After some attempts at writing this as dad would, I have given up and decided to jot down my own thoughts on the last few months! Dad has is own unique style as indeed do I, so here goes at my first attempt at a blog!
Well, it’s 27th October 2009, precisely 234 days until the opening night! It’s the eve of the first announcement for which you will have to tune into Manx Radio at 8.30am tomorrow to hear all the exciting news!! Wow… where did the summer go? Answers on a postcard, please!
Those of you who know Street Heritage will know our slogan, the excitement is building and since dad’s last blog so much has happened to make this first announcement possible, hence the excitement has built and built to an almost boiling point! Notably, over 10,000 people registered for priority booking and good grief that’s over an eighth of the population! I take my hat off to dad! When he puts his mind to it he really goes for it and its all or nothing with him and Boy George it’s everything here! The last few months have proved turbulent but potentially rewarding as I think it’s safe to assume the Isle of Man will never have seen before what we will be announcing tomorrow. It is as if we have something unique, something inimitable something to be factored into father’s day on 20th June 2010! It will certainly provide a variety of talent!
That said, as you will recall from the recent press we had reached an agreement with Boyzone for an exclusive reunion to play Friday, 18th June. The full agreement was just literally agreed at 3 pm on that Friday and then very sadly Stephen Gately passed away on Saturday. This was extremely upsetting for his family, friends, and fans. After the initial shock, it left us with a few headaches for us as promoters. How to fill the void… we were asked to hold it over for two weeks as the band went through their grieving process. The two weeks is now up so we expect a decision anytime now. If they decide not to continue we have a very good alternative band in mind. We are also close to finalizing the Saturday night with hopefully an excellent ‘indie/rock’ band. Watch this space!
However tomorrow, Wednesday 28th October, please tune into Manx Radio at 8.30 am for the first announcement of who will play in the two shows on Sunday 20th June at the festival! I think you will be surprised by the Diversity of talent we will have!
You can start purchasing tickets as from 8 am Tuesday 3rd November (Monday 2nd if you are registered). I would recommend that you book early as our capacity is reduced to 7,000 this year (10,000 in 2007 and we sold nearly 6,000 on the Ronan Keating & McFly night….so not much slack there!). This is due to the only size of the tent we can get on the site is an 8 pole (12 pole in 2007). It is the same width but shorter. Don’t miss out on tickets!! Be prepared!!!
Well, it was a blistering hot day but extremely worthwhile – another 400 people registered all collected in the middle of a field in the middle of the country in the middle of the Isle of Man. Who? What? Where?
Yes, you’ve guessed it – it was the Royal Show at Sulby. Manx Telecom (just when you think they can’t do any more to help to make a success of next year’s festival they push that bar even further!!) had their own marquee at the Show and Voirrey (I did say to her I would mention how good she is – which she is!)contacted us a few weeks ago to ask did we want a small marquee alongside theirs and they’ll put up banners for us and all we would have to do is ‘man it’ (or in our case ‘lady’ it – my wife, Diane, daughters Peggy and Lucy….well actually that was yesterday, Friday, but today it is ‘man’ it as it is my son Jamie’s turn and also ‘lady’ it as he is there with his girlfriend Hannah.
Their mission today, if they accept it, is to achieve another 400 and we will have tipped the level of 7,000 registrants. STOP PRESS The news has just arrived from the North … we have now tipped the 7,000. Jamie has just phoned to confirm that they signed up just over 500 today – (I’m actually pretending today is still Saturday in true journalistic terms, but I’ve had a sleep since then (well not much of one actually as my shoulder has developed some kind of man flu which kept me awake) and I’ve now started again at 6.23am Sunday morning).
There are a load of advantages to being registered but just a few is that if you do you are ahead of the main rush for the tickets and also you won’t have to endure long queues to stand in for hours as you can book from the comfort of your own comfortable armchair and shooting slippers.
Ironically, I understand the Royal Show moves to Knockaloe in 2011 which we were going to share the fields with them. The idea was we ran the Peel Bay Festival in 2008 from there then shared as soon as they moved. But anyone who has followed this saga will know a rerun of the PBF hit the Peel Bay Rocks after a slight fall out I had with the then Minister of Tourism (or ‘Doomism’ as he was christened by one of our merry band). I suppose that fall out was the reason that the PBF is now confined to the annals of history but for those that were there, it is a story worth telling their grandchildren as they are now in an exclusive club. However, we now have a new Minister of Tourism who is very supportive of another festival and is actually one of our registrants! And with the lessons learned in 2007, it means we are going to ensure we deliver an even better festival in Nobles Park next June so you can tell your grandchildren that you were at the very first Manx Telecom Bay Festival….on the assumption you are there of course! (valid tickets only!!)
Have you seen ‘Transition’ yet? If not, why not? It is our promotional DVD that you can view on this site or YouTube (please type in ‘Bay Festival 2010’). It is heavily symbolic and tells the story of….well if you are interested to read on or if not fast forward to the Epilogue – this is where we split transmissions!
