BRITAIN’S biggest guitar festival, the Lyme Regis-based Guitars On The Beach, will be staged in June as a massive salute to rock legends lost in 2017 – including Chuck Berry, Tom Petty and AC/DC’s Malcolm Young.
Organisers are aiming to gather more than 1,000 amateur guitarists on the beach to form an enormous “tribute” band to honour music megastars who died last year.
As a mark of respect to icons who influenced generations, the huge band of guitarists of all ages and abilities will come together on the beach on Saturday, June 16th to simultaneously perform a set of the hits by those who changed the sound of music.
Among those guitarists who will be honoured at the ‘Goodbye Johnny B. Goode’ event, when the very big band plays its heroes’ songs, will be Chuck Berry, Malcolm Young, Glen Campbell and Tom Petty, along with tributes to guitar pioneers Buddy Holly and Rory Gallagher.
“We’re making Guitars On The Beach one big tribute show this year because without the influence of the genius guitarists whom we lost last year many of us would never have picked up the instrument in the first place,” said a spokesman.
“There will also be special tributes to Buddy Holly, to mark the 60th anniversary of the release of ‘Rave On’, and a big nod to another much-missed guitar legend, Rory Gallagher.
“We’ll be picking songs by these heroes that are easy to play along to so that both novice and accomplished guitarists can all join in the tribute and we are aiming to attract at least 1,000 people to perform together on the day.”
Organisers are also to shortly reveal details of a fundraising drive to raise the £6,000 needed to hire a stage and sound system for the event.
Among the plans for the hugely-popular annual fixture, at which bands from all over the UK traditionally vie to perform to a crowd of thousands, will be an auction through which the highest bidder will get to play with the house band at the climax of the day-long festival.
Guitars On The Beach began in 2013 as a move to encourage young people to learn to play the guitar and to be a platform for older players to perform in a band, albeit a huge one. In 2014, GOTB achieved the UK’s biggest band record of around 3,000 guitarists who were led on a playalong of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’ by the band’s singer Ian Gillan.
In the years since it has become one of the most popular events of the Dorset summer calendar and it has seen other rock stars including Andy Scott of The Sweet, Status Quo’s John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, Ray Dorset of Mungo Jerry and maestro guitarist Robbie McIntosh perform with the giant band on the sand.