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Stage is set for Vale Earth Fair

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THE AGE-OLD quandary of the notoriously narrow, steep and uneven hill up to the Vale Castle is proving to be the usual bugbear for Vale Earth Fair organisers.

The Vale Earth Fair organiser and collective member Rob Roussel at the castle in the sunshine on the second day of preparations for this weekend's festival. (25568708)

But the glorious sunshine and cool breeze is making for the perfect setting-up weather, and it is set to continue for the event itself.

The collective arrived to begin constructing the stages and facilities on Tuesday and things were very much on track despite a few minor hiccups.

Despite being the Channel Islands' longest running music festival, four decades of preparations still cannot fully prepare volunteers, tradesmen and collective members for what the castle may throw at them.

Organiser and committee head Rob Roussel said: ‘Luckily this year we’ve got the main stage already set up because it was here last weekend for the Letz Zeppelin gig and means it won’t have to be taken down by us either, which is a bonus too.

‘As you can see from the state of the hill we have the puzzle of getting everything up and down it whilst everybody is trying to do everything at the same time, but you know we work it out.’

This year will see the arrival of the Sneakaway Stage down among the gorse to the rear of the fortification, which will feature spoken word poetry and a wholly different vibe.

Also in honour of the festival’s late founder and ‘Godfather’, Errol Groves, the bar he named Symphorien’s will be aptly named Errol’s Bar and will be daubed with a carved wooden sign in his honour.

‘We’ve got a lot going on this year,’ said Mr Roussel.

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‘There is obviously the Extinction Rebellion march on Sunday and Karla, my daughter, has set up the ER youth movement over here and they are producing banners for the march and also cracking on with a lot of the artwork we need every year to make the castle look as it should.’

The Vale Earth Fair takes place tomorrow and Sunday.

It will be raising money for humanitarian causes the Burma Campaign UK, Free Tibet, and Bridge2.

On Saturday, the Breakz ‘n’ Beatz DJs take over the main stage in the evening, following on from the cream of up-and-coming young bands provided by Sound.gg during the afternoon. Opening at 1pm, the music runs until 11pm and is open to all ages.

On Sunday, the festival expands to the full five stages for live music and DJs, visiting acts include the Neville Staple Band, The King Blues, The Wakes, The Electric Shakes, and Karl Phillips & the Rejects.

Yves Le Marquand

By Yves Le Marquand
News reporter

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