Driffield News

Tribfest – the world’s biggest tribute act festival – returns to Sledmere House

Festival Director Ed Faulkner has told the Wolds Weekly how Tribfest continues to grow year on year as the world’s biggest tribute act festival returns to Sledmere House later this month.

Last year, Tribfest was one of the first major events to be staged in East Yorkshire following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and it returns for a 15th year from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st August in the grounds of the stately home, where the last 11 editions of the festival have successfully taken place.

Organisers of the festival received an award for the contribution they have made to the East Riding last November, with Tribfest estimated to have pumped millions of pounds into the economy of Driffield and the Wolds.

We did some research in how we could better manage it and hopefully it will run much smoother this year and keep lots of people a lot happier.

ed faulkner

Another stellar line-up, full of tribute acts who will be travelling to Sledmere from all over the world, are set to entertain an estimated crowd of around 4,000 over the four days, with headliners including Badness and Kopycat Killers, in tribute to Madness and The Killers respectively.

With a record number of caravans set to pitch up during the festival, changes have had to be made to the layout of the site to cope with the increased traffic, one of a couple of minor tweaks taken by Ed and his Tribfest team.

“Preparations are going really well and it’s business as usual at Sledmere,” said Ed.

“This year, the festival has remained more or less the same, with one or two additions.

Tribfest 2021 held at Sledmere House

“We now have a mini cinema, showing videos of documentaries around the theme of music.

“The camping area has also been rearranged. Currently, we’re up to 750 caravans, which is a record and 150 more than last year.

“Because of that, we’ve created two entrances to the site which can be used on the Thursday and Friday when most people start arriving.

“We hope this will allow us to get people onto the site more quickly.

“At the end of each festival, we always sit down and reflect on what we have done, whether good or bad and take on board feedback from our customers.

“We never stand still and this will alleviate some of the traffic management problems we had last year when everybody seemed to turn up at the same time.

“We did some research in how we could better manage it and hopefully it will run much smoother this year and keep lots of people a lot happier.”

Tribfest 2021 held at Sledmere House

The entertainment for festival-goers starts on the Thursday when U2OPIA, a tribute to U2, open the main stage before a UB40 tribute act headlines later in the evening.

Over the following three days, the entertainment continues across seven stages, with acts paying tribute to acts including Fleetwood Mac, Tom Jones, Adele and Ed Sheeran.

There will also be local interest in the Acoustic Marquee, which plays host to Driffield’s Dogfinger Steve and the Driffield Ukulele Band on the Saturday.

With ticket sales going well, all Ed is now praying for is a good weekend of weather, particularly after the weather gods failed to shine on Tribfest over the last few years.

“We’ve got another great line-up including the Coldplay tribute act from Italy, who played the festival four years ago and were absolutely outstanding,” said Ed.

“Badness will take the headline slot on Sunday evening, the Thursday night headliner is Johnny2bad, a tribute to UB40, and on the Saturday we have Kopycat Killers, who are just mind-blowing and it’s like watching the real thing and are a good upbeat band for the Saturday.

“We’ve also got some new recruits – a George Michael tribute will play for the first time this year, a tribute to Bruce Springsteen on the main stage, as well as a few other new bands audiences have never seen before.

“We try and make things a little different and more exciting every year.

“We’ll have the Holi powder on the Sunday, when everyone throws paint at each other, which the majority of people seem to enjoy.

Tribfest 2021 held at Sledmere House

“We’re just hoping for some good weather this year.

“The last two or three years, it hasn’t been great, so fingers crossed we get a dry weekend.

“Ticket sales are going well and we’re up on last year at this stage.

“We’re always up by around 10 per cent each year, which is manageable for us and we’re always heading in the right direction.

“A lot more people are coming to Tribfest from outside the area, who visit Driffield and boost the economy there.

“Last November, we picked up a nice award for our contribution to the East Riding, which shows we are doing a few things right.

“There are also still lots of people out there, even locally, that don’t know about Sledmere House and it’s a hidden jewel that we can help promote.

“The locals in Sledmere love us, the farmers that help us set up are right on board with what we do and it’s a major positive for us and why we are still here after 11 years.”

Tickets for Tribfest remain on sale and can be purchased by visiting tribfest.co.uk.

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