Joe Meek was born in Newent and his house is marked with a blue plaque in the Market Square. An exhibition is on show in the Market House. He was, and still is, considered to have been one of the world’s foremost experts in sound recording technology. His talent encompassed not just the pioneering work on electronic sound effects but the foundation of the modern multi-track recording studio. Sound compression, reverb, echo and sampling where introduced by Joe over a string of 60s hits, which are still played regularly on the radio today. ‘Johnny Remember Me’, the Honeycomb’s hit ‘Have I the Right’,and probably the most famous, the Tornados ‘Telstar’ all feature the mastery that was Joe’s making at his London Studio at 304 Holloway Road. The latter was a worldwide smash hit, taking the USA by storm it featured a unique synthesized sound that would only become commonplace 20 years later in the 1980s. Joe’s work was unrivalled and despite his sometimes difficult artistic temperament his talent was admired and in demand for many years .However, bitter legal disputes in the emerging cash-rich pop music industry saw Joe loosing copyright and financial control of his unique sounds and a furious row with his landlord ended when he took her life as well as his own. Nothing can take away the undisputed talent of the Newent lad, who’s fascination with sound started by pulling apart TVs and radios in his own back room to become one of the leading lights of the 60s music scene.
The 2007 Joe Meek festival featured music performances by the Tornados, talks, films, an exhibition and workshops.
In 2008 there was a concert featuring John Leyton and The Rapiers with The Relixz on Saturday 15th November in Newent Community School Main Hall from 7pm til late and a good time was had by all that attended.
In 2009 there was a concert with Mike Berry & The Outlaws, which also featuring Solent City Sound DJ plus Robb Shenton. There was a showing of “Telstar”, the recently released film of Joe Meek’s life on Friday night. 60′s music was played on the Saturday under the Market House with a display of Joe Meek memorabilia in the Market House and Classic Cars parked in the street.
In 2010 John Leyton played. He was supported by The Flames and Solent City Sound DJ with a fully Licenced Bar and people dressed to impress in their 50′s and 60′s Gear. There was Classic Cars and Bikes throughout the Town. A Joe Meek Documentary was shown in the Memorial Hall.
In 2011, Mike Berry and The Saints played.
There was no concert in 2012.
The Tornados played in 2013 and were supported by The Disciples. Strawberry Hill Dancers got the dancing started.
In 2014, The Honeycombs played on Friday night and “The RAPIERS” [Shadows Tribute Band] and “The DISCIPLES” played . ”Them 2″ played.
2017 - February 3rd – A 50th anniversary charity event to mark 50 years (to the day) since Joe died. The event was held in Waltham Cross, Herts and many of Joe’s former artists were in attendance and in total, 220 people attended. The charity chosen was the one that Joe was patron of in Newent. The Dolphin Club received £2.230 from monies raised on ticket sales, raffle and donation buckets on the night. Joe’s niece Sandra was also in attendance and the event was a huge success, bringing the funds back home to Joe’s home town.