With the Stephen Murray Jam fast approaching this weekend [Saturday!], we thought it would be good to get the low down from both Martin Murray [Stephens brother] and Jay Aliano [the trails keeper!] on the setup, day, evening and Stephen himself.
Date, location and set up.
JAY – Saturday 29th August. The event is held firstly at my house in Upton upon Severn with things kicking off at midday, there is a £5.00 donation on the door. Once you are in we will have a hog roast, huge raffle, bar and of course the trails to enjoy. The event then moves onto Worcester City Centre. Once in Worcester we are having a BBQ for all the riders at a pub and then on to a music venue [Marrs Bar] where there will be a massive party/gig [over 18s].
The trails are on private land, so are there any restrictions to what you can do?
JAY – As far as the trails go the fact they are on private land, and it’s my private land means we can do whatever we want.
Have you ever thought about branching out of the Aliano compound, or is it now the ‘official’ home of the UK Murray Jam?
MM – We’ve never really thought about it. As it is our local spot and the trails that Stephen grew up riding, it just made sense to do it at Jay’s. Various other trail spots have held jams for Stephen over the last 2 years which has been cool, but in terms of the Murray Jam being held anywhere else, I don’t think we’ve really considered it. We have everything we need right here. What do you think Jay?
JAY– Well, we will be having a jam every year at the trails, so that will always be the Murray Jam, but there is no reason that it couldn’t become more of a weekend festival as it pretty much is a one day festival as it is. Bigger and better next time around?
What is Stephens current condition?
MM – Right now he is still living in Riverside, California, with his kids and has John Jennings [Pro rider] living with him as his carer and Kimarie [friend] helps him out an awful lot. I mean, these guys really give up their lives to look after Stephen and his kids which is pretty amazing. In terms of recovery, it’s a really tough situation as progress is slow. Stephen hasn’t been able to do any physiotherapy for 3 weeks now due to the severity of his neck pain. He is in constant pain and we’re struggling to find a solution, which is frustrating. He’s hanging on in there though….Staying Strong!
Does the money raised from the Jam really help?
MM – Are you kidding me? The money we raised at last year’s Jam helped to pay for 6 months nursing care. Stephen has been well and truly stiffed by his insurance company. We all complain about the NHS, but believe me, it’s amazing compared to what Stephen gets in America. We have to pay for his medication, his nursing, his rehab, his equipment, his carer’s, and at the same time pay all the bills to keep a roof over his head and support his kids. This crash has stripped Stephen of his home, his marriage, his income and his freedom. Any money we can raise helps….believe me!!
Do you have a target for fund-raising?
MM – Not really. It’s pretty natural for the fund raising to slow as time passes and people gradually forget about the accident and help out others in need. The BMX community has been amazing to our family and we can’t thank them enough. Last year we raised about £10k, so if we can get near to that again this year we will be psyched!
Any new additions/exclusives at this years Jam?
JAY – A couple of good new lines in the existing jumps, and the addition of a trick set to keep the crowd happy. That’s about it.
The last round of this years Oakley Trails Tour is at the Jam this year. How did that come about, and how will it work?
MM – Well, I can remember talking to Jay and Kye about doing a King of the Trails style tour years ago, and Kye being the ‘do-er’ that he is has made it happen. I guess they are picking 5 or so of the best trail spots in the UK to take 12 of the UK’s top trails riders on a week long tour that ends up at the Jam. It will be good for those guys to end up at a big Jam and a big after party, and it’s a bonus for us to have them all there. We will shut the trails down towards the end of the day (4.30pm – 5.30pm) for these guys and have it as a bit of a spectacle to finish off the day, with just the 12 riders on the trails tour going off. Should make for some good viewing….
The Jam is infamous for having the longest queues at any trails Jam, what would you say to people in two minds to show up?
MM – I would say that’s a testament to how many people come out to support Stephen. The Jam isn’t about how many runs you can get in, it’s about supporting the cause, catching up with friends you haven’t seen for a long time, watching some awesome trail riding on some of the best trails in the UK, and being part of what is always a pretty cool atmosphere. The trails are absolutely dialled for the Jam, so the runs you will get will be worth it.
What have been the highlights for you both over the past two Jams?
MM – Just the atmosphere. Everyone is there for the same reason and its always upbeat. It has a good feel to it. As an added bonus, we spend 6 weeks beforehand re-building the trails. Every single lip, landing and berm is re-surfaced or re-built which takes so much time and effort. It’s always nice to see people enjoying the end product of what comes from working your ass off. It also means the trails are a treat for the locals for the rest of the summer.
JAY– I wouldn’t say there have been highlights for me, just amazing days, from at the trails through the day with a cool atmosphere, right the way through to the party at the end of the day.
The past two years jams have both ended with parties, what’s in store this year?
JAY – We have a gig planned again for the evening, which is being held at the Marrs Bar in Worcester . It kicks off at 8.30 where we’ll be showing footage of the weeks riding and prize giving for the Oakley National Trails Champs, then followed by my little bro’s band, Stages of Dan. The venue is booked all night so fun will be had.
JAY/MM – There is such a long list of people to thank as far as making the Jam happen goes and some we don’t even know! So we will thank everyone together, from everyone that’s helped out digging, with sponsorship, advertising, entertainment, even the people who has spread the word! Thank you to everyone!!