How to donate
The Marksmen Quartet of Murrayville is in need of donations after its equipment was stolen while the group was on the road in South Carolina. Send check or cash to Adams and Anderson LLC, P.O. Box 98, Dahlonega, GA 30533 or call Norman Adams at 706-265-0655.
The show must go on.
That's what a Murrayville bluegrass band did last weekend when all its equipment was stolen just hours before a scheduled concert.
The Marksmen Quartet was headed to Myrtle Beach, S.C., Friday for a bluegrass festival when the group stopped for the night at a Florence, S.C., hotel. When the band awoke the next morning, its white Ford van and white Country Boy trailer were gone.
"It was like, ‘Hey, where's the van?'" band member Mark Wheeler said. "The first thing I thought was they towed our van because we were parked in three parking spaces."
After asking hotel management, the band determined the van and trailer containing more than $20,000 worth of equipment was stolen.
The hotel didn't have any security cameras in the location the van was parked, Wheeler said.
"I'm sure (the thieves) thought they were getting a work van with a bunch of tools in the trailer that they could turn real fast," Wheeler said.
After calling police, the band contacted its promoter, Norman Adams from Dahlonega-based Adams and Anderson.
With a big show approaching, Adams knew the band needed to get to Myrtle Beach and find replacement instruments.
"I was at a loss for words because we never had anything like that happen before," Adams said.
All five band members rented a car and completed the drive to the show's venue. When they arrived, other bands were willing to let them borrow equipment.
Concert organizers announced the band's misfortunes and set up a donation box. Adams said festivalgoers tossed nearly $4,500 on stage during the concert.
For now, the band will continue to perform using borrowed instruments until it can buy new equipment or police locate the stolen items.
"We're going to make it," Wheeler said. "People have been good to us through all this."
The stolen van was found in Berkeley County, but the trailer with all the equipment is still missing. Inside were three guitars, a banjo, an upright bass, CDs, DVDs, costumes and a one-of-a-kind dobro.
"There's not another one in the world," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he thinks it would be difficult to sell the instruments without alerting authorities because of their rarity.
He said the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office arrested two suspects in the case, but they haven't made any leads as to the trailer's location.
Donations to help the band replace its stolen equipment can be mailed to Adams and Anderson LLC at P.O. Box 98, Dahlonega, GA 30555.
If anyone has information on the incident, they can contact the Florence Police Department at 843-676-8800 or the South Carolina Crime Stoppers hotline at 888-CRIME-SC.