A crowd of more than 4,300 people has descended on Sledmere House this weekend for what’s been described as the largest tribute act festival in the world.
The annual Tribfest is a place where you can see more than 150 bands across seven stages. Top tribute acts performing this year include The Cheatles, Badness, Totally Tina, the Spirit Levellers and Simon Garfunkel. And playing for the first time ever this year is The Joshua Tree, a U2 tribute band from Dublin,
Organiser Ed Faulkner, 55, who himself performs as singer Paul Heaton in the band The Beautiful Couch, said running the festival was a labour of love which he hoped he would one day pass on to his daughter.
He said: “It’s the Knebworth of the north. People come from Europe and all over the UK. We’re bringing people to East Yorkshire who otherwise wouldn’t come.”
Mr Faulkner, a former panel beater and off-shore worker who later qualified as a social worker, said the festival surpassed other similar festivals because it had less litter and better toilet and shower facilities.
He said: “We pay a lot money to get extra toilets and they’re cleaned regularly. I know it sounds bizarre but a lot of people come back because of that, especially families and the female population.”
Among other new features this year is a hairdressing stall.
Ed added: “I’ve never seen one at any festival I’ve ever been to, but we all like to get out on a Saturday night with our hair done!”
The festival has grown over nine years from two to four nights of main-stage action.
Ed said: “We’ve been getting busier and busier on a Thursday with campers coming in and setting up then twiddling their thumbs and thinking if there’s anything on”
The festival is now firmly rooted in the East Yorkshire social calender and brings in huge sums of money for the local economy.
But it’s not been plain-sailing every year. Noise pollution became a problem at other venues which were Beverley Polo ground and Driffield Showground
In 2007 Ed had to mortgage his house after losing thousands due to lack of ticket sales after the floods.
He said: “I had a few arguments with the wife but you have to believe in what you’re doing. When I stand there on the Saturday night and I look at the big screen and everyone’s had a few beers I wonder how I’ve done it. But it’s not just me it’s the fantastic people around me.”
He added: “And It’s glorious scenery. People come to Sledmere and go away thinking what a great place!” “And we get a lot of people coming back year after year. A lot have been coming for nine years.”
Attractions include marquees for acoustic and unsigned acts as well as the Laughing Cow comedy marquee and a kids’ zone.
And if you’re not keen on camping, how about hiring a ‘glamping teepee.’ You can camp for just one night or opt for a day ticket.
For more information about Tribfest visit www.tribfest.co.uk
Tribfest will take to the waves in December when an entire ferry has been booked for a Tribfest mini cruise from Hull to Rotterdam
The 400 tickets have almost sold out without any marketing other than on social media.