Are you still there? Anyway Diane gave to me at Christmas ‘Chicane’s Greatest Hits’ (which was interesting as I hadn’t really heard of them before but when I listened to it I realised there was a track on there that was my inspiration to actually kick start this Festival again – ‘Don’t Give Up!’ (a collaboration between Chicane and Bryan Adams) Jamie and I watched on Sky last October, by pure chance, this festival that Adams played at in Ireland in circa 2006 and this ‘trance’ track featured in his set and we found it EXTREMELY infectious and prophetic. We recorded it which received a LOT of replays! Listen to the lyrics – it applies to us ALL and it gave me the inspiration/encouragement to try again (so if this next festival fails through lack of support – thus condemning all such large-scale IOM festivals to the annals of history (as if it doesn’t work in Douglas it won’t work anywhere) it will be my wife’s fault for giving me the CD…so she will only have herself to blame!…no point trying to apportion any onto me! You’ve read it here first!!).
So the track on ‘Chicane’s Greatest Hits’ that I felt fitted our profile extremely well is ‘Saltwater’. It is another collaboration, this time between Chicane and Máire Brennan of Clannad. As you will hear it is a strong combination of haunting Celtic vocals and trance/dance music which I thought sat really well with the ‘vision’. I better warn you now that the video is choreographed EXACTLY to the music and some viewers may find the fast-moving aerial photography a bit disorientating or ‘flashing’.
This CD received a lot of plays in my car as I traveled around with my work but mainly between our house in Peel and the plantation I take our dog for a walk, some 5 miles away. I listened to this track so many times in the car from January to June (trying to come up with the best storyline to fit and then fine tune it) that the dog could hum the tune by June! Which just bears out the news headline I’ve just heard whilst writing this that some dogs are as intelligent as 2-year-old children! Have they met our dog?
Trying to explain to the helicopter crew what I wanted was an interesting experience. I hired the helicopter that was over filming the TT this year for North One, who was extremely helpful in arranging the availability. However, I did feel that the cost of hire for the hour’s filming should have entitled me to shares in the helicopter but that is another matter.
For insurance purposes I wasn’t allowed to go up in the helicopter – even though I thought I owned shares in this by now, but that is another matter. So Jamie and I are sat in the fire station at the end of Ronaldsway airport on the Thursday afternoon of Race Week trying to explain what I wanted. I had written a second by second ‘storyboard’ and gave the Pilot and the Cameraman a copy. I had also prepared a map. “Are you sure I can’t come up with you as it would be FAR easier?” “No sorry mate it’s the insurance!” They were two extremely pleasant and helpful people but rules are unfortunately rules!..even though I thought I owned shares, but that is another matter.
I said “any way the most important bit out of the whole lot by far is when you do 2 circles over Peel you have to make sure your crossover point is EXACTLY the same as when you do your run through to Port Erin i.e. I need to ‘reverse out’ of the footage of the PBF in slow-mo to create the feel of uncertainty of its future and on the crossover point I’ll stop the footage for a split second and then we hurtle forwards off to Port Erin”.
Knowing they had another job to do whilst they were ‘up there’ which they were running late so I had to ‘download’ to them in 3 minutes something I had been living with for 6 months! “So do we turn left here”, “no you turn right, it tells you here on the script…although I admit not very clear ”. “How low can you fly?” “Lower than you might think, do you want me to fly low coming into Peel and rise up as we reach land? We did something similar the other night for the TT broadcast, hovering over the Grandstand.” “Perfect!” I said, “just train your camera on the sea and hold it there until you are near the breakwater.” “Where’s the breakwater?” “You’ll find it”. “Do you want me to enter Port Erin sweeping clockwise or anti-clockwise?” “Anti-clockwise, it tells you here on the script …although I admit not very clearly. Port Erin is anti, Castletown is clockwise, Ramsey is anti and Douglas is anti”. “How many circles do you want of each bay?” “Two, it tells you here on the script …although I admit not very clearly. Are you sure I can’t come with you? I think I now own shares in this helicopter anyway!” “No, sorry but I think we’ve got the gist of it now…. but we’ll have to rush.”
I thought if this turns out ANYTHING like I have scripted it will be an absolute miracle. So I resigned myself to just accepting whatever they gave me (as they were filming in it HD and there was no way I could view it until it was converted and by then they will have left the Island) and writing the story around whatever I had. Anyway, after an hour and a half, they arrived back at the Fire Station, handed me the raw footage and I’m extremely pleased to report that when I eventually viewed it they had done EXACTLY what I wanted – what pros!
However, what was that missile they filmed over Laxey Bay turning back on itself and crisscrossing? Take a look.
The next stage was to cut all this footage from the PBF in 2007 (7 nights worth) and 1 hour of aerial photography into a 3 minute and 35 second DVD. I met up with Peter Duke from Duke Video who introduced me to Simon who runs his editing suite. Simon converted the raw footage from HD into a standard DVD so I spent the weekend viewing it over and over again making notes. But in the meantime, I left the soundtrack and storyboard script with Simon.
