Walk Off the Earth fans come from across the globe to remember 'Beard Guy'

— Bundled in winter jackets, tuques and a few wooly blankets, fans travelled from halfway across the world to the chilly streets of Burlington, Ont., on Sunday to say a sombre farewell to Mike Taylor.

The steely-eyed keyboardist of Walk Off the Earth, known simply as “Beard Guy,” received a grand sendoff at an outdoor acoustic tribute concert where hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the musician, alongside his friends in bands the Barenaked Ladies, Arkells and Monster Truck.

Josh Walker trekked from the small English town of Hartlepool for the event, something he decided was an essential part of the grieving process for the musician, who died on Dec. 30.

As the tribute got underway band member Sarah Blackwood broke into tears explaining that originally the concert was envisioned as a relatively small gathering for fans.

Performers included pop singer Scott Helman, who shared a story about how Taylor played a role in shooting his music video for “Machine” in Paris.

Arkells frontman Max Kerman charged through a number of songs, including a soulful rendition of “Stand By Me,” while Taylor’s vacant keyboard sat in the distance, covered in lit candles.

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