The young, talented band Little Giants, mutual friend Will Varley and 80's Scottish icon Graeme Clark of Wet Wet Wet drew the day to a close, before an epic performance from headliners Little Mammoths. Fronted by Matt Owens from Noah and the Whale, along with former bandmate Fred Abbott, the band finished on L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N., a fitting tribute to Arran.
The day was a great success, and has laid the foundations of what we hope will be a growing and successful event.
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 who wanted to get involved and play for the charity, including Mr Happy Chainsaw, The Toots and Scott Revell. The X Factors Wagner, and some funny looking blokes from Peckham also made an appearance!
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'.
In 2018, Smile Festival plans were scrapped due to other personal commitments of all organisers involved, however we held two 'spin-off' events. The first being 'An evening with Wet Wet Wet's Graeme Clark' which took place in February. The event was organised after 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. In July, World Cup fever hit, and the Smile Shield football tournament took place at AFC Sudbury, with 14 teams taking place to win arguably the most important trophy that summer.
In 2019 after a years long break and a refresh, the new look SMiLE is back... watch this space.
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: