Burgess Hill DJ raises more than £25,000 for charity in marathon 40-hour set
A DJ from Burgess Hill has raised more than £25,000 for Mind mental health charity with a 40-hour set broadcast from his kitchen.
Graham Meeres, 39, started the 40FOR40 challenge at 8pm on Friday (March 19) and played music non-stop until 12pm on Sunday (March 21).
The event, named for Graham’s 40th birthday in June this year, was livestreamed on www.playdj.tv.
“It was incredible,” said Graham, who lives in Wyvern Way with his wife Victoria and their two daughters.
“The highs were incredibly high, the lows were incredibly low and the support was unbelievable,” he said, thanking everyone for their encouraging messages during the stream.
“The energy from the viewers is absolutely what helped push me through some really hard walls,” Graham added.
Graham’s set included party hits from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and ‘noughties’, as well as UK garage anthems, hip hop, dubstep, trance anthems and tunes from many other musical genres.
In total, more than 7,000 viewers tuned in, with 35 people watching at 3am on the Saturday and 800 people watching in the final hour.
Graham said he felt ‘absolutely elated but completely broken and shattered’ once he’d finished, but he was delighted to enjoy a curry takeaway, which someone had donated to him the evening before.
“Then I quickly jumped in the hot tub with a glass of bubbles to celebrate,” he added.
The 40-hour set comes after Graham’s 24-hour stream in May last year, which raised almost £20,00 for NHS Charities Together.
Graham said he chose to raise funds for Mind this time because of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has had on people’s mental health.
“I think now more than ever charities like Mind need the public’s support to keep doing the amazing work that they’re doing,” he said.
Graham thanked his wife for her support during the live stream and for reminding him to put on longer songs so he could have a shower and brush his teeth.
“Without her support I definitely wouldn’t have lasted the distance,” he said.
Graham also thanked the Saturday Kitchen Ravers group on Facebook for supporting him and the charities he has been fundraising for.
Since the start of the pandemic Graham estimates that his charity events have raised about £60,000 total for various causes.
Graham has lived in Burgess Hill for four years and he has been a DJ for 20 years, having started during a ‘lads holiday’ to Zante, Greece, in 2001.
Now a national development manager for BMW group, Graham still performs as a DJ part time.
He started live-streaming last March before the first UK lockdown, having been inspired by a Facebook video of an Italian DJ performing on his balcony.
After being furloughed from April to June he started performing weekly shows on Facebook Live.
Now back at work, Graham’s streams usually take place twice a month and he hopes to continue fundraising in the future.
Find out more about Graham’s livestreams by searching for DJ Graham Meeres on Facebook.
People can still donate to Graham through the 40FOR40 Just Giving page.