Popular island festival needs volunteers to be able to return in 2018

A GROWING music festival could be forced to wind down if it fails to find volunteers for this year's event.

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:42 am

The organisers of Lily Fest on Hayling Island are appealing for spare hands as they look ahead to the event’s return in August.

Since 2016, the fixture has celebrated local, live music talent across four stages – including one at Lily’s Bar in Creek Road.

But although months remain until it is set to come to fruition for 2018, on August 11, its bosses fear it may not see the light of day if its crew does not grow in time.

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Lily Fest manager David Anscombe, 29, said: ‘When we first started we had to beg artists to come and play for us.

‘But when we came back for the second festival, we had hundreds of emails from local acts queueing up to take part.

‘Lily Fest is definitely getting bigger, but if we don’t find volunteers it might not happen.’

David and his team are looking for keen volunteers who can help across the day – but he said those with bar experience, knowledge in events management or technical expertise to help run music sets ‘would be perfect’.

He added: ‘We need all the help we can get and we can never have too many hands.

‘This is a fantastic day and I would urge anyone who is curious, to help out or listen to the music, to come on down.’

With all proceeds of Lily Fest set to go to the Hayling Island First Responders (HIFR), Anne Skennerton, chairwoman of the Hayling Island Residents Association (HIRA), has underlined the importance of the fixture going ahead.

She said: ‘This is one of the most important causes here, there is no doubt about that.

‘Because of the single road on and off the island, it is vital our first responders have the money they need to carry out their work.

‘This was highlighted in the winter, when statistics showed about 11 emergency service vehicles crossed the Hayling bridge daily.’

And while there is work to be done to secure the future of Lily Fest, Ms Skennerton said she has absolute faith in island residents.

She added: ‘Hayling Island is among the best areas to be in terms of community spirit and helping one another out.

‘We saw it only recently with the Hi-5 event for schools on the island and the example that set.

‘But of course, when we do need help, it’s about getting the word out there.

‘I will certainly be spreading the message for this cause through HIRA and my own channels and contacts.’

Artists already announced to be playing Lily Fest 2018 include The Damiain Lodrick Band, The Great Sultans, Battle in Progress, Rough Cut, Rogues, Jamin, China Lake and Wall of Floyd.

In a recent update posted to the Lily Fest 2018 Facebook page, it has been announced this year’s event will be captured on DVD – with copies set to be made a ‘few weeks after’ the event.

If you would like to get involved with the festival as a volunteer, please email organiser David on [email protected]