The Channel Islands' Longest Running Music Festival

24th & 25th August 2019

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Vale Earth Fair 2019 Coming Soon!

News story posted on: Mon, 12th Aug 2019
Vale Earth Fair 2019

This year’s Vale Earth Fair is almost upon us – the bands are booked, the beer is ordered, and final preparations are under way. Held on 24th and 25th August at the Vale Castle, this will be the first since co-founder Errol Groves passed away, and as a fitting tribute the organisers will be putting on a show of which he would be proud.

For those that don’t know, the Vale Earth fair is an annual music and arts festival that is organised entirely by volunteers with the aim of raising money for humanitarian causes, namely the Burma Campaign UK, Free Tibet, and Bridge2. It also aims to be as green as possible – largely thanks to Errol’s influence, with all-vegetarian food stands and everything possible recycled.

Errol’s contribution to the island’s music was huge – in his quest to promote music in unusual places, Guernsey’s first one-day music festival at the Vale Castle was planned in the summer of 1976, and Errol continued his involvement in the Vale Earth Fair for 41 years - the only founder who retained a big role in what is today the Channel Islands’ longest-running music festival; what he once called “the best little festival on the planet”.

“We’re hoping for better weather than last year, but as those that did attend last year will attest, the atmosphere will still be great whatever the weather.” said Vale Earth Fair collective member Rob Roussel, “We expect this year’s festival will prove to be as great or better than those of preceding years.”

“We’d love to see all those who knew Errol come and join us to celebrate what he contributed to the Island he made his home” said Rob Roussel.

The Vale Earth Fair is also supporting the local Extinction Rebellion group. There will be a march from St Peter Port on Sunday 25th August to the Vale Castle, starting from the Tourist Information Centre at 10am. Those participating in the march will get half price entry to the Vale Earth Fair and further information can be found on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/extinctionrebelliongsy  

Highlights for this year include an extended first day, with the Breakz ‘n’ Beatz DJ’s take over the main stage in the evening, following on from the cream of up-and-coming young bands provided by Sound.gg during the afternoon. Opening at 1pm, the music runs until11pm and is open to all ages - the bar will open and lightning burgers on sale.

On Sunday the festival expands to the full five stages for live music and DJ’s, with the new addition of a spoken word stage around the back of the Vale Castle during the day. Visiting acts this year include the Neville Staple Band, The King Blues, The Wakes, The Electric Shakes, and Karl Phillips & the Rejects.

Neville Staple, one for the original members of The Specials, is here to celebrate the 40th anniversary of 2-Tone Records, and we’ll be treated to a selection of classics from the Specials career. It will be great to hear the likes Gangsters, Ghost Town and Too Much Young blasting out across the Castle.

We are also treated to a rare outing from The King Blues. Their appearance at the Vale Earth Fair is one of only two shows this year (the other being the week before in London). With previous performances at the likes of Reading and Download festivals, their pedigree is without doubt. The King Blues are a British punk band from London, credited for fusing punk and hip hop together with influences from ska and spoken word. Tariq Ali described them as 'rough, radical music that should unsettle the rulers of Britain. A new generation of musicians who are challenging war-monger politicians and their courtiers' – right up Errol’s street!

The Wakes were one of Errol’s favourite bands, so hopefully he’ll be looking down on us with a smile on his face as they finally make it to the Vale Earth Fair in his honour. The Wakes are a folk rock band from Glasgow that fuse Celtic traditional music with punk rock and funk, covering all manner of subjects from anti-fascist politics, immigration and unemployment to uprising and rebellion in Scotland, Ireland and beyond.

Ska punkers Karl Phillips and the Rejects complete the main stage UK contingent, and along with The King Blues and The Wakes cite The Clash as a major influence. Neville Staple with the Specials actually got to tour with them in the late 1970’s!

Tickets are in the shops now – get them from Vinyl Vaughan, HS2, Kendall Guitars, YakWax and St James Box Office. You can also buy online through the Vale Earth Fair website up until Sunday 18th August and they’ll be posted out to you.