On Monday afternoon I went in and was introduced to Mike who had been given the unenviable task of working with me to edit it. The first thing Mike said, “I’ve gone through it this morning and it’s too long at 3.5 minutes, we need to cut it down.” I thought ‘aw Gawd, another potential problem… a battle of wills is going to ensue here’. So I said, “let’s see how my script pans out and if at the end you don’t see the merit then we will look to cut it”. Mike replied, “fair enough, I’m just used to people coming in here not really knowing exactly what they want but I can see you do.“ And from that point on we got on like a house on fire and we bounced ideas off each other and democracy ruled and it just got better and better.
After 3 days we had a ‘rough draft’ and I took it home to show the family. After about 10 reruns we started with ideas: Jamie suggested we show the energy/spirit of the PBF being transported to Douglas; Diane suggested that the energy/spirit explodes into Nobles Park; Peggy suggested we had a load of flame swirling behind the appearing logo and Lucy suggested we all had a cup of tea.
All very useful and welcome comments, especially the tea. I went back to Mike who in the meantime had very brilliantly edited The Who footage to choreograph exactly to the music – please watch it and you’ll see what I mean…especially the bit where Roger Daltrey catches the microphone on the finish of the riff. Also, I like the way that he ‘ghosted’ Townshend and Daltrey over Peel Castle.
The ‘crossover’ bit I referred to earlier from the helicopter was the only thing that didn’t happen the way I wanted. The Pilot had the right path but just too high. I said fly towards the PBF field so we can cut in the PBF footage and then turnaround by the Switchback and fly back over the crossover point and then head to Port Erin. Unfortunately, his entry height to the second sweep of the Bay was too low compared to his fly over heading south. However, Mike did some very clever editing which works probably better than originally intended. At that point, I told him to ‘suck out of the ground’ from the Festival field the ENERGY/SPIRIT ORB and he came up with the idea of the swirling mass you see on the footage which the camera follows in its search for a new home.
So what does it all mean? It portrays the ‘Transition’ between the PBF roots of 2007 and moving all that knowledge and energy to put this event onto a national footing into the heart of the Island’s capital. It starts with the swirling cloud of the ‘pre-birth’, then the idea is born and the cloud starts to break and as the idea starts to develop the ‘fog’ starts to completely clear and we gain some momentum as we sweep in over Peel Bay and then the rush starts to get it ready in time as the flight breaks to the right over Peel Castle and does 2 laps of the Bay and then bang the PBF is in ‘full flight’. There then follows 69 seconds of the actual PBF footage (memorable stuff!) and then the festival is over and there is all the ‘fog’ of uncertainty – will it or will it not happen again? Is it finished forevermore?
After 2 years finally, the decision is taken to hold it again and the ‘fog’ lifts and then all that PBF energy/spirit is to be set free in the search of another home. The search then begins seeking out all the major bays of the Isle of Man and ends up exploding into Nobles Park where it will be held next June between 18th and 20th.
So, in the end, did Mike agree that it was still too long?….No, he thought the timing was just right based on the context. I would like to register a BIG thank you for his good humor, accommodation, and brilliant editing skills – nearly as good as the script!!
”and so who’ve you got for next year then?” is a question I get asked all the time. In fact, if I had a pound for every time I have been asked that it would have gone a long way to plugging the financial hole of 2007. However, the honest answer right this minute (and the next) is NO ONE! However, Lenny Conroy from Triskel Promotions (the chap who is bringing the Kaiser Chiefs to the Island this month)and myself are on to it!
The problem is that all the London agents I used in 2006 for 2007 have all said that they are still trying to sort their artists’ tours for the rest of this year first. And ALL have said, “come back early September”.
So we’ll be there on Tuesday 1st September at 11 am (they start late and finish late) chasing them all to see if we can get our ‘wish list’ to come true. However, we will have our line up finalized by the end of September and be on sale early November…keep watching this space.
So tune in next time for “Good God…. it’s like the Gestapo have arrived”. Er..er..okay… I know I said that at the end of the last Chapter but it is now 8.50PM NOW on Sunday 9th August and I’ve had enough for today and I think you’ve had more than enough if indeed you are still there, after all, it is Sunday and I’m meant to be pretending it’s still Saturday…life is so confusing!
So tune in next time for “Good God…. it’s like the Gestapo have arrived”.
Manx Telecom Bay Festival 2010 – Frequently Asked Questions
Over these few pages you can find out everything you need to know about the 2010 MANX TELECOM BAY FESTIVAL.
1. What is it?
Well it’s now official the Peel Bay Festival is back as the MANX TELECOM BAY FESTIVAL with: 24 sizzling artists/bands over 3 absolutely amazing hot summer days all undercover in a black out tent so all the special effects, stunning light shows and sensational artists will totally be ‘shock and awe’ right from the start (our hot simmering festival is only days before the longest day).
Amongst the 24 artists/bands the headliners are: Spandau Ballet, Calvin Harris, JLS, The Feeling, Boy George, The Coronas, Rick Astley, Belinda Carlisle, Diversity, Kim Wilde ..so something for EVERYONE!
