Music festival to remember Hartlepool student Robert Smith five years on

A music festival in memory of a talented Hartlepool student is looking forward to its fifth birthday.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 2:41 pm
Musicians performing during last year's SmithFest in Hartlepool. Pictures courtesy of 8 Ball Photography.

Artist and musician Robert Smith died at his home in Wharton Terrace, the day after celebrating his 19th birthday.

SmithFest was started by pals in tribute to him and has been held for the last four years.

Robert Smith.

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It returns with a bang next month for its fifth year and is shaping up to be another fantastic event.

Almost 30 acts playing all genres of music are getting together to perform across two days and three venues in the town.

Outside of his passion for music and art, Robert, who had epilepsy, was a law student at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.

SmithFest takes place on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20.

Alex Hooks, a friend of Rob’s and one of the organisers, said: “Rob was an extremely talented local artist and musician.

“The idea for SmithFest was originally born at Rob’s funeral.

“We said we wanted to do a gig in commemoration. We got his father’s blessing and it worked really well the first year and we have continued doing it.
“Here we are five years later which is a massive surprise.”

As the first SmithFest was held in the Nursery Inn, the festival will return this year on Friday, July 19, for an evening of new, up and coming bands and musicians on their Homecoming Stage.

Doors open at approximately 3pm.

The Corporation Club, in Whitby Street, and Hops & Cheese, in Tower Street, are the venues on July 20 when doors open at around 3.30pm.

Among the great bands performing this year are Hartlepool’s White Negroes at the Corporation Club on Saturday, local band Giraffes at The Nursery Inn on the Friday and Pek and Wanley and Marie Marx at Hops & Cheese on Saturday.

Alex added: “We have a vast variety of music this year; metal, indie, pop, folk, acoustic, all sorts.

“We always do our best to promote local music.”

Admission to SmithFest is £4 and it gives access to both days and all venues.

For tickets and further announcements see the SmithFest UK Facebook page.