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…

Manx Telecom Bay Festival Seats Sell-out – Few Extra Seats On Sale Tomorrow

Manx Telecom Bay Festival Seats Sell-out – Few Extra Seats On Sale Tomorrow

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.”