Tony Laurenson, founder and CEO of global catering group Global Infusion Group (GIG) and its well-known subsidiary Eat to the Beat, passed away last Tuesday (19 January).
Laurenson spent over four decades in the catering industry and cultural catering company Eat to the Beat (founded in 1983) became a forerunner in the business.
The company has provided catering for tours, festivals, TV and film – with clients including Alicia Keys, Iron Maiden, Coldplay, Download, V Festival – and later became the foundation of GIG (founded in 1981 by Laurenson), which also operates e2b and Bonnie May Food & Events.
“TONY WAS SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY AND WAS ‘EVERYBODY’S MATE’… YOU’D OFTEN SEE HIM ROLLING HIS SLEEVES UP TO HELP”
The news of Laurenson’s death was announced on the GIG Facebook page: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Tony Laurenson, our founder, and CEO passed away, at home, suddenly yesterday (19th January 2021). We are all in complete shock. Our thoughts are with Bonnie, Matt, Will, Tom and Harriet and all of Tony’s family.”
Andy Hudson, who worked with Laurenson in the early days of e2b, wrote: “This sparkling man was an asset to all of us who knew him. Professionally, he and his team were the ultimate caterers – to the stars and equally to the road and technical crew that kept the show on the road. His bonhomie and reliability and much of his homely wisdom will be engrained in me for the remainder of my life.”
“TONY WAS ONE OF THE TRUE CHARACTERS OF THE TOURING INDUSTRY WITH HIS BIG SMILE AND LOVE OF A GOOD TIME”
Brian McCarthy, club president of Chesham United FC, where Laurenson once held the role of hospitality director, wrote: “I was fortunate enough to work with Tony when he was a director of the club. He brought so many new ideas to the table and gave myself and the board energy and belief that we can broaden the appeal of the club within our community.
“Tony understood the role that football can play in people’s lives and was inspirational in helping us to make new contacts and develop new ideas that are still key to the way the club operates today. Tony will be sorely missed, but his memory will live long with those that had the pleasure of knowing him.“
Musician Stuart Uren paid tribute: “So sad to hear about the passing of Tony Laurenson! A lovely, kind and ever-cheerful chap, I was fortunate to work and travel with on various tours in the 80s. . . Full breakfast please Tone.”
Ex-business partner, Neil Armishaw, wrote: “Tony was a one of a kind who many will have seen at events, festivals etc catering backstage with his company, Eat to the Beat. Tony was so passionate about the industry and was ‘everybody’s mate’… you’d often see him rolling his sleeves up and jumping in to help.”
Australia-based roadie, Paul Streaky Hawkes, says: “Tony was one of the true characters of the touring industry with his big smile and love of a good time. He and his legion of caterers kept us well fed on many tours through Europe over the last 30 odd years… he will be sadly missed by many.”
Laurenson is survived by Bonnie, Matt, Will, Tom and Harriet.
They ask for donations (“not carnations”) to be made to Stagehand, the PSA’s benevolent fund, in his name: click here for the JustGiving page, which has raised over £10,000 at press time.
(This article was published in IQ Magazine on 25 January, 2021. Click here to read.)