Fringe Box



Council To Consider Petition That Calls For GuilFest To Be Given Another Go

Published on: 3 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 3 Oct, 2013

GuilFest has furthered its bid to host another music festival in Stoke Park next summer through an on-line petition that has been sent to Guildford Borough Council.

The crowd at GuilFest in July 2012. Picture by Mike Ellis.

The so-called e-petition contains more than 950 signatures of people who want to see Tony Scott and his GuilFest team behind next summer’s festival.

And now the council has agreed to discuss how it should best respond to the petition at its meeting next Thursday, October 10.

GuilFest’s Tony Scott.

GuilFest organised music festivals at Stoke Park (and one at Loseley Park) for many years until the company went bust in 2012 with debts said to be in the region of £300,000. It cited poor weather at the 2011 and 2012 festivals resulting in lower than expected ticket sales.

Guildford Borough Council appointed music promoter Live Nation to run this year’s two-day festival in July,  it being called Magic Summer Live 2013.

Following The Guildford Dragon NEWS’ report on the festival, there was a mixed reaction to it, with comments posted here from some who thought it was an improvement, with others preferring the GuilFest format.

A press statement issued by Guildford Borough Council this week, started with the words: “Guildford’s largest park provides a great venue for live music and is very popular with residents and visitors. The e-petition submitted for discussion at next Thursday’s council meeting demonstrates this, with over 950 e-signatures.”

Councillor Matt Furniss, lead councillor for environment, said this week: “We worked hard to secure a live music event for Guildford in 2013 when Guilfest ceased trading in 2012. Hiring our park as a venue for Magic Summer Live 2013 helped to continue our strong support for music and arts in the borough.

“As the e-petition shows, GuilFest was very popular when it went into liquidation following large outstanding debts. We also want everyone to enjoy great music and all that Guildford has to offer, and we consider all applications by organisers to hold events very carefully.

“Before we make any decisions for 2014, we need to make sure any applications we receive support tourism and our community, and do not incur any costs for local council tax payers. It is also very important that other users of Stoke Park are not adversely affected and any damage is rectified as soon as possible after any event – again with no risk or cost to the council and its residents.

“Following any agreement to hire the park, the organiser is then responsible for the content, programme, promotion and other commercial operations associated with their event.“

Councillor Jen Powell, lead councillor for tourism, added: “GuilFest was well-liked by many local people and ran for over 20 years, providing a boost to Guildford’s profile and the local economy. Live Nation also brought high quality entertainment this year with a new opportunity to enjoy live music in Stoke Park. Whatever the future decision for any applications to hire the park in 2014, we hope that residents, visitors and businesses will be able to enjoy amazing events that will also benefit our borough.”

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *