Harlesden couple launch mobile musical funerals during Covid
- Credit: Harmony
A married Harlesden couple have been conducting funeral send-offs from a musical van for bereaved families during lockdown.
Andrew and Rhea Campbell have created Harmony “The Musical Send Off”, a tailored musical entertainment service for those unable to hold a proper burial.
From April 12, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people.
The capacity for commemorative events following a person’s death, such as the scattering of ashes or a wake, has increased to 15 people.
“I play music just to keep everybody uplifted at funerals," said DJ Andrew.
You may also want to watch:
Andrew was originally approached about doing a funeral when people saw his van and heard the music.
Requests have increased and during lockdown months pastors occasionally came to the cemetery to hold a service, as church services were not permitted.
- 1 Man arrested following shooting in Kingsbury
- 2 Teen charged with killing 21-year-old man in Brent Cross
- 3 London elections 2021 live: Latest Brent results as they come in
- 4 Wembley attacker draws large knife after being chased by victims
- 5 Stop and search order placed on parts of Brent due to 'gang tensions'
- 6 Two men charged after police find 'gun, cash and drugs' in Brent Cross flat
- 7 Police officer suffers leg injury after BMW stopped during 'routine patrol'
- 8 Travellers eviction from Dollis Hill road highlights needs for sites
- 9 Man, 40, stabbed to death in Willesden
- 10 Man appears in court charged with the murder of Michael Fadayomi in Willesden
“Everyone was mesmerised by the van and it got shared by word of mouth,” said Andrew, who makes playlists and takes families' requests for genre, such as gospel, reggae or African-Caribbean songs.
“We play music that makes people remember the person that has passed away,” added Andrew.
As part of the service Andrew plays voice messages from overseas families on his laptop and also provides a microphone and drums.
His wife Rhea, a photographer, added: “We’ve only started this service due to Covid as we have only been able to have a maximum of 30 people present at funerals.
“Obviously people are upset that they can’t have many family members at the funerals, so we’ve brought something outdoor with respect for everything else around us and within the social distancing regulations.”
Prices start at around £150. They have also driven out of borough and have travelled up to Nottingham and Birmingham.
“It has been really successful,” said Rhea. "We’ve just got a lot of good feedback from family members and customers because everyone is worried about giving the perfect send-off.
“We basically built a business off the back of Covid within regulations, and it is affordable.
“We hope to actually turn it into a business once the restrictions are lifted and still proceed to do what we are doing,” said Rhea.