Smile Festival held in memory of teenager is ‘massive success’
- Credit: JAMES PRICE
A sold-out music festival held in memory of a popular Sudbury teenager was a “massive success”, according to organisers.
A crowd of 500 people attended the Smile Festival on Saturday night at AFC Sudbury in tribute to keen musician Arran Tosh, who died in 2014 aged just 13 from a brain tumour.
Arran's sister Abbie and her partner James Price organised the festival, which featured acts such as The Hoosiers, Just Jack, Sahara Snow, Tagore Chayne and St Luna.
The festival was first launched in 2017 and returned this summer after a one-year hiatus to raise money for The Smile of Arran Trust, a brain tumour charity which was set up in Arran's memory.
The trust has raised more than £200,000 since Arran's death to aid cancer research and provide financial support to children and families, whose lives have been affected by brain tumours.
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Abbie said: "It went incredibly well, we couldn't have hoped for any better really.
"I've already had loads of messages from people saying how much they enjoyed it.
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"The weather held up as well, which was great, and I like to think that was Arran's doing.
"We had people from up and down the UK, Scotland, Brighton and some from Poland. It was a massive success."
Arran was a pupil at Headingham school in Halstead, near Sudbury, when he was diagnosed with cancer following a routine eye test.
A Just Giving page set up in the wake of his death raised more than £20,000 for Cancer Research.
A keen musician, he would regularly busk on Sudbury high street to raise money for Cancer Research, and was performing only weeks before his death.
Abbie added that she presented performer Just Jack, who had success with hits such as Starz in their Eyes and Embers, with one of Arran's guitars at the festival.
"Just Jack was one of the first musicians that Arran liked so I thought it would be a really nice thing to do," she said. "I know Arran would have thought it was pretty cool.
"All of the acts were great and we look forward to next year.
"I'd like to thank our main sponsors Happy Monkey Drinks because without them it wouldn't have been possible and also AFC Sudbury, who went above and beyond to help us host the festival."