Christopher Anthony John Martin, the frontman of the band which needs no introductions around here, was born 37 years ago within the historical city of Exeter, located in Devon, South West England. Chris, being the humble guy he is, has never forgotten his roots and this was very much evident when he backed the Exeter v Brazil theater play before the World Cup this year and in 2009, where Coldplay made a triumphant return to Chris' hometown for a close quarters Christmas show. In light of this, there is one inspired fan who is determined for Chris Martin to receive the highest honour from his hometown, 'the freedom of Exeter' for everything he has achieved in music and his great charity work over the years. We will take a look at the campaign that has created a large online buzz and the man the behind all!
The story, as we know it, started at the end of July 2014, after a breathtaking few days in the Royal Albert Hall at the start of that month, which was a source of inspiration for many fans who were lucky enough to get tickets for the London show. One idea began after the show which was to give the Coldplay frontman the recognition he deserves from his hometown which would be the freedom of Exeter award. The campaign was founded by Coldplayer, Mike Vinnicombe and immediately gained a following of at least 100 people on Facebook. Just a couple of days into the push, Chris Martin, during an interview with Kevin and Bean in the US, was advised of the new campaign for him to which he commented, "it sounds great!". The influential U2 frontman, Bono was namedropped by Chris as the Irish singer previously told the benefits of such an award which include the ability to move sheep across public land and the right to park anywhere! An e-petition was lodged on the Exeter council website which ended in August and had received a few hundred Coldplay fan signatures.
Since then, the campaign has moved forward and Mike, who is the sole admin of the campaign, assisted by a team of promoters across the social networks, has attracted media attention from various newspapers and local websites reporting on the rising campaign. The success of the movement so far is evident with the amount of followers on the social media pages, attracting over 2,500 followers across networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The main aim is to influence to Exeter council who can decide whether the Devon-shire born singer receives the important award, or not. Mike has been speaking to the representatives of the council and has been working very hard to get the ball moving. The council agreed to stage a meeting for the potential award to Chris Martin for October which was a landmark for the campaign. This has since been moved forward to December while 'things are still being discussed' as Mike assures us of the positive outlook!
The exclusive interview!
As the campaign is in full swing, with a positive vibe and hopefully bringing home the good news come December, its the perfect time to interview Mike Vinnicombe, the founder of the marvelous campaign which aims to give Chris Martin one of the most prestigious and personal awards he could receive!
My name is Marc, also known as Sparky, the site owner and article writer at ColdplayingHQ and I will be exclusively interviewing the founder of the Chris Martin for freedom of Exeter campaign, Mike Vinnicombe. Through his hard work and dedication, along with his team of helpers, the campaign has amassed a following of over 2,500 Coldplay fans since the end of July!
Marc : Hi Mike, thanks for taking out the time to chat with Coldplaying
Mike : Thanks Marc, it's an honour to be interviewed by Coldplay's number one fan site.
Marc : How did the idea for the campaign come to mind?
Mike : I first thought of starting a campaign to get Chris honoured by his home city after the Exeter homecoming gig in 2009, but due to work commitments and two young boys to raise I didn't have the time needed to devote to organising a campaign at that time. 5 years later, and after watching the band at The Royal Albert Hall I decided now was time.
Marc : Did you expect the campaign to take off so quickly?
Mike : I was overwhelmed with how quickly it all took off! The first couple days were amazing with so many fans adding their support on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr which then led to emails asking for interviews with the local press.
Marc : What was your reaction to Chris Martin's acknowledgement during the radio interview?
Mike : When you guys sent me the link from the radio interview with Chris I remember I was in bed! After I listened to it I think for around 10 minutes I was in shock! Then I didn't sleep at all! I think the interview was around 2 weeks after I started the campaign which just goes to show how fast things develop on the Internet, amazing!
Marc : So, 2,500 followers across the social networks in under 2 months, that's a number that isn't too far off from what we gain in such period with regular exposure. As you know, its much much harder for new/small pages to attract supporters. What is your secret?!
Mike : The secret to the success so far? Non stop campaigning! Regular posting of news regarding the campaign, going through the various social networking sites and 'friending' Coldplay fans from across the world and spreading the story of what the campaign is trying to achieve. Regular posting of Coldplay videos and stories and also some light hearted 'Chris' cartoons I've made up myself, just to keep the support growing.
Marc : How large is your team of dedicated helpers? We have noticed great support from @Coldplay_kid / Alycia in particular, who is constantly promoting the campaign with such enthusiasm!
Mike : How many people are in my support team?? It's just me! I've been running the campaign by myself but have had amazing support from all the supporters of the campaign but I have to give a special mention to Alycia, she has been a great help. She was there from day one and was the first person to support the campaign and is always on hand if there are any Coldplay facts I need help with. I think she must be Coldplays number 1 fan! Also, you guys have been amazing too so thanks for all your support.
Marc : Aside from Chris Martin's recognition, what has been your favourite moment of the campaign so far?
My favourite moment of the campaign so far? This is something that I wish I could share with you but let's just say, someone very important in America emailed me less than a week ago!
Marc : Tell us your Coldplay story! When did you become a massive fan and what's your favourite Coldplay album to date?
Mike : My love of Coldplay started at the beginning of their career, I think Shiver was the first song I heard them sing then obviously Yellow, Don't Panic and Trouble. Also, being an Exeter lad (like Chris) and to have someone from my hometown releasing some amazing music was brilliant. At that time, pop stars came from London or Manchester not sleepy Devon!! My favourite album? I love them all but if I have to choose one then it has to be A Rush Of Blood To The Head, this album made them worldwide stars!
Marc : If Chris Martin received the freedom of Exeter award, (which we all wish for!) what message would you give to Chris?
Mike : My message to Chris would be, your music has inspired not only me but millions of people around the world.
Exeter is really proud to have you representing the city. On behalf of all the supporters of the campaign we hope that you get the recognition that you fully deserve with The Freedom Of Exeter honour
Thanks for the chat Mike, best of luck for the meeting in December and we all hope to hear the great news!
Mike : Thankyou Marc and everyone at Coldplaying for your continued and amazing support. I hope to have an early 'Christmas present' for you all after I've attended the important meeting in December.
Please continue your great support!
Thanks to the viewers and posters on Coldplaying who have supported the Chris Martin campaign so far. Please share this article on the social network of your choice using the share buttons below. Please like the campaign on Facebook and follow on Twitter for more updates from Mike.
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