One of the longest-running music festivals in Britain, and possibly the only one, will happen this holiday weekend because the island has been Coronavirus-free since April ending.
Popular for its cow with creamy milk, Guernsey is an island that had its last detected case of the COVID-19 virus recorded over 100 days ago, so there’s no need for taking social-distance measures at this festival.
In the shadow of a 600-year-old castle on Guernsey, about 3000 islanders are getting ready for the 44th Vale Earth Fair—and the 12-hour music festival might be the biggest one yet.
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With visiting performers absent this year, the all-volunteer Vale Earth Fair Collective is taking the festival back to its roots. Back then, headliners have included the Buzzcocks, Roots Manuva, or the Neville Staple band, but this year the line-up will feature 70 all-local acts, just like early festivals took place.
With all university students still home, coupled with teenagers sticking around who would normally be piling onto ferries headed into the UK’s major festival weekend, this edition may become one of the biggest Earth Fairs yet.
Ticket sales haven’t been this good for years, and there’s really good vibes surrounding it. We’re fantastically lucky that we can go ahead—and the island feels like it’s buzzing for it.Jade Kershaw of the Vale Earth Fair Collective
The Vale Castle, evoked in Victor Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea, proves a spectacular setting for a music festival. Musicians duck their heads into a former storage tunnel for the most unique backstage access, while in the ramparts, a former gun battery proves the perfect design for a Real Ale bar.
Asides the drinking and music, it is the ethos. The all-volunteer collective eschews corporate sponsorship and gives all profits to charity. The proceeds of this year will benefit Safer Guernsey, Free Tibet, and Burma Campaign.