Jeff ‘Big Jeff’ Johns – the beloved, gig-going Bristol music fan – has been seriously injured in a fire at his home.
A statement shared with NME earlier today (June 13) reads: “Jeff Johns, known to all as Big Jeff, has been very seriously injured in a fire at his home in Bristol. He is in a specialist burns unit in Swansea in a stable condition.
“His family have asked for people to keep Jeff in their thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. His friends have set up a playlist on Spotify ‘Play a record for Big Jeff’.”
Jeff Johns is widely known as Bristol’s most frequent gig-goer, having attended live shows every night of the week at venues across the city before the UK lockdown was implemented back in March 2020. He is renowned for being a regular and enthusiastic attendee at thousands of shows around the region, and the UK.
Speaking to NME earlier this year during Independent Venue Week, Johns described gig spaces as “basically my churches”.
“They’ve been safe spaces for me for years,” he said. “You see communities you’ll never meet anywhere else. It’s not just the artists, they develop people who are going to go into running their own venues or record labels, music journalists, or people who go into stage tech and sound engineering.”
He continued: “You go somewhere like The Louisiana in Bristol or the Hebden Bridge Trades Club or The Boileroom in Guildford and you’ll meet an entire community.”
Last year, Johns launched his first ever art exhibition. Welcome To My World opened on February 3, featuring 34 paintings of the artists who have proved to be an inspiration, including folk singer Gaelynn Lea Tressler and the Bristol trumpeter Pete Judge.
Exhibition curator Lee Dodds said: “We have been working with Jeff for a couple of years now, after discovering his brilliant talent after he posted a photo of Raggs on Facebook. His paintings are uplifting and will definitely be popular with music fans and art collectors in Bristol and beyond.”