Say it ‘Loud’, Stewart receives a BEM
Stewart Parsons from Palnackie has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours list for services to the music and library sectors.
The 55-year-old is director of Get it Loud in Libraries (GILIL), an organisation he set up as a small project at Lancaster Library 15 years ago, which has since spread to across the country.
GILIL is a unique award-winning project designed to give people who love music the chance to see top-notch artists in their local library.
Over the years the GILIL alumni has grown, showcasing the best of emerging talent alongside some household names including Florence + The Machine, Ellie Goulding and Adele.
It has also developed a partnership with the Girls Against campaign to create safe spaces for girls and young women at gigs. GILIL also promotes the closure of the gender gap in the music industry.
Stewart was previously recognised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a library innovator, and in 2019 was awarded the National Lottery Local Legend Award.
Stewart said: “Growing up, my two great loves were the library and pop music, so being recognised with this great honour for combining both to make a social and cultural difference is a humbling joy.
"Thanks to everyone: library leaders, funders, artists, live booking agents, friends and family who have supported what was once considered a 'mad idea'.
"Connecting communities, often in areas without an all ages venue, to their local library through great live rock and pop music has been the best adventure. This is for you.”