2. Dates and times?
Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June 2010. Approximate times are: Friday 5.30pm to midnight, Saturday 2.30pm to midnight and Sunday 1pm to midnight with the arena closed down (for evening sound checks and removal of the chairs for the 80’s Wall to Wall Party night) for circa 2.5 hours at approximately 4.30pm. A wide choice of food and refreshments will be available on site as well as ‘lifestyle’ tents.
3. Is it indoors or out?
It is a fully indoor event in one of the largest temporary structures in Europe, namely the Valhalla Marquee. The tent is black out so, whilst this festival takes place within a few days of the longest day, the full effect of the lights and special effects will be seen to their optimum. Due to us only being able to book the 8-pole instead of the 12-pole last time the total capacity is reduced to circa 7,000.
4. Is it is definitely happening? Have the organisers done this before?
It most definitely is happening and we look forward to seeing you there! Yes the promoters, Street Heritage, and their staff were behind the hugely successful Peel Bay Festival in 2007 which was held over 7 nights and attracted 25,000 people.
5. Where is the venue?
Nobles Park, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM2 6DA. This is a large green park right in the centre of Douglas, the Island capital, and is situated next to the TT Grandstand. It is close and within easy walking to Douglas Promenade with all its hotels, guest houses, amenities etc.
6. Is it all standing?
No it comprises of 2/3rds seated at the front and standing behind the seats. Please see the attached plans. There is no tiered seating although the park slopes naturally towards the stage. On the Sunday evening, however, all the seats come out and it is all standing (and dancing). Again, as the park is naturally sloping, the back of the tent will be higher than the main stage. There is also a platform for disabled revellers throughout. Due to us only being able to accommodate the 8-pole instead of the 12-pole in 2007 the total capacity is reduced to circa 7,000.
7. How do I get there?
If you wish to travel from off the Island to make a very special night or weekend of it please see the travel packages, they are very competitively priced and include your entrance ticket(s), travel, camping or bed and breakfast in a guest house or hotel. Camping packages that include ferry cost, 3 nights pitch, festival pass and booking fees are from ONLY £149!! If you are an island resident please do not drink and drive. Why not take advantage of one of the very attractive deals on local accommodation (including camping from £139 totally inclusive), details in travel packages. We will send you an easy to follow and simple map with your tickets.
8. Will I receive my tickets straight away?
ALL tickets purchased before 20th May 2010 will be held and dispatched on or around that date. Please allow up to 30th May 2010 for delivery, if by then you have not received them please contact Duke Marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets bought after this date will be dispatched within 5 days of booking. Tickets ordered over the phone or on the web within the following times of the event will be held for collection at the Duke shop situated behind the TT Grandstand, Glencrutchery Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM2 6DA. IOM – 2 days before the performance day U.K. – 5 days before the performance day EUROPE – 10 days before the performance day. The cardholder must take the credit card that the tickets were booked with and the reference number. The cardholder’s signature is also required before the tickets will be released. Letters of authorisation and photocopies of the credit card will not be accepted.
9. Is it family friendly?
The 2010 festival is very much a family friendly music event and over 3 days and we know there is something for EVERYONE! The Sunday Afternoon ‘X FACTOR MEETS BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT’ is intended to be a ‘Father’s Day’ show for ALL the family to enjoy and we have special prices for children and family tickets, please see tickets.
10. Is there any onsite parking?
Yes there is a lot of onsite car parking availability. But to be sure of a place please pre book your car parking ticket plus it is cheaper to buy your ticket now. If you purchase on the day the cost will be £5.00 as opposed to £3.00 pre booked. There is a ‘north’ car park for those travelling from Ramsey direction and ‘south’ car park for those arriving from the Port Erin direction. Your car park tickets will be allocated according to post code.
11. I don’t want to drink and drive, can I get a bus or a coach?
Special buses/coaches will be available from Ramsey, Peel and Port Erin and all tickets must be pre-booked. Buses will leave for the return journey within 15 minutes of the last artist leaving the stage. The full schedule of buses and information on how to buy tickets will be sent to all contacts early in 2010.
12. Are there any taxis around Douglas?
There are a lot of taxis on the Island but generally the largest number will be around Douglas. Some firms will allow you to pre-book now for June.
13. How close can I be dropped off and/or collected?
Please see the site plan. You will see that Upper Dukes Road will be one way, downwards from the Police Headquarters direction, and part of that is designated as the ‘Drop Off/Collection Point’. All you will have to do then is walk up the pedestrian path in the park to the entrance to the Festival.
14. Where can I drop my daughter and her friends off and collect them later?
As in 13.
15. Will there be any catering and other concessions on site?
Yes a full range of catering and merchandise concessions will be positioned around the site.
16. Will there be adequate toilets?
Yes, there will toilets positioned around the site.
17. Any medical and welfare facilities on site?
Yes, there will be full medical and welfare facilitates available at the Festival which will be fully staffed. The position of these facilities will be towards the Pavilion at the rear on the north side of the main tent, please see the site plan. Medical teams will be also on patrol so if you felt ill or distressed they are there to help so please do not hesitate to seek their help. Equally if you cannot see a medical team and you feel unwell please speak to any Steward or Security personnel who will be able to contact the medical team immediately.
