In 2015 Shyne and husband Kevin were wondering what they could do to celebrate Shyne’s upcoming 40th birthday, be it hiring a hall with a band or finding a venue with music and camping so people could stay over.
Shyne began contacting campsites but with little success. However, a chance conversation at the school gate with fellow mum Aneke, led to Aneke and husband Dan immediately offering the use of their farm. Kevin invited his friend Ciaron to help organise the bands, stages and sound. Having played in bands for many years, Ciaron jumped at the chance so the ShyneFest team was formed and preparations began.
The first ShyneFest on Shyne’s birthday in June 2015, was in West End. There were 18 bands and performers, food stalls, bouncy castles, camping and a very popular ice cream van. Over 250 people attended across the weekend, and the consensus was “that was amazing… let’s do it again!”
Shyne had no idea that her big birthday celebration would lead to more weekend-long music festivals, but was on for the challenge.
Unfortunately, Aneke and Dan moved shortly afterwards, so the team needed to find a new venue. It took until the summer of 2017 to find Miles Green Farm in Bisley. This time, tickets were made more widely available and sold publicly. ShyneFest 2 was another huge success, but sadly due to other farm commitments, Adrian and Amanda at Miles Green Farm couldn’t offer their farm the following year, so the venue search was on again.
The location they found was Apps Court Farm in Walton-on-Thames and in 2019 the festival brought a fantastic array of acts from the South Bank Crows to the ultimate tribute of The Rolling Stones from the Counterfeit Stones!
Shyne told The Knaphillian, ‘Apps Court Farm promises to be somewhere we can grow into over the coming years as a permanent home. The site covers a huge 82 acres, so whilst not quite Glastonbury, all being well the future of ShyneFest is secured.
‘Now in its fourth year, this summer’s ShyneFest will be the biggest and best yet and another weekend to remember. A host of special activities on site will keep the whole family entertained throughout the festival, from a silent disco and face painting to art and craft stalls and workshops.
‘Central to everything will be the one common bonding factor among all of us at ShyneFest, a deep and abiding love of music. Live acts will take centre stage throughout, whether it’s established bands or up and coming performers, ready to showcase their talents in front of an enthusiastic crowd of music fans.’
The bands that are booked for 2020 so far, include: From The Jam (with Bruce Foxton), Toploader, Noasis, Southbank Crows, Version Excursion, Adele (by Sonja), Colour Blind Monks, Bloomfield Avenue, The Rift, Bi and the Amanas, The True Deceivers, Nefarious Picaroons, Subz+1, The What If Generation, Mell Atkinson and TheMoharas. More acts are due to be booked and in 2020 there will be two stages.
The Knaphillian caught up with Shyne, Kevin and Ciaron to find out a little more about them and their passion for music.
The Knaphillian (TK): Are you local to Knaphill or nearby?
Shyne: I currently live in St Johns and have done so on and off since I was 12. Previous to that I lived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where I was born. I did actually live here briefly for a couple of years from age 5, when I moved from SA with mum and my gran into the tower of the school my great-uncle owned and was the headmaster of, St Michael’s, which is now Hoe Bridge. That is where my link with Woking began.
Ciaron: Living in West Byfleet so not far!
Kevin: I live in St Johns with Shyne, but lived in the Broadway, Knaphill from birth until in my 20’s. I went to all the Knaphill schools (First and Middle) and my mum was the dinner lady at Knaphill First School.
TK: Where did you all meet?
Shyne: I went to Winston Churchill School and so did Kev and I met Ciaron in my teens through a friend.
Ciaron: I have known Kevin and Shyne for many years. We were probably in our late teens and had mutual friends.
TK: Where did you go to school or college?
Shyne: I started my school life in Woking at Greenfields School and then moved to Winston Churchill for my GCSE’s. After this I went on to Brooklands College in Weybridge to study Art & Design.
Ciaron: St John the Baptist school, Woking
Kevin: Winston Churchill and then Guildford Tech to study plumbing and heating.
TK: What did you want to be when you were at school?
Shyne: When I was little I wanted to be an air hostess, I thought that it would be wonderful to travel the world and explore lots of countries. Little did I know that most of it would be spent on the aeroplane; work, sleep, repeat. Needless to say, I never became one!
Ciaron: Anything to do with sport or music. A bass playing professional footballer would have been perfect!
TK: Was there anything you were particularly keen on at school?
Shyne: I really enjoyed music, art and CDT.
Ciaron: I really enjoyed school so no dislikes. PE and break time was always the highlight of the week. Also had great friends.
Kevin: Technical Drawing and sport.
TK: How did your working life start?
Shyne: My first full time job was at a company called Storage Options and Supplies in Woking. They sold parts for computers like memory, hard drives, disk drives etc. After that I went to StorageTek in Sheerwater and then a company called Systems Union in Hammersmith. All of these roles were in IT, which really didn’t hold my interest, they were just a way to earn a living, so I followed my dream of travelling for a couple of years.
When I came back, I studied holistic medicine. I went on to open a natural health clinic in Send, offering many forms of healing such as osteopathy, homeopathy, counselling, acupuncture etc. I rented the rooms out to over 30 part time therapists. Sadly the recession in 2008 turned my business into a very expensive hobby and I had to let it go after I had my daughter in 2009.
Ciaron: First and only job has been Landscape gardening.
