‘We’re gonna do a bit of Rocka-Billy Idol!’

Guilfest 2006

by Isla MC

Guilfest was lots and lots of fun this year. It was a baking hot weekend and the revelers were out in force, complete with ridiculous novelty head wear (pet peeve alert!). Guilfest really is one for the families, and it fills the role exceedingly well. Joanna and I spent a significant amount of time larking about in the kids field (no, we’re not yummy mummies). We hula-hooped, fell off stilts, saw some creepy clowns, marveled at six year-olds performing acrobatics with Diabolos, and thought about juggling but didn’t bother because we’re rubbish at it. It was so fun! For the vast number of kids who were there, we heard a minimum amount of screaming (probably because they were passed out due to the heat), and an impressive number were rocking out to the Idol.

Another good thing about Guilfest is the discretion of any corporate sponsorship, and the fact that Unison are their chief partner. It is so refreshing when a festival is responsible with its sponsorship! Unison are not trying to sell you anything, they are simply trying to promote awareness of their cause, and there’s nothing wrong with that when it’s a cause such as this!

Now, on to the line-up! Well, it was fully in keeping with Guilfests of old – eclectic is the only word! We were once more lucky enough to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, who were great with renditions of classics like Respect, reprising old faves like Psycho Killer and Smells Like Teen Spirit. We liked Donovan – he’s a funny old stick isn’t he! Hurdy-Gurdy Man…..

For us hipsters there were fantastic up-and-coming talents like the Guillemots and The Boy Least Likely To (see Interviews section) who were absolutely brilliant. Hats off to The Boy…’s life-size puppets who kept up the dancing even in the heat. A-Ha were surprising – Joanna was smitten with the lead singer, claiming ‘he has the voice of an angel’. True – he also looks like a Ken doll.

Highlight of the weekend though, was the Idol. All the way. He was classic. What a cheesemonger! Still, he’s in good shape and can belt out the tunes, which have stood the test of time pretty well. I maintain that he was destined to be an estate agent but something malfunctioned along the way – he’s such a faux-rocker. Fauxtastic!

All in all an excellent weekend. It’s one of the joys of Guilfest that you get to see legends like A-Ha and the Idol – they are guilty pleasures that no other festival would dare book!

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