18. How do I report a lost child?
If in the unlikely event you are temporarily separated from your child, then please report it immediately to any member of staff. If you feel lost, please speak to any member of staff or go to the Medical and Welfare Tent situated to the left of the stage just outside the main tent. It will be signposted.
19. Is it disabled-friendly?
Yes, as in 2007, there will be an elevated ramp for people who are disabled. Special car parking arrangements are made close by. There will be an allocated Steward and also medical assistance will be available for any chronically disabled guests.
20. Are there any deals with local hotels overnight to save drinking and driving?
Yes, if you are an island resident please do not drink and drive, therefore we have some very attractive deals with local accommodation again please see travel packages. When the tickets are sent out it will include an easy to follow and simple map.
21. Any camping?
There is onsite camping available which also includes ferry travel etc, please visit our travel packages page.
22. Who’s playing at the Manx Telecom Bay Festival?
Please click to see the artist line up
23. What tickets are available and how?
Tickets start from £19.50 plus booking fee and the tickets are ALL on sale now . There are concessionary prices for children of 15 years or under and also there are special combined tickets for individuals and families for ‘all day’ Sunday covering the afternoon and evening show. Also there are 3 day Festival General Standing Ticket at £125, saving £28 on the individual prices.
24. How do I buy tickets?
Tickets are available to buy by clicking here or by calling (01624) 600600 between 8 am and 8pm Monday to Friday. All tickets are sold by Duke or Regency Travel as the exclusive sales agent of Bay Festival Ltd.
25. I have lost my ticket(s)
If you lose your tickets, please contact Duke the ticket agent immediately. Ideally, have your original booking reference to quote. Your lost tickets will be cancelled and new tickets issued for an admin fee of £3 plus Recorded Delivery despatch.
26. Do I receive an order confirmation?
Upon purchase over the web you will receive a confirmation email with details of your purchase. You will then receive bi-monthly newsletters via email.
27. I registered; do I get a priority booking time?
Yes, you will be contacted via email with details of this prior to each launch. Your loyalty to us will be rewarded, thank you.
28. Any indicative internal layout block plans?
Yes plans are available for each of the three shows i.e. Friday’s layout with 2/3rds chairs and 1/3rd standing. Saturday and Sunday afternoon comprises of Gold blocks K and F and the Silver seating all coming out and replaced with Side Standing whilst on Sunday evening all the chairs come out and it is all General Standing.
29. What is the drug policy?
The dealing in or use of illegal drugs is not condoned by the Manx Telecom Bay Festival. It is illegal to take, to buy or to sell drugs. Drug enforcement laws are as applicable on site as anywhere else on the Island. If someone deals in drugs it is likely that they will be arrested via security and handed over to the Manx Constabulary. There will be covert Police and security onsite backed up by CCTV who will take action as appropriate.
There will be bins placed at all entrances and anyone carrying drugs should place them in the bins before entering. There will be no questions and no covert video recording of these positions.
Neither anti-social nor illegal behavior will be tolerated whatsoever and participants will leave themselves liable for eviction from the site or arrest. Experimenting with drugs can lead to adverse reactions. Drugs can kill. The crowds and the sheer size of the Festival can be frightening and disorientating under the influence of drugs and could spoil your enjoyment of the event.
If you have taken drugs and you become ill, depressed or frightened please ask a Steward to direct you to the Medical and Welfare Area, which will have the necessary staff who can help and support you.
30. Will there be food available at the festival? Can we bring our own food into the marquee?
There will be full food and drink concessions at the festival. Ticket holders will not be allowed to bring their own food or any drink into the site.
31. Can I bring a camera to take photos or record?
Due to Artists conditions of performance under no circumstances can any photographs or recording take place in the main arena. If you do you risk your equipment being confiscated.
32. Will the Festival continue in adverse weather conditions?
Yes, as it is all under cover all performances will go ahead in the event of rain and would only be cancelled in the most extreme weather conditions or if it is deemed to be unsafe by the management.
33. Will alcohol be available at the Festival? Can I bring my own alcohol?
Yes, there will be alcohol on sale subject to a granting of a licence. Under no circumstances must alcohol be brought into the Festival as ALL alcohol consumption has to be responsible and controlled.
34. Will there be any intervals?
During the evenings there will be between a 30 and 45 minute interval. Plenty of announcements through the PA system will keep you fully informed as to timings and events. On the Sunday afternoon the show will probably run continuously.
Yes…ok, I admit it….I was late. However, the very pleasant lady on Manx Telecom’s reception was well rehearsed. I came rushing through the revolving door and just like a rolling Formula One pit stop I was first handed my fully completed identity badge. “I hope I have spelled ‘Jonathan’ right” as she ran alongside me “yes that’s terrific”…. “They are all in the Board Room and I have called the lift for you”…. “Thank you”, I blurted as I zoomed out of the pit lane.
