The Districts’ van, equipment stolen

By on July 1, 2014
The Districts (left to right) Rob Grote, guitar, vocals; Mark Larson, guitar; Connor Jacobus, bass; and Braden Lawrence, percussion, recently had their van and equipment stolen while touring in the Midwest. (Photo courtesy of sos-music.co.uk)

The Districts (left to right) Rob Grote, guitar, vocals; Mark Larson, guitar; Connor Jacobus, bass; and Braden Lawrence, percussion, recently had their van and equipment stolen while touring in the Midwest. (Photo courtesy of sos-music.co.uk)

The Districts, the band of Warwick grads who recently toured the Midwest, are enjoying the success that came from their spring tour of the U.K.

Sadly, on June 7, the band suffered a devastating blow. Their van, loaded with all their equipment, as well as some cash from a previous gig, was stolen while parked outside the City Museum in St. Louis, Miss.

The announcement elicited an immediate outpouring of support from fans, especially after the band posted photos of themselves riding a Greyhound bus to Indianapolis to continue on with their tour, which they performed using equipment on loan from other bands.

“Great job on borrowed gear last night in Indy!” commented a Facebook fan Paul Pearman of Springfield, Ill. “Showed a lot of class playing that gig with what happened in St. Louis.”

With the help of grateful fans, the band was chauffeured from city to city and the generous effort helped the band wrap up their Midwest run. Thankfully, the tail end of June allowed The Districts gigs closer to home.

While suffering from their setback, the band kept spirits up by taking part in a June 20 show for the Make the World Better Foundation to benefit Ralph Brooks Revitalization Project &tstr; a fund-raising effort to increase safety measures at a Philadelphia park where shooting deaths occur with frightening regularity. The concert was organized by Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin, a self-proclaimed fan of The Districts’ indie style.

On June 27, the van was recovered by St. Louis police. Not surprisingly, all the band’s equipment was gone and the vehicle was in need of repairs.

The Districts have set up a fund to replace their missing equipment and fund the repairs to the van. Visit indiegogo.com/projects/want-to-help-us-get-our-gear-back–2 to help the band out. They are presently one-third of the way to their goal of raising $6,000.

In the meantime, they’ll be using old equipment, borrowed amps and getting from gig to gig in an old Buick LeSabre.

Among the band’s upcoming shows are: July 9 and 10 &tstr; Ottawa Blues Fest, Ottawa, Canada; July 27 &tstr; Xponential Music Festival at Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J.; Aug. 2 &tstr; Lollapalooza Festival, Chicago, Ill.; and Aug. 17 &tstr; Portland MusicfestNW, Portland, Ore.

In September, the band will return to St. Louis.

“They’re handling it beautifully,” said the mother of one of the band members, “even though they lost everything but the clothes on their backs. There’s no ‘woe is me’ going on. They’re just taking it one gig at a time.”

Michael Christopher of Indianapolis, in a supportive Facebook post, summed up what most of The Districts’ fans are thinking right now: “You can steal the tools, but never the magic.”

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4452.

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