Ladies and gentlemen of Helstonbury, after a week of reflection on last weekend I thought I should say a few words. Looking back at all the live videos, photos and newspaper reports, I have got a sneaky feeling it all went well. This year in particular was going to be a weekend of mixed emotions, a weekend where we remember the special people we have lost in our world, and celebrate their memory with a line up to do them proud.
Each year we try and add something new to Helstonbury, The ”Helstonbury Does Jazz” night with the Helston School Jazz orchestra was very well supported and received and will now be a permanent fixture. The introduction of our very own “HELSTONBURY APP” courtesy of Michael Brown was a successful form of media and was very popular among the Helstonbury revellers. This year I was very privileged to have the amazing Debi Weir looking after the PR and website, Debi has been such a significant addition to our team, ensuring that that all the ”Helso info” went out to the relevant media and punter.
The Silent Disco by DJ Aldog Alice Allen and friends yet again sold out every night and the change of venue and earlier slot in the skittle alley on the Saturday night worked perfectly.
Also this year we introduced the” Helstonbury Introducing Stage”, dedicated to younger performers U18, a very successful night run by Holly Turton and Hollye Sangster giving young performers valuable experience of performing live.
This year on the Friday not having the Big man Al Rideout around was a bitter pill to swallow, however a special thank you to Andrew Plenty aka Scooby who ran the HMF stage and in Al’s absence he did the big man proud.
So a few thank you’s are due:
A BIG thank you to Holly Turton and Emma Baines for the amazing “Helstonbury Remembers” themed t shirt design. Incorporating the stars was very fitting in particular the limited edition HENRY t shirt for those who held him close to their heart, the relentless dedication of our lovely T shirt girls Briony,Emma and Daisy Trerise aka the “Terrorize girls” on the Merchandise stand they raised nearly £400 towards the our charity.
A BIG thank you to “Team Helstonbury” for prepping the Blue ready for the weekend, without you guys ….well the Helstonbury flag wouldn’t go up would it Neil Croxen?
A BIG thank you to ALL the Bar staff at the Blue for keeping the Helstonbury machine well-oiled and lubricated throughout the weekend. A big thank you Sara Tripconey for yet another brilliant Acappella stage, (which I can now watch later on all the live streams that were uploaded).
A BIG thank you to Hoby and Chris from Cabin Fever Audio and Darren May and Mandy for making all the band’s sound so good, and looking after all the bands/performers requirements.
A BIG Thank you to Flattley Guitar Effects for donating the special limited edition of “ The Helstonbury” Muff pedal and of course the Queen of raffle ticket selling Melanie Stubbings which made an an amazing £200 towards the fund.( The draw will be made live on the FB page in due course).
A MASSIVE thank you to all the bands/performers young and old for taking time out to perform for free, this year’s line-up was yet again and we were privileged to have some of the best live acts in Cornwall addressing the Helstonbury stages.
A special thank you to Reverend Janice Honey Morgan from RNAS Culdrose Chaplaincy for giving such a poignant and fitting remembrance Sunday service, supported by the exquisite Culdrose Military Wives Choir and splendid HMS Seahawk Band.
Jake Riding, who I am so proud of, a young man who has supported Helstonbury from a young teenager, always willing to help out, then he discovered photography, the rest is history. However in time of need Helstonbury replaced his broken camera and invested in a young man who was determined to make a name for himself, and Jake Riding not only supported Helstonbury but also other community events is the man capturing all the special moments, this year Jake you have done yourself and Helstonbury proud with some amazing photos, and with the sad passing of Keith Richards, in my opinion believe you are now the man to take on his mantle as the community photographer.
And finally, a heartfelt and sincere thank you must go to Simon, Kim ,Ben and Jake who after a such a tragic loss recently of their youngest son and brother Henry somehow still found the strength to go ahead with Helstonbury. A moment shared with them on the Helstonbury stage on Sunday evening was one of emotion, strength and unity and a moment that I will never forget. Throughout all the years that we have been holding Helstonbury (18 years) Simon and Kim have always given their never ending support to ensure that the event goes ahead every year and this year in particular clarifies their commitment to the cause no matter how much sadness and heartbreak they are all feeling in their own world.
On a personal note I had many highlights, Bobbys Helmet gig was a bit special, my guest slot with the LP7 gangsters was a blast complimented by a hot and sweaty packed skittle alley. V proud of the Shabby Chic gang considering where we were 4 years ago as a very very young band (teenagers) who played their first gig all nervous and shaking with fear of the unknown, to where they are now, confident and all excellent musicians in their own right and performing with no fear had a cracking gig on the Sunday. The Silent disco never fails and seeing everyone on the RED channel last track on Saturday night scattered all over the Blue Anchor was a bit special.
A brief encounter with the Piano Man aka Paul Simmons, showing him how “Imagine” should really be played. The short glimpses I saw of each band / performer enjoying their respective slots in particular our brothers in arms High Voltage, The Olives and new comers Blackout, I just wish I could listen to you all.
And of course I’ve got to be a bit biased seeing Abigail back performing with Alice as Oarstruck after such a long time was a bit special and of course Holly’s astounding performance with Stone Roots sort of made me realise how far as a family we have travelled since we started the Helstonbury journey way back.
However the most prominent and foremost memory I have is everywhere I looked around all over the weekend was the continuous laughter, happy smiley faces, and unique family atmosphere that Helstonbury for some reason provides. If I could bottle it and sell it would be very rich man now, however those of you who have parted with your hard earned money will know what I am trying to describe.
While all is said and done, I can only say from the bottom of my heart thank you to each and every one of you who passed through those magical Blue Anchor doors whether as a performer or reveller for making this year so special and one to be remembered for so many different reasons also achieving a staggering £13,000 on the door
Oh and of course Mrs Helstonbury my amazing wife Mandy for being there as always x
On that I will leave you with three little words that came into my head when someone asked me late Sunday night on how I thought the weekend went?… “Elation, Emotion and Celebration”.
And the words that Kaj (who performed on the Acoustic stage Saturday night) who said to me “Helstonbury is more than music “
Thanks a million… see you all again next year…. Mr T x