The Drunken Monkey Rock Festival, hatched by a clutch of volunteers in memory of their pal, has stumped up £31,000 for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in just five years.

“I’m so proud of what has been achieved in Ian’s name. He would have also been thrilled that it’s gifting big opportunities to young people,” says Ann Williams, who lost her music-loving son Ian Downton ten years ago, after a car accident.

“I like to think he smiles down on all those people having such a great time for such a marvellous cause.”

Ian and best friend Phil Peel had already been raising money for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) with friendly football matches before the accident near Malvern.

When Ian, who ran his antique restoration and floor stripping business in Powick, died at 44, Phil and a group of friends arranged an all day music fest in his memory at Upton’s Drum and Monkey pub. Now on a 10.5 acre site, the event is on music lovers’ must list with annual donations to the charity rocketing to nearly £10,000 last year.

The pain was still too raw for Mrs Williams, who lives in Upton with Ian's step dad John, to go to the early festivals. But the mum of four, who has ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren, is a veteran gigger now.

Mr Williams, who will be taking a bow on stage with the rest of the committee, goes to every single meeting and helps set up, and take down, the festival.

Mrs Williams spends every single Sunday at Malvern’s British Camp, handing out festival leaflets to the bikers who gather there. Ian loved his Triumph Thunderbird.

Mrs Williams said: “It’s just my little bit to add to the amazing work that Phil and all of the volunteers do,”

“Ian always had a big grin on his face and he would have loved the festival atmosphere... and seeing Cass make his debut.”

The festival which takes place from August 2-4 has also become a showcase for emerging young talent, with local schoolboy Cassius Croney making his festival debut this year.

Welland 12-year-old guitarist Cass opens the Upton-upon-Severn Saturday fun on the Tower Stage.

He will be sharing the spotlight with nearly 50 bands on two stages, including Ian Downton Stage headliners Worcestershire’s 3Sixty and Essex's Led Zeppelin tribute CODA.

Tower Stage boss, and Killers’ tribute Sam’s Town lead, Chris Harvey, who runs Pershore’s Tower Studios, offered Cass his big break after spotting his flair at last year’s festival. Cass was there with parents Nadine and Graham and his SG Epiphone electric guitar that he played at every opportunity.