GuilFest

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Coordinates: 51°14′42″N 0°33′59″W / 51.24500°N 0.56639°W / 51.24500; -0.56639

GuilFest
Location(s) Guildford, England
Years active 1992 - 2014
Founded by Tony Scott
Date(s) Weekend in July (3 days)
Genre Rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock, Dance, World music, Punk rock, Reggae, Folk music.
Website www.guilfest.co.uk

GuilFest, formerly the Guildford Festival of Folk and Blues was a music festival held in Stoke Park, Guildford, England each July. The festival, like the larger Glastonbury Festival, features a range of genres including rock, folk, blues, and in recent years pop. In 2006 GuilFest was awarded the title of "Best Family Festival" in the UK Festival awards.[1]

Previous GuilFests[edit]

The event was started in 1992 by Tony Scott, a Guildford businessman who is a keen festival-goer. From 1992 to 1994 it was a one-day event. In 1995 it became a two-day event with onsite camping and was moved to nearby Loseley Park. GuilFest returned to Stoke Park in 1996 and became a three-day festival in 1997 with headliners Jethro Tull.

1998 acts included Space, Shed Seven and The Lightning Seeds, The Levellers.

1999 acts included James, The Saw Doctors and Jools Holland & His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

2000 was Van Morrison, Joan Armatrading, David Gray, Culture Club, Motörhead and Rolf Harris.

2001 included Pulp, James, Reef, Dreadzone, Lonnie Donegan and Dead Men Walking.

2002 acts included Jools Holland, Fun Lovin' Criminals and The Pretenders .

In 2003, the main acts were Madness, Alice Cooper, The Darkness and Atomic Kitten.

In 2004 the main acts were Katie Melua, Simple Minds, Blondie and UB40.

The 2005 event, at that point the biggest in the event's history, featured 6 music stages along with a comedy tent. The headline acts were The Pogues, Paul Weller, and Status Quo, other acts included The Storys.

The 2006 event was headlined by Embrace, a-ha and Billy Idol, and featured Nizlopi, The Wonder Stuff, The Lightning Seeds, The Stranglers, Gary Numan and The Storys. GuilFest won the Best Family Festival Award for 2006.[1]

The 2007 event was held again at Stoke Park on the 13th, 14th, and 15 July 2007 and the BBC Radio 2 main stage was headlined by Supergrass, Squeeze and Madness. The Magic Numbers played before Madness on the Sunday.[2] The second stage (sponsored by Ents24) featured Richard Thompson, The Saw Doctors, and Uriah Heep as the headliners.[3]

The 2008 event was sponsored by the University of Surrey and headlined by The Levellers, Blondie and The Australian Pink Floyd Show. Fightstar, The Ghost Of A Thousand and The Blackout played the Rock Sound sponsored Rock Cave in 2008 as well.

2009 performers included: Motörhead, Goldie Lookin Chain, You Me At Six, Nouvelle Vague, Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Joe Bonamassa, Happy Mondays, The Wailers, The Charlatans, Athlete, Toploader, Will Young, Eureka Machines, DJ Yoda, Rusko, The Love Band, The Fins and Andrew Morris (Singer Songwriter).

2010's lineup included Status Quo, N-Dubz, Hawkwind, The Blockheads, Orbital, The Human League, Just Jack, Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status, The Blackout, Rock Choir and Hadouken!, among others.

Insolvency[edit]

After 21 years, Guilfest shut down.[4][5] Scotty Events Ltd, the company that ran the festival, said matters were in the hands of an insolvency practitioner. Tony Scott, from Scotty Events, said the company had been left with debts of about £300,000. He said the company's debts included payments to cover tax, VAT, PAYE, Surrey Police, Guildford Borough Council and private individuals.

Reasons cited by organisers included the abundance of competing major events in that year, most notably the London Olympics. Poor weather also contributed with the rain turning Stoke Park into a "quagmire by Saturday - and by Sunday it had turned into sticky bog".

To fill the gap, for 2013 the Magic FM Summer Of Love event was held at Stoke Park on the weekend of 13–14 July 2013, headlined by Jamiroquai and Bryan Adams.[6] A rival event, free festival GU1, took place the same weekend at the Holroyd Arms, a Guildford pub, in protest at what organisers saw as the "corporate takeover" of the former Guilfest by Magic FM's promoters Live Nation. The line-up included The Feathers, Louise Distras, Shakespearos, Anarchistwood, The Unbelievable Freeloaders From Mars, P45, Unexpected Item In The Bagging Area, Archive 45, Gobsausage, Black Anchor, Collage of Sound, Snork and Kerb.[6][7]

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