Why does everything take twice as long when you are in a hurry? The lift door took twice as long to open as normal, then it took twice as long to close and twice as long to travel from floor to floor and then again twice as long to open on arrival! Things were much better in the old days…everything worked a lot quicker!! Eventually I escaped the lift and rushed into Manx Telecoms boardroom, with its magnificent views over the wonderful Manx countryside, and as I did so it was on the tip of my tongue to say “lateness due to the wrong type of leaves on the track at Ballasalla Junction causing the 7.43am Port Erin Flyer to be cancelled and thus delaying the Douglas bound Express”….however, as it was now 3.10pm I just said “sorry I’m late” and sat down.
So who was I saying sorry to? Well, there was Voirrey and Andy from Manx Telecom, Terry from Ashgrove Marketing, John from Marsom Radio and Cheryl and myself from Street Heritage(I was doing all the talking and Cheryl was doing all the writing). Why were we there? It was our monthly media partners meeting to agree and report on progress.
We all listened with great interest to Voirrey’s experiences at this year’s Glastonbury festival which she had just returned from. I was keen to learn how much Michael Eavis had used of my ideas from the Peel Bay Festival in 2007! However, somewhat disappointingly, Voirrey had not observed ANY!! So I have told her she has to be more eagle-eyed next year!
Voirrey said that there was a full turnout for Rolf Harris and Tom Jones……mmmm?….and Blur (now if I could get The Verve!)I thought the riffs of Crosby Stills and Nash were infectious and yet The Times gave them a thumbs down – what do I know? Now Bruce is someone who knows how to deliver an energetic and totally entertaining show and ‘interface’ with his audience at the same time…. If only?? However, the cost Michael Eavis £3K for going 9 minutes past his finish time…now I would pay £3K for even just 9 minutes of Bruce next year at the MTBF!
Anyway, after just over an hour, we had finally agreed on our marketing strategy: try and sell as many b****y tickets as we can! So, a very simple strategy really, nothing too complicated.
However, in the meantime, we must try and get as many as possible to register over the next three months as they will be the backbone of this festival and will be able to say “I was there at the birth and played my part”. Just by people registering simply helps to give us the encouragement we need to keep building this. Also, we need to keep creating awareness as people keep saying to me “I see you are doing it again, but when is it? where is it? So please help to keep spreading the word and have a chance of winning FREE VIP tickets.
Anyway…..where was I? Oh yes, so I headed up to the field to be greeted by a very enthusiastic young car park attendant who said: “I am sorry you can’t park here, this is for management”. Just as I started thinking where is my permit one of the supervisors came over and said directly to the young lad “It’s ok”, as he held his lower arm, “if HE wants to park on the main stage it’s still ok”. And I thought with the amount of the equipment The Who had brought with them parking on the main stage was not really a serious option….maybe tomorrow night?
So I walked into the backstage area and Jools, our (Wembley Stadium) Event Safety Manager, came over to me and said “the earlier concerns of the Fire officers were justified due to us being put behind due to transport delays and the stage relocation earlier in the week. However, we have worked the problems and either eradicated or minimized them. I have just carried out a risk assessment and I consider it now to be low. However we have one major and a potentially disastrous problem”…..’oh Gawd I thought’ however I had to ask, “what’s that?” he replied “we are now having to overcome their inexperience of such a major event. And they are now extremely nervous”! He went on to add “and due to that tonight’s show rests on a knife edge”.
And just as Jools finished his last words we were called by the Fire Officers to an emergency meeting in the Event Management office (a metal Portakabin). I was the first to walk in and the two Officers were stood at the top of the cabin looking suitably glum. One stood staring at the table in front of him and the other was staring at the ceiling as if looking for the Sword of Damocles. I tried to lighten the darkened mood with a few throwaways but to no avail.
They refused to start until ALL the senior management had all arrived and gathered around a series of tables. This process of assembly appeared to take forever. Once assembled the senior Officer started by giving us a resume of the days’ events from their perspective and each word sent me further and further into depression. Have you ever seen the film ‘Evelyn’? A wonderfully uplifting film which stretches every human emotion. But right at the end two of the three judges are split about overturning some crazy Irish law which put children into care if the mother abandoned the family even the father was still there. However, it boiled down to the senior Judge giving his verdict either to maintain the Status Quo (now there is another idea?) or to actually apply common sense. Anyway during his summing up his mouth looked like it was in his neck as his chin was on his chest – the usual position when someone is delivering bad news. So in his summing, each “however” brings a complete change in direction. Well, that is what it was exactly like in this metal portacabin.
However I started to realise with every “however” that Pete Townshend was resting in his Winnebago just outside, Roger Daltrey was sat in my conservatory and that there is a REAL chance any minute now that I’m going to kiss goodbye to the massive fee they had already been paid and worse still….I’m going to have to go out and explain to 5,000 Who fans why they won’t be seeing The Who tonight without wearing a flak jacket!!
