Gearing up for Mannifest extravaganza

The giant statue of Mannanan that was erected at the Glen Lough Campsite as part of the Mannifest festival. It was created by Stephanie Quayle, a London-based artist and her boyfriend, sculptor Darren Jackson

The giant statue of Mannanan that was erected at the Glen Lough Campsite as part of the Mannifest festival. It was created by Stephanie Quayle, a London-based artist and her boyfriend, sculptor Darren Jackson

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IT’S Mannifest’s third year – and it’s second at Glenlough. As always there will be an eclectic mix of music, circus, culture, arts and craft and as the sun goes down the music and party atmosphere takes over.

The festival is supported by Bedouin Group Plc and the management and delivery of the event falls to a small group of people – Peter Young from Event Management Solutions Ltd, Barry Fearon from Guru Marketing and Lenny Conroy from Triskell Promotions, supported by a great group of volunteer helpers.

Peter Young, former police chief inspector and now managing director of Event Management Solutions, which has been accepted into the National Outdoor Events Association

Peter Young, former police chief inspector and now managing director of Event Management Solutions, which has been accepted into the National Outdoor Events Association

He we speak to Peter to see how the event is shaping up.

How long does it take to arrange the festival?

That is easy really – as soon as one festival is over we start work looking what was good or could be better and making changes for next year.

From then on we have busy and not so busy times but there is always something that needs arranging, from a launch party to publicity, booking acts through to getting plans ready for the courts and permissions needed to run the following year.

Much can be planned in advance but in the weeks running up to the festival a massive amount of work takes place to ensure the public have a great experience.

So what changes have been made for 2011 from 2010?

The biggest visible change people will see is that the festival site will be much busier. Last year the event was made up of three different areas, the main music field, a children’s arts and crafts area and a healing area.

Each had its own personality but because they were in different fields it gave a feel of being a little fragmented.

This year we are bringing all the elements of music, culture, arts and children into the main arena and adding a circus tent so there is really going to be a great feeling of everything together.

During the day the younger people can visit the arts and crafts, children’s centre activities or circus while the parents can be nearby enjoying some music, visiting the healing area or simply having a drink. Each area will continue to have its own personality with individual feel and something different but be linked together much better.

So there are plenty of things for the young people to do, what about the music – is it all local bands?

The music and festival field is really what this event is about, creating an event for all the community. The music reflects this, Chai Wallahs will be the centre piece tent for the second year running with a wide range of music with top festival acts: Scott Matthews, Frank Turner and Wallis Bird appearing.

Plans are ongoing to have an acoustic stage and other music venues but these are still under discussion. The full line up changes continually. The final line up which should be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.

We have seen the loss of a big music event recently, what impact has that had on Mannifest?

Not a great deal really, it is such a shame that any music event is lost but Mannifest is designed to be a festival weekend rather than relying on big names from the pop world. We are also very lucky in as much our financing structure for this year is secure through The Bedouin Group.

So what happens to the ticket money?

Mannifest is set up as a non profit making organisation so every penny spent on tickets goes straight back into the festival or to our chosen charity. This year The Children’s Centre is the charity which will have a big presence on the site.

What is the best and worst part for you?

The worst part is looking after the finances and making the event pay. There are so many great things we could deliver at this event but each has a cost and I have to be very careful with what we invest in.

The best part is the people, from working with some of the most talented and artistic people to seeing children having their faces painted to more mature people who have visited festivals for many years having a good time at the festival and this year I hope to be able to find time to visit the different stages and listen to some music.

Lottie Ray

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