Kevin: As an apprentice for Ideal Gas and Oil burners in Woking.
TK: And what are you doing now?
Shyne: Now I am working with Kev, doing admin and accounts for his commercial heating business. I am also a distributor for Forever Living, which are natural products based around the plant, aloe vera. I am also currently studying a correspondence course in nutrition. And of course, ShyneFest!
Ciaron: Still Landscaping!
Kevin: I have my own commercial heating business and have done plumbing and heating in all of my previous schools!
TK: Have there been any strange or amusing requests whilst producing ShyneFest?
Ciaron: Nothing too strange yet. The acts are getting bigger each year and it’s quite amusing what some of them ask for backstage! Jammie Dodgers were needed last year!
Kevin: Sitting in the passenger seat of a car, whilst ‘Elvis Presley’ drove and him asking if his performance was any good (it was).
TK: Who are the people in life who inspire you?
Shyne: People, wearing their hearts on their sleeves and showing their truth, remind me and inspire me to just be me and to not worry about comparing myself to others.
Ciaron: My Wife Colleen and my brother John. They both always push me to achieve and go for my goals, especially with ShyneFest. Kevin and Shyne inspire/amaze me with how they run family life and their attitude to our festival.
Kevin: My wife! My Dad inspired me with his work ethic, knowledge and skill.
TK: If you could give any advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Ciaron: Travel more.
Kevin: To listen and live your dreams, instead of being scared to branch out.
TK: What are your plans for the future?
Shyne: I love to support local businesses and musicians, so my plans are to continue growing ShyneFest and championing friends, family and people in my community. Apps Court is a great venue and we are very lucky to have found it, however I would really love to move the festival back to the Woking area, so if any readers know anyone who has that kind of space (20 plus acres), please get in touch!
Ciaron: To make ShyneFest an event that people don’t want to miss!!
Kevin: To create a successful festival for friends, family and friends we haven’t met yet, which everybody will have to come back to and say that they have had the best weekend of their year.
TK: Do you have any other hobbies?
Shyne: I have recently learned how to crochet and I am currently making a blanket out of a single granny square that is slowly getting bigger and bigger!
Kevin: I support Liverpool FC and I play five-a-side football on Wednesday evenings in Bisley with a few mates.
TK: What makes you laugh or feel happy?
Shyne: Looking back from the stage and watching everyone’s faces at ShyneFest when they are enjoying the music, dancing and having fun with their friends. I am always buzzing for weeks afterwards!
Kevin: Family & friends and live music!
TK: What makes your weekends complete?
Shyne: Being a night owl, I really enjoy being able to sleep in at the weekends and not have to get up while its still dark for the school run. Luckily our kids love a good lie-in too. I enjoy spending time with the kids, watching movies, going for walks and generally just having a good chill out.
Ciaron: Sunday morning Breakfast, dancing to loud music with the kids.
Kevin: I look forward to having a beer on a Friday night, spending time with my kids and having lazy weekends.
STOP PRESS..STOP PRESS..STOP PRESS…!
Just as we were about to publish this feature, a very excited Shyne got in touch to let us know ShyneFest has been short-listed in the prestigious The Family Network Recognition National Business Awards in the Small Business of the Year Category.
This is the 6th year The Family Network have hosted their National Business Awards to recognise the hard working families across the UK.
Winners will be announced at their black tie awards ceremony on Saturday the 28th of March 2020 at DoubleTree Hilton Bournemouth.
The Knaphillian would like to wish Shyne, Kevin and Ciaron our congratulations and every success for a good result on the night!
ShyneFest 2020 takes place on FRIDAY 12th JUNE and SATURDAY 13th JUNE 2020
Facebook and Instagram pages (see links below) will have details of the line-up as they are booked, so please do keep checking for additions and changes.
New for 2020: Glamping and Showers!
Friday 12th June – 5pm to 11pm
Overnight Camping is available (entry possible from 12 noon to set up your pitch)
- DJ/Silent Disco – with kiddies disco starting at 5pm
- Kids Activities & Entertainment
- Live music from 5pm on two stages
Silent Disco after 11pm
- Food & Drink, Art/Craft/Goodies Stalls
Saturday 13th June – 8am to 11pm
- Overnight Camping is available.
- Live Music from 12pm on two stages
- Kids Activities, Workshops & Entertainment from 8am
- Food & Drink, Art/Craft/Goodies Stalls
Camping (Friday and Saturday night only)
Sorry, but no fire pits or dogs are allowed. BBQ’s are allowed, but please keep them off the ground and ensure they are fully out before leaving them.
For 2020, ShyneFest are very excited to be teaming up with Camel Camp to offer you an amazing glamping experience. In this, their first year with ShyneFest, Camel Camp are generously offering a 25% reduction in their usual fees. http://www.festivalglamping.com/shyne-fest Click here for more information and booking: Camel Camp
And if you can’t wait until June, ShyneFest are having a little winter get together that they have named WynterFest on 22nd February 2020 at the Holroyd Arms in Guildford. There will be four bands playing and tickets are just £5 on the door. More info can be found at: www.wynterfest2020.eventbrite.co.uk
For more information about ShyneFest 2020, please click on the following links:
or follow them on Instagram: @shynefest
As a team, Shyne, Kevin and Ciaron would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported ShyneFest on our exciting journey so far. We hope to be a regular local music festival for many years to come.