Our first Smile Festival took place in the summer of 2017, with the idea coming back in 2016, when Abbie, the sister of Arran, and her partner James attended a local music festival and thought 'we could do this for Arran, he would have loved it'.
So after a lot of planning, learning, setbacks and endless hurdles to get over, as well as a last minute rush, the first Smile Festival took place on the 22nd July 2017 at AFC Sudbury in Suffolk. The first year was intended to be personal, specific to Arran, and carry meaning. Smile Festival is also about the people, and to try and give something back to the community who have been so supportive of the charity since the start.
Stems opened the festival, who consist of Arrans former Stopclocks bandmates Toby Halls and Joe Snell. They were then followed by local bands as well as the X Factors Wagner, before the young, talented band Little Giants, mutual friend Will Varley and 80's Scottish icon Graeme Clark of Wet Wet Wet started the evening entertainment. An epic performance from headliners Little Mammoths (fronted by Matt Owens from Noah and the Whale, along with former bandmate Fred Abbott) who finished on L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. made for a fitting tribute to Arran.
In 2018, Smile Festival took as years break, and plans were scrapped due to personal commitments of all organisers involved, however we welcomed back Graeme Clark and held 'An evening with Wet Wet Wet's Graeme Clark' which took place in February of that year. The event was organised due to demand for his return after playing at Smile Festival. The evening saw Graeme take part in a live Q&A session before playing all his best hits.
2019 was a SELL OUT, and was headlined by The Hoosiers (Goodbye Mr A, Worried About Ray) and Just Jack (Starz in their Eyes/Embers), with Sahara Snow, St Luna and Tagore Chayne completing the bill. An evening event, with a more raw, acoustic vibe turned out to be a huge success. This platform enabled both artist and the crowd to be immersed into the unique atmosphere.
2020 plans are now underway, and after a sell out year, we are working hard to make it even BETTER!
SMiLE is a not for profit event, with all money made making its way to the Smile of Arran Trust. It is important to remember that without you, these events don't happen! So we thank you all for your continued support. You can also check out the charity website at www.smileofarran.org.
You can also contact organisers Abbie and James at their respective email addresses: