Live Music + Gig Reviews

Guilfest 2010: Day 3 @ Stoke Park, Guildford

18 July 2010

Sunday morning threatens to break the golden sunshine this year’s festivals are coming close to taking for granted. It’s still baking hot, but instead of burning sun the skies are grey and overcast. Never mind though; rather than sitting around the campsite looking glum, there’s plenty to do. Just a short walk across the road from the festival site is Spectrum, a chrome and glass leisure complex offering everything from ice skating and rock climbing to swimming, not to mention that holy grail of music festivals: hot showers.

For a mere three quid, even the smelliest crusty can freshen up before the day’s activities really begin. Be prepared to part with a couple of quid more, and the morning will transform into a full-blown pirate adventure, courtesy of the leisure pool – with giant slides, waterfalls, plastic whales, a pirate ship and intermittent attacks by the wave machine. For the hardier soul, there’s an outdoor lido, too. Glastonbury backstage swimming pool, you are nothing.

Washed, refreshed and with still a couple of hours before the first of the bands drag themselves out of bed, it’s next stop KidZone, with fairground rides, play areas, robot parades and face painting. The cost of some of the rides is a bit on the high side (charging parents to ride the teacups with their toddlers when the toddlers aren’t allowed on unaccompanied is a tad miserly) but if it shuts the little darlings up for a few minutes it does the job at least. Shame the ‘changing tent’ is so grim though, considering the way-above-average ablutions for the grownups.

Just outside KidZone is the theatre tent, a rather sweet little space in which bales of hay are lined up to produce makeshift seats, while earnest local sixth-formers and amdram clubs serve up various slices of homegrown and very watchable performance art. It also seems to attract more pigeons than any of the other indoor spaces, for reasons no-one can really explain.

Today’s line-up, following the clubbers’ paradise of Friday and the parents’n’teens pleasing Saturday bill continues the so-mad-it-works mismatched mix of ageing hippies, ’80s nostalgia and genuine rock gods. Status Quo and Guilfest are, quite simply, made for one another. Before they headline, however, there are plenty more delights to sample, including ber-cockerneys The Blockheads on the main stage (who thank the crowd for being “so good to us”), 10CC and Level 42, both of whom are much more ideally suited to the warm, balmy, outdoor setting than might have been expected.

Alternately, the under-40s can head for the second stage where, after The Levellers, it’s indie night again, with Young Knives, The Delays and The Twang finishing off a bill that’s been unusual, eclectic but surprisingly well-judged. Guilfest, you’ve been a revelation.

  1. Guilfest 2010:
    Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

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