Anyway as I fell out of the other side of the mental mangle the only words that registered anything with me (as I had switched off and spent the last 5 minutes working out in my head a detailed disaster appraisal) “I’ll let it go tonight but we will carry out a full inspection in the morning!”
The door of the metal portacabin flew open as we all fell out from the pressure cooker we had just been stood in. Unfortunately, the whole day’s events had taken their mental toll on a couple of key people and the last 10 minutes had only served to make them even worse. As the ‘leader’ it fell upon me to try and calm things down and re-focus. Jools instructed security to let in the fans.
However, our problems were still not over. Because of a problem caused by the hurried repositioning of the stage two days earlier due to the Tentmaster being concerned about the canvas flapping on the stage gantry in high winds and possibly causing the canvas to tear the stage had to be hastily repositioned which caused the seat positions to alter (lesson learnt) which meant the Fire Officers (adding to the excitement) insisting certain seats be removed to maintain aisle widths. That, unfortunately, meant we had to reseat certain people before we could get started but fortunately people accepted the slight inconvenience in reasonably good humor.
My wife, Diane, turned up with the girls and said: “how’s it going?” I just looked at her and said: “you do not want to know, you DO NOT want to know!”
And I thought it was exciting enough in 2006 when the then DoLGE Chief Exec was refusing to give me a certificate to use the grandstand seating we had erected on Peel beach for the two tribute nights using one of the stages from Glastonbury. The grandstands were all designed by a firm of specialist UK structural engineers but because we had made it TOO safe, by putting in more supports than shown on the plan, as the scaffolding company just used them up rather than take them back to the yard, the DoLGE Building Inspector said it didn’t comply with the plan. Anyway, 10 minutes before the gates were due to open we managed to convince him that too many were better than too little. Anyway, of course, both nights went ahead without any incident.
So we finally opened the Peel Bay Festival with Back Door Slam who were excellent and then followed by The Who, who were every bit as entertaining as they were in their ‘youth’. I must admit, I never thought when I was a youth growing up in Peel I ever thought I would see one of my favorite bands of all time playing in ‘my backyard’. And even now people still say to me “I had the choice of seeing free entertainment on Douglas Prom (shows how long ago this was) or seeing The Who play in the IOM and I chose the free entertainment. And now I realize I made the wrong decision!” So the moral of that story is don’t be one of those and miss out next June!!
So did we have any problems that first night? Only one incident and that was a poor lady on the disabled platform who suffered mild hypothermia with the cold wind whistling through the tent on that damp June evening as ironically the Fire Officers insisted that we kept up the 6 meter high tent flaps in the event of an emergency!!
So we survived, only just, the first night. So tune in next time for “Good God…. it’s like the Gestapo have arrived”.
Mmmm!!….not sure what happened yesterday. The news release about the MTBF being held in Nobles Park next year was embargoed until 7 am this morning, as you can see by clicking ‘read full story’ on the front page. But by 9.30am Voirrey at Manx Telecom (our terrifically supportive Prime Sponsors) is emailing Merita at Ashgrove (our excellent PR & Marketing ambassadors), copying me in saying Manx Radio (our totally enthusiastic media partners) have it loaded up as the head story on their website!
So big panic for 10 mins as MT say they’ll run the story NOW and I’m saying they can’t because Chris (who does an excellent job on our website) is away for the day and won’t be able to load it onto our website until the agreed time of 7 am‘ tomorrow’. So Manx Radio took the story down and then I’m driving through Douglas yesterday afternoon (trying to avoid – no choice – the collapsed building in Circular Road) and I’m catching up with the Manx Skeet listening to MR at 3 pm when I heard our two production managers, Ian and Richard, being interviewed (recorded last week at Nobles Park) saying their bit why they believe (which is absolutely true) that Nobles is the best home for the MTBF.
So …total confusion!! but a topic for conversation at our next partners meeting on 2nd July as we all strive for total co-ordination but just one of those little teething problems.
Anyway, as I was saying….the day before The Who are due to arrive on the Island I received a phone call from Rex King, who is their Tour Manager, saying “when you send the guys to the airport to collect Roger and Pete the last thing they want are tourist guides as they will want to focus in on the gig”.
Okay fair enough I thought. But I decided to take some time out to go down to the airport for 6 pm and leave those I was paying a lot of money to, who were a lot more experienced and qualified than me, to finalise the technical stuff (plus I was just the promoter of the PBF, it was the Event Safety Manager who had ‘life or death’ from our side. It was the same job he does at Wembley Stadium, V Festival and Radio 1 Roadshows etc), and so I went to the airport with Andy Kershaw to meet them.
Starting to get a bit hairy now – they were due on stage in just 2.5 hours and the weather was starting to close in and the practices had just been canceled due to fog up on the mountain closing in!! I’m sat in my car next to the runway they were due to come in on thinking, “this is starting to get a bit hairy now!” Just to add to the ‘hairiness’ Jamie, my son phoned me and said: “Dad, we have 5,000 people being held in the bar area and the Fire Officers are refusing to give us the Fire Certificate!” So after inquiring “why?” and agreeing what we needed to do and with who (pardon the pun) I revert back to concentrating on the hairiness at the airport because by now the two jets are running late which is starting to get REALLY hairy!!
