Fringe Box



Letter: Majority Don’t Want GuilFest in The Town

Published on: 11 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 12 Oct, 2013
IMG_3676-1From Bernard Parke
Hon Alderman
My personal views on GuilFest are not important, but may I say that yesterday evening’s (October 10) orchestrated presentation at the full council meeting, was that of a minority interest which is not shared by the majority of people living in central Guildford.

Stoke Park is one of the few remaining recreational area left to town dwellers .

This year alone such people that enjoy the comradeship of the weekly Parkrun were denied the use of the park for two whole weeks.

Just one of many organisations that enjoy the park and rely on it to enjoy fresh air away from the heavily polluted nearby traffic

Many residents living considerable distances from the park are forced to spend their leisure time to a background of music which is not particularly to their taste.

Much was made of the local trade loss this last year, but on reflection comments were very localised.

Some speakers related this event to Glastonbury, but Glastonbury is not in central Guildford with its limited facilities to accommodate camping on any scale.

Reference was made to the dire effect that the Olympic Games had on the last GuilFest event, but next year Britain is host to the Commonwealth Games. Will this also act as a distraction?

GuilFest perhaps yes, but not in the middle of a highly populated township . A rural country side area could serve these devotees in a more acceptable way.

This is certainly not a vote winner.

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Responses to Letter: Majority Don’t Want GuilFest in The Town

  1. Tadeusz Chlabicz Reply

    October 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    GuilFest is a very important event, about which I heard many years ago while living in Poland.
    Bernard Parke probably wants nobody in the world to know that Guildford is an important and very active town in the UK.

  2. Paul Bridgland Reply

    October 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Bah humbug! What a miserable and depressing view.

    And what complete and utter nonsense.

    Guildford is what it is because of all the businesses that make it what it is.
    These businesses support and finance the town and pay for its facilities, not ‘older’ people living in nice houses close to Stoke Park.

    On a positive note (and Mr Parke should know we really do need positivity right now, things that lift the spirits in these challenging times), GuilFest does a huge amount of good for Guildford’s reputation and standing as a town. It benefits hundreds of local business people and is hugely popular with the younger generation, people who are the future of this town.

    Live music is culture, GuilFest is culture, something that is sadly lacking these days.

    On top of all of that it has run successfully for 20 years and GuilFest has always had an exceptionalrecord for safety and family-friendliness.

    It was scuppered only because of the disastrous weather of 2012.

    It’s a brilliant event and something for Guildford to be proud of.

    The whinging ‘not in my backyard’ attitude will always be prevalent amongst the older generation. Thank heavens we don’t listen to them.

    I fully support GuilFest and know many people of my age (mid 50s) who also support it. I suspect Mr Parke is slightly… actually wildly… inaccurate in Mr Parke’ suggestion above.

    Long live Guilfest!

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    October 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    May I suggest that the gentleman from Poland reads my contribution a little more thoroughly.

    I am not against Guilfest or any such similar events.

    What many Guildfordians feel that Stoke Park is precious to all Guildfordians and is in great demand for many people and institutions who use it throughout the year.

    Pop festivals by all means, but perhaps it would be better appreciated in a more rural setting away from our congested town centre,

    May I also say that I own no allegiance to any political party, but I am true Guildfordian a family whose allegiance goes back to the mid nineteenth century.

  4. Jan Todd Reply

    October 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    An extract from the Saturday 12 October edition of ‘The Times’: “Music festivals and concerts generated more than £400 million in tourism last year, attracting nearly 400,000 foreign visitors. Including UK customers, more than £1.3 billion was spent on tickets, accommodation and transport for festivals and gigs, a study for ‘Visit Britain’ and ‘UK Music’ found. Overseas visitors were found to spend an average of £902 each on festivals with those from the UK spending £396 each.”

    I’m no economist, but I reckon bringing some of this into the centre of Guildford (and not some ‘rural setting’- where is this so-called ‘rural setting’ meant to be, anyway, and how do we get to it?) has to be a good thing.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    October 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Of course, in this instance I mean rural settings within Guildford Borough.

    I have no intention to prolong this debate. I will be willing to let the people of Guildford decide.

    So be it.

  6. TC Smythe Reply

    October 14, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I have visited the UK the last six out of seven years, and each time Guilfest has been the highlight of my itinerary.

    As a foreign national I must spend money anywhere I go, but my spending increases exponentially when there is a reason to stay! I average maybe USD $500 per day in your restaurants, shops and pubs and even more shopping on the High Street. If not for Guilfest, I’d just stay in with my friends on Stoke Road and cook for them.

    Since I don’t dare drink and drive, everyone from the waitresses to the taxi drivers enjoy my notoriously large American gratuities! Read into it what you will – but Guilfest is a blast, way better than its American counterparts.

    I’m almost grateful the UK Border Agency who caused me to miss Tragic Bummer live. I feel like I dodged a bullet. If Tony Scott & Co are hosting next year’s festival, expect me to double my budget.

  7. Karen Fredborg Reply

    October 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I suppose the Surrey County Show should be looking for a different venue as they too fence off the park for days and “a rural country side area could serve these devotees in a more acceptable way”?

    Or perhaps we should embrace the fact that Guildford has a magnificent multi-use park that is capable of accomodating such different events.

    Indeed, let the people of Guildford decide. The Dragon Poll suggests they like the idea.

  8. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    October 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I would assume from Hon Alderman Parke’s reply that in his opinion the Surrey County Show should also be moved to a rural setting as this likewise prevents Guildfordians from using the park for some time.

    When I was a regular attendee at British Military Fitness on the park, the County Show caused considerably more disruption to park users than GuilFest. The large amount of equestrian and farming traffic and the access required was much far demanding.

  9. Andrew Backhurst Reply

    October 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Like Bernard Parke I am Guildford born and bred and can trace my family in the town back 200 years. I also support the town football club but, unlike Mr Parke, I feel it is better to use the town’s assets, like Stoke Par,k for events, for some of the year, rather than just have them as open space.

    Guildford is blessed with lots of open space, woodland, common land and towpaths to walk or play on. So I would say, invite people here and let them enjoy it.

  10. Sevy Singh Reply

    October 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Bernard Parke will hopefully campaign to restore Stoke Park to green space by removing the road that cuts the park in two, bulldoze the Spectrum (it costs so much to run) and remove all the other developments that have encroached on the parkland in the last hundred years too!

    While he is busy doing that, he can bill all those residents who are fortunate to look over the park a special ‘Private Park’ rating on their properties, so that can pay for the privilege of having a preserved special private garden extension. London Road, Stoke Road and Nightingale Road must also be a noise nuisance to the local residents, so he can turn those into toll roads with no traffic allowed after 8pm through to 8am.

    Mr Parke can then use the money collected from the property charges and toll roads to purchase a suitable rural plot for the rest of the Guildford to use for events.

  11. Tom Jeacock Reply

    October 18, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Having been involved in GuilFest since 1996 (I have now retired from the borough council’s parks team) I saw the organization from the inside.

    It was hard work but so worthwhile, being part of it.

    Seeing the influx of multinational and UK residents mixing and enjoying this unique gathering, I personally hope to see it continue to be catered for by a caring, very able and knowledgeable crew for many years to come.

    Over the years, as it grew to be part of UK`s summer music festivals, it became an intrinsic part of Guildford entertainment life.

    You will always get these kind of haughty sniping remarks alluding to minority interests. Maybe the way forward is to see what the ballot box says in future local elections to see where the real public interests of Guildford parks festival shows are?

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