Garden Party raises £12,000 for Nazeem’s charity

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ISLAND musicians united on stage in Begoade Fields, Onchan, at the weekend to raise £12,000 for Nazeem’s Manx Brain Tumour Charity.

The festival, which launched last year as Fockerfest, featured headline sets from Chicago-based Manx blues star Davy Knowles and Planes Over Paris.

Other musicians taking to the stage were This Years Winner Is, Uber Room, The Karovas, Steph Gomaa, King Chiaullee, The Ballaghs, Truman Falls, Red Gap, The Anna Goldsmith Band, The Heights and The Very, Very Bad Men.

Davy, who returned to the island from the States especially for the event, said: ‘It’s just amazing to be back. I just don’t get back enough. I live in Chicago now but this will always be my home and where I’m from.

‘This festival is a wonderful thing for the Isle of Man. And to see how successful it is already in it’s second year - it’s such a wonderful cause too.’

Highlights of the event, which was blessed with beautiful sunshine, included a preview of Davy’s new theme song for the Commonwealth Youth Games 2011 being hosted by the island in September. Davy was commissioned to write Reach Higher and will return to perform at the opening ceremony of the games in Douglas.

Another surprise, for Davy as well as the crowd, was the appearance on stage of four astronauts, including Nicole Stott - wife of Manx space businessman Chris, who have flown to the International Space Station. Davy had provided music for them in space via a satellite link. They presented him with a framed image of space memorabilia leaving him speechless and overwhelmed.

Organisers Conrad Roberts and Gianni Fabrizio are very pleased with how the festivalwent. Conrad said: ‘We have some fantastic local talent here on the island and I think we saw some of the best of it at this year’s event. A personal highlight for me was when Davy met the astronauts on stage - incredible’

And Gianni added: ‘I think we were all blown away by the performances and how great the crowd were that attended’.

They both thanked all the sponsors, the crew and everyone who supported the event.

Plans are already coming together for a third festival next year and it already promises to be a considerable expansion on this year. ‘We hope to be able to reveal some very exciting news about next year in the next few weeks,’ said Conrad.

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l Watch video footage and an interview with Davy Knowles online at iomtoday.co.im

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