this year.

To commemorate the second anniversary there will be an opportunity to run five miles or 5k for the ‘Viola Beach 5’. 

In return for a small donation runners will receive a medal designed for the occasion. 

All money raised with help to fund the River Reeves Foundation which was set up by the musician’s family to inspire youngsters to follow their dreams and provide financial relief with grants and bursaries.

For more information email Sharon Dunne on or visit riverreevesfounda