So I got to reminiscing about my lovely little festival, that has been out of the scene for three years now, and I want it to come back; so here’s to hoping…
Dear people of Redfest,
This message is a plea to bring back this wonderful festival.
I attended in 2013 and ’14, seeing Bastille headline was my first ever festival experience at seventeen years old, squashed in a dark field, slightly high off the fumes of others’ weed, jumping about to ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ and what a fucking amazing night it was.
You guys always had the knack for picking amazing artists just as they were on their way up. Bastille, Lucy Rose, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Watson (hell, you were even set down for Catfish and the Bottlemen three years back!)…all musicians I discovered through your festival and still listen to now.
The best discovery was Hudson Taylor, who remain one of my favourite bands to this day, after looking them up when they were announced for the 2014 line up. Months later I had become engrossed in their back catalogue, and found myself dancing around to ‘Battles’ with a bunch of friends and friendly strangers as the sun began to set; again, one of my favourite memories.
There’s plenty I miss about Redfest, the build up of excitement for the line up announcement and then the countdown for the festival itself. Let’s face it, my little Redhill hasn’t got too much going for it, but Redfest was a beautiful hub that gave myself, and others around me, a place to cut loose and enjoy the music in front of us.
Yes, there are other live music festivals such as New Music Fest (which I attended back in 2015; my first year Redfest-less) and while the night was lovely and burned with the warm glow of talented musicians, it’s more of a family-orientated kind of night and not the kind of loud I’m looking for.
Which begs the question, what do the wandering music youths have now?
Sure we can travel out to Hyde Park or Reading and Leeds if we’re feeling adventurous but the ticket prices are astronomical, and the travel’s not much better, and what you receive for your money just doesn’t add up in my opinion.
I miss having something on my doorstep to get excited and take pride in goddammit! It made me proud of my little rundown town to think of all the talented artists we’ve had play here.
Young people’s minds are under threat from the negative impact of the overwhelming effect and smothering presence of social media, we need more external things to get excited about and bring us out of our shells, so people will stop looking into their phones and start looking out at what’s around them. Redfest was one of those things, something wonderful and worthwhile to get lost in, and currently it’s absent, with nothing filling the void.
While my journey will be moving me away from Redhill this Summer, I want this festival back more than ever, not only to ensure those still in Surrey have their beautiful music back but to keep me connected to my little town. And I promise, I would walk back to it, every year.
Another mad dream to pitch while I’m at it, I’m still reeling over the heartbreak of Catfish and the Bottlemen cancelling in 2014, running into Robin’s Cook Farm and finding no Catfish on the stage, well I was a tad gutted. I say they owe us that gig. I want them to play in my hometown, so 2018 headliner?
I hope this sparks the field to be lit up once more.
All the love,