Irlam Live Music Festival


I’ll start with a question “Is Irlam Live the best local festival ever?” Obviously if you weren’t there that’s a question you can’t answer. But I was and I attend a lot of festivals and in my opinion it is the best festival ever. But why?

To answer that we need a little history to give context. It all started over a pint in a pub in Irlam where Darren Goulden, Phil Brookes and Sam Butterworth were discussing how Manchester and Salford were having a renaissance. But Irlam and Cadishead’s fortunes probably needed a boost.

As the beer flowed so did the ideas one was to run a music festival that would also support the local community, businesses and charities. This type of conversation is one many of use will have had with friends and with the dawn of a new day all those great ideas are forgotten. But not in this case.

They put a plan together of how the idea could be brought to fruition and then went to the council to discuss it with them. Princess Park in Irlam was the