If memory serves, it was 2018 when MusicFestNews crossed paths with Funk Eye Media. Funk Eye Media had not been invented quite yet, but Chuck Smalling was shooting bazillions of photos of The Reality and then numerous other bands in the area and others who came to the Tampa Bay area to play.
Chuck Smalling and Nikki Smalling would make it a team effort creating Funk Eye Media, and Funk Eye began shooting festivals and concerts all over the place. I’m pretty sure that bazillion estimate is pretty close.
Recently, the Smalling family suffered a series of Jobian setbacks that put the family in a bind. Smalling posted a photo of all of his camera gear, offering it for sale for a price far below its worth. It was an extremely difficult decision.
The community immediately rose up in support, telling him in no uncertain terms to hand on to that equipment. As posts of support poured in, Emily Ricketts organized a GoFundMe to assist the family. Likely you know Emily as Chris Sgammato’s main squeeze and super music supporter.
Sgammato shouted loudest in his support for the Smalling family, and he upped the ante by turning his band Displace’s April 4 concert at Crowbar in Ybor City into a fundraiser. Suffice to say you could feel the love all around the room for that special show.
Emily also organized a great raffle with donations of items and services and more for a host of people from the community.
Brava, Emily! Bravo, Sgammato, Displace, Tom DeGeorge, and Crowbar! And thanks to all who came out to support this wonderful family.
Yes, Chuck shot the show! We also “borrowed” some of Emily’s pictures as well! And a couple from Michelle Laura Waxler of GoTonight.com!