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Guernsey to host brand new festival

Guernsey Festival of Performing Arts will be the largest event the Island has ever seen and will feature an array of international artists, writes Paul Watson

The event is being spearheaded by local brothers Paul and Jon Stephen in a bid to bring in high profile artists to the Island; and will take place on July 2nd-3rd at The Rabbit Warren in St Sampson, close to the capital St Peter Port. The 12,000-capacity site (aerial view pictured) will host headline acts Ocean Colour Scene and The Gaslight Anthem; and the festival’s five stages will accommodate approximately 100 artists over the weekend including The Go! Team, Hayseed Dixie and Greg Wilson. The last time Guernsey attempted a show of similar magnitude was back in 2008 when, in an attempt to keep up appearances with its neighbouring Island of Jersey, put on ‘Guernsey Live’ which was supposed to at least match up to ‘Jersey Live’; however, although the festival was a success of sorts, Jon Stephen suggests it didn’t quite cut the mustard. “There is a healthy rivalry between Guernsey and Jersey, but Guernsey Live made too many mistakes I’m afraid,” he explains. “We feel we have a more diverse line-up, it’s happening during the summer, which is the right time of year; and we are very keen to involve our community, which is absolutely key to making the event a success.” The festival will be kitted out by London headquartered Centre Stage, and the Martin Audio PA for the main stage will comprise of 12x W8LC line array cabinets and 16x WSX sub bass speakers; all powered by QSC power amplifiers: eight PL236s; six PL230s; and three PLX2402s. The FOH console will be a 48-channel Avid D-Show Profile; and a Yamaha PM5D will sit at monitor position. The Martin Audio monitoring system will comprise of 14x LE700 monitor speakers; four Wavefront Cs; four WS2As; two H3Ts; and two S18s; all powered by QSC amp racks: two Bi-amp racks, two W8 amp racks, and two PLX3402s. Although Stephen is confident in the task ahead, because Guernsey’s capacity is just 60,000, he remains realistic about attendance figures.“Anything in excess of 10,000 people would be a great achievement,” he insists. “We’ve had to dive in head-first, but the higher profile we go, the more chance we have of attracting people to our Island.” Tickets go on sale for the event on March 19th at a promotional rate of £84 for adults, £64 for juniors (13-15yrs), and £24 for children.