Anyway eventually from a kneeling position, with fists clenched I was staring up at the Heavens and I noticed a jet emerging from lowering clouds. It lands and out strolls Pete Townshend and Andy introduces me and yes he was focused in on the gig. The next jet arrives and out strolls Roger Daltrey with the other band members. Andy introduces me to Roger and he jumps in my car and the first thing I say is “if you don’t want to talk that is fine if you do that’s fine”. He replies by saying “what are you talking about?”. So I explained about Rex and he said “no, I’m happy to talk” which we did all the way over to my house in Peel followed in the vehicle behind by his security.
I brought him into the house and introduced him to my wife, Diane, and daughters Lucy and Peggy and he was extremely pleasant and chatty. The idea of coming to the house was he wanted some relaxation before going on stage so Diane made him a cuppa whilst I tried to tune in Radio 4 on the radio in the conservatory (which is his preference in listening but a station I have never tuned into ever before so I hadn’t a clue where it was!) Anyway our phone rang and Diane came in and said “Jamie is on the phone”. So I had to abandon my attempt to find Radio 4 and went to speak to Jamie.
I picked up the phone and said “Hello” and Jamie replied “Dad, you had better get up here now. We have a really serious problem. The Fire Officers are refusing to give us the Fire Certificate and I have 5,000 people staring at me right now from the mojo barriers and Back Door Slam are due on in 40 minutes!”
Mmmm!!… I thought “do I want to go and talk to two local Fire Officers or sit here and talk to an internationally famous childhood hero of my mine who I’ll probably never, ever meet again?”
The Fire Officers won!! Tune in (not to Radio 4) for the next installment where I actually stared into the frightening face of complete disaster in a metal portacabin…….
Hi, I’m Jonathan Irving. I’m the promoter of the Isle of Man Bay Festival and had the same ‘honour’ for the Peel Bay Festival. For my sins, it was my idea (and money) to try to see if a major music festival would work on the Isle of Man.
Well….it did and it didn’t really! It did from the point of view that everyone who came in 2007 (25,000) had a fantastic time but it didn’t from my point of view as I lost a huge amount of money. On top of the huge amount of money, I made a huge amount of mistakes (fortunately the vast majority of the concert goers didn’t experience too many of those) but I’m giving it another go in 2010 because Madness runs in the family!
I decided that just because I lost a mini-fortune last time that it didn’t necessarily follow that I would again as a lot of hard and expensive lessons were learned and the loss is only a true loss if I didn’t do it ever again. So here I am giving it another go!
So over the coming months leading up to the next festival in June next year, I’m going to write a blog so anyone interested can share with me the pain, the pleasure, and excitement of organizing another massive music festival for the Isle of Man. I’ll also share with you interesting/funny stories that happened during the 2007 Peel Bay – although you can be the judge of how interesting/funny they actually are!
The Introduction to follow soon….and the day that Roger Daltrey came to the house for a cuppa…
Extra seats have been added for the Manx Telecom Bay Festival ‘X Factor Meets Britain’s Got Talent’ after the seating originally planned sold out in just 28 minutes this morning (Monday 2 November).
Tickets went on sale at 8 am today exclusively for people who had pre-registered. By 8:28 am, tickets for seats were sold out. Organisers have added an extra 300 seats inside the arena, which will go on sale tomorrow morning at 8 am, but they warn that once they’ve gone no more seats will be added.
The event, on the afternoon of Sunday 20 June 2010, will feature past finalists and winners for the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent including Diversity, George Sampson, Eoghan Quigg, Leon Jackson, Ruth Lorenzo, Signature and Stavros Flatley.
Jonathan Irving, promoter of the Manx Telecom Bay Festival, said:
“We knew that the X Factor Meets Britain’s Got Talent would be popular, but we were amazed that the seats sold out so quickly and so had to take a quick decision to add more seats in order to try and meet at least some of the excess demand.
“Around 10,000 people pre-registered for tickets, which they were able to buy online and over the phone from this morning. So far we have sold enough tickets to have filled the Villa Marina twice over – and that is just on the first day and before the lines were open to the general public. Tomorrow, the lines and online booking service open to everyone, so the last few seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and not only to those who pre-registered.”
Standing tickets have also sold very well for both X Factor Meets Britain’s Got Talent, and the ‘Here and Now – Last Night in the Park – Stonking 80s Party’, which will take place on the evening of Sunday 20 June.
The 80s party will be standing only as seven original 80s artists and bands take to the stage, including Rick Astley, Boy George, Belinda Carlisle and Kim Wilde.
Mr. Irving said:
“There are around 7,000 standing tickets for each event, and so far we have sold about a third for the Stonking 80s Party, so I would urge everyone to book them now.
“Over the next couple of weeks we will publicise the Friday ‘pop’ night and Saturday ‘indie/rock’ night line-ups, and we think they will be just as popular as both the 80s and X Factor Meets Britain’s Got Talent events.”