The University of Surrey Students' Union has announced a brand new campaign to bring back Guilfest, the music festival that has been a part of Surrey’s social calendar for the past 21 years. The independently run and community focused event started life back in 1992 as ‘The Guilford Festival of Folk and Blues’ and has been held for most of its history at Stoke Park, Guilford, hosting everyone from Status Quo to N-Dubz.

The festival came to an end last year, citing competition from other larger festivals and 2012’s rainy summer which led to lower than average ticket sales. In July 2013 the festival was replaced by Magic FM’s ‘Summer Live,’ which has been regarded by many as lacking the community spirit of its predecessor.

Many who preferred ‘Guilfest’s dedication to supporting local businesses and active involvement in the local community have put together the ‘Bring Back Guilfest’ grass roots campaign, which is seeking to get the original festival re-instated for 2014. The University of Surrey’s Students’ Union have publicly shown their support for the campaign due to the close links that the Union has forged with ‘Guilfest’ over its 21 year history, with students not only making it a part of their social calendar, but also regularly volunteering and performing at the festival.  

‘Guilfest’ has always provided opportunities for students at Surrey University to engage with the community and become involved in the festival itself, offering students volunteer positions as stewards, crew members and performers. As such there has always been a strong bond between the students and ‘Guilfest,’ which many feel is missing from ‘Summer Live,’ run by festival giant Live Nation.

President of the Students' Union, Em Bollon, said “’Summer Live’ was perceived as purely a commercial operation which brought little benefit to Guildford. Surrey students have had a high level of involvement in our beloved Guilfest and would like to see its return in 2014.”

The University of Surrey Students' Union is encouraging students to sign the online petitions which have already received thousands of signatures from local people who are unhappy with how Magic Summer Live was held.

The ‘Bring Back Guilfest’ campaign already has more than 4000 supporting signatures and will be discussed at a full Guildford Borough Council meeting on 10 October. The campaign hopes to attract the support of local businesses that have been affected by the absence of the independently run festival in place of the more corporately run ‘Summer Live.’

To sign the petition visit

For more information about The University of Surrey Students Union and to back the campaign visit <>   

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