Once a year Surrey’s county town Guildford puts flowers in its hair, remembers all the lyrics to those songs and turns into a colourful festival scene presenting Guilfest.
Voted the Best Family Festival in the UK, Guilfest is small in size but magical in its vibe, just as Guildford itself is. After its presence had been clearly missed last year there was a communal sigh of relief when it was announced in April that Guilfest would be held again in 2014.
While the main stage was entertaining the crowd with the likes of The Sugar Hill Gang, Naughty Boy, Kool & The Gang and The Boomtown Rats, the ACM Presents Stage held its own amidst the happenings, meeting the expectations of an audience that was enjoying the sunny weather and summer vibes as well as plethora of musical acts, kids entertainment and comedy tents.
The Academy of Contemporary Music, cultural hotspot of Guildford and international leader in music industry education, was well presented by both current and former students, local and London-based bands, and legendary drum and bass icon Roni Size.
Variety certainly wasn’t lacking – from singer-songwriters such as the delicate Jazz Morley, who bewitched the audience with a stripped-back set, to Live EDM band Biometrix and Soul infused Pop/R’n’B collective Nuclear Grooves – there was something for everyone packing the tent. High energy performances were delivered by all, especially headliners En Garde, The Small Society and the indisputable highlight of the weekend – Roni Size.
The ACM Presents Stage Saturday night headliner, British drum and bass pioneer Roni Size, packed the tent to its maximum capacity and had the crowd going wild during his entire set. The renowned Mercury prize winner, and true legend of the drum and bass underground scene, is most famous for the anthem ‘Brown Paper Bag’ – not to mention his Mercury Prize winning album, New Forms. Roni has also released a number of jungle/drum and bass classics under the Full Cycle and V recordings labels throughout the late nineties and noughties.