Scilly’s Musicians To Benefit From Aggy Fest

Aggy Fest organisers Kelvin Evans (right) and Rob Seddon.

Aggy Fest organisers Kelvin Evans (right) and Rob Seddon.

Scilly’s musicians will be able to perform with new instruments following Saturday’s second Aggy Fest.

Instrument manufacturer Fender has donated nineteen guitars, mandolins, ukuleles and a didgeridoo to the community after one of their managers was so impressed by last year’s inaugural event.

Four guitars will go to the St Agnes school base and some instruments will be passed onto the Five Islands school main base on St Mary’s.

The new Island Hall was also presented with a selection of donated instruments yesterday.

Aggy Fest joint organiser Kelvin Evans says the music giant has been very supportive since they heard the event was going ahead for a second year.

Hundreds of islanders and visitors filled the meadow on St Agnes on Saturday afternoon and evening for the 12-hour programme of 17 live music acts, played by the best Scilly-based musicians.

This year’s event was bigger and better and saw the introduction of a professional sound system.

The crowds enjoyed sets from solo artists like Jess Lawson, the Scilly Sirens female choir and all-girl band Cross Lines.

The music played during the interludes when performers set-up on stage came from mainland band Backbeat Soundsystem, which features the bass playing of islander Jon Symons.

The event raised cash for the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the soon-to-be opened St Agnes Island Hall.

Kelvin got involved with the music festival when he was overseeing that build and agreed to help islander Rob Seddon put on the second event.

He says that his construction organising skills were easily adapted to scheduling the movement of performers and kit, but he says islanders and visitors have helped ensure the event was such a success.

Emma Stewart won £1,000 on the Scilly Lottery and used the cash for a trip to St Agnes, but she gave up her free time on Saturday volunteering in the beer tent.

Emma said she promised to spend her winnings in Scilly and said helping out at Aggy Fest felt like a good way to give something back. She said the event was “brilliant” and was “incredibly well organised.”

Kelvin says he hopes there’ll be an Aggy Fest 3 because this year’s event was clearly well-supported.

Co-organiser Rob says it’s his “last one,’ although he added that he’ll see how he feels next year! Rob’s highlight of the festival was opening the show with a performance by all the St Agnes Children.

Kelvin feels there’s been a gap since St Mary’s-based Camel Rock ended last decade and during the inaugural event last year, organisers struggled with poor weather. But that still managed to raise around £5,000 and Kelvin thinks this year the total will be even bigger.

The amount raised for the charities will be announced soon.

You can see more photos from Aggy Fest here.