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Press release

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

Hundreds of amps arrive at charity for world record attempt

Hundreds of amps arrive at charity for world record attempt

A world-renowned guitar amp company based in Northampton has delivered over a hundred Blackstar Fly 3 micro amps to the Brain Tumour Research charity in Milton Keynes ahead of a world record attempt.

Blackstar Amplification, based at Moulton Park, has partnered with charity supporter and organiser, Dave Pile, to sponsor The Great Guitar Challenge. The event, which will take place on 22nd July at the Ealing Blues Festival, aims to break the Guinness World Record for the largest electric guitar ensemble and raise money to help fund vital research into and raise awareness of brain tumours. To break the record, Dave requires 450 guitarists to join him on the day and play ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie.

Joel Richardson, Head of Marketing at Blackstar, said: “When we heard about the world record attempt, we instantly wanted to be involved; 450 electric guitarists playing Heroes en masse is going to be incredible and as it’s also for a great cause, we’re determined to help make it happen.

“Every guitarist who participates will receive one of our new Fly 3 micro amps which is a brilliant marketing opportunity for us.”

Dave said: “I’m so grateful to the team at Blackstar for sponsoring this event. Without their support it wouldn’t be possible, and their industry contacts and expertise have been invaluable.”

Dave, a life-long guitar enthusiast and carpenter, lost his mother, June Pile, to a brain tumour. June died in March 2013 following a short and gruelling battle with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive type of tumour. Despite surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she died less than six months after her diagnosis.

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Dave’s world record attempt is going to be spectacular and I hope it will raise awareness of how underfunded research into the disease is. We are extremely grateful to Dave and Blackstar for fundraising and wish everyone involved the best of luck for the world record attempt.”

Guitarists can register for the event via Eventbrite; the ticket price includes a donation to Brain Tumour Research and entitles participants to a new Blackstar Fly 3 micro amp, a t-shirt to mark the event and a free day’s entry to the Ealing Blues Festival.

Great Guitar Challenge Video:

Great Guitar Challenge Website:

For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or


Notes to Editors

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.

We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.

We welcome recent funding announcements for research into brain tumours from the UK Government and Cancer Research UK – £65 million pledged over the next five years. However, this potential funding of £13 million a year comes with a catch – money will only be granted to quality research proposals and, due to the historic lack of investment, there may not be enough of these applications that qualify for grants from this pot.

We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the basic research groundwork needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.

The Brain Tumour Research charity is a powerful campaigning organisation and represents the voice of the brain tumour community across the UK. We helped establish and provide the ongoing Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours (APPGBT). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer in the development strategy for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours
  • In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia
  • Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website. We can also provide case studies and research expertise for the media.