A second Jurby Motofest will take place during next year’s TT despite disappointing numbers attending the inaugural event this year.
Motofest 2015 will see a few changes but the venue at Jurby Motodrome will remain unchanged, according to organisers who say this year’s event was well received by those who went.
Tina Carter, the event director, said they had hoped for around 1,000 people each day but the best attended attraction on the final Friday evening drew an estimated crowd of about 800.
‘We haven’t added up final numbers yet,’ she revealed. ‘We had some excellent bands – Rumours of Fleetwood Mac were fantastic. The other nights averaged out at perhaps 300 people, which is not the end of the world.’
‘Everyone who came – both the public and the bands – loved it and have said how well organised it all was.
‘This has broken us in gently and next year people will know it’s on so we expect the numbers to go up.
‘We’ve not had any negative comments but some people said there weren’t enough people there.
‘If that’s the worst anyone can say then that’s a major success.’
The event was originally to have taken place in 2013 on fields near the Creg-ny-Baa but ran into difficulties over site access, health and safety and branding issues governing any trackside event.
A special hourly bus service linked Jurby with the Ramsey, including the night owl service, and camping with toilets and hot showers cost £5 a night. Next year this is to be free.
A dual sprint over a quarter mile for both cars and bikes is to be repeated next year and organisers hope to organise some track days using the Jurby race circuit, too.
Tina said the daytime bands in particular were hit by the unsettled weather and the fact that racing took place on each day throughout Race Week. And with initial set up costs higher than expected, little was left in the budget for advertising.
‘More will be spent on advertising next year. People said they didn’t know about it.’ she said.
Planning permission was not granted for the festival and camp site until February this year and this meant many people had already organised camping before the festival site was confirmed.
There were unforseen expenses, too, which ate into the advertising budget. Tina explained: ‘It took eight months to get permission for the grass to be cut! It’s in an area of special scientific interest so we had to get bird and grassland surveys first – that cost us £1,500 in total.
‘People just don’t realise the amount of organisation and planning involved.’
Any rumours of financial losses are totally unfounded with everyone having been paid and no one left out of pocket, she said.
Now the event has actually happened, Tina feels people will be more willing to get involved next year and organisers are even hoping to get some sponsorship next time around.
She said: ‘Next year it will definitely stay in Jurby because more visitors are spread out across the island now.’