Thursday, July 31, 2014
Castle Hill estate owner keen to see the festival return after excellent experience
CASTLE Hill’s Lady Arran says she was ‘delighted’ to be able to share her estate with 15,000 music lovers for last week’s first-ever Somersault festival.
Lady Arran, married to the ninth Earl of Arran Arthur Gore, said the whole idea of the festival coming to the 5,500-acre estate only came up last November, when her daughter phoned to ask if she knew of anywhere in North Devon which might be suitable for a festival.
“We’ve always waited for the opportunity to do something like this but we always thought it would be in the front of the house, and we hadn’t considered the deer park,” she Lady Arran. “It was very imaginative.
“My daughter Lucy rang me one day in November and the words were ‘I’ve got friends coming to stay who want to start a festival in North Devon, where do you think would be a good place’, and I said ‘what about your garden?
“We felt it was very well organised which was the real plus point. The traffic flow and parking were easy, the stewards and marshals were very polite and helpful – it was plus after plus.
“We were delighted to be able to share Castle Hill and the historic estate with so many happy people. It was fantastic to see so many families loving being there and having quality time with so much to do.”
Somersault was the largest event ever hosted by Castle Hill, eclipsing the 5,000 people who came to see Russell Watson a few years ago, with Somersault set on a 140-acre site.
Yet Lady Arran, who got out to see headliners Jack Johnson and Ben Howard, said ‘you wouldn’t have known it had happened’ with the site barely tarnished by the huge footfall and revealed she was keen to see the festival return in the future.
“It’s not a done deal by any means, but we will be discussing it at the beginning of September,” she said. “It’s an exciting new concept and they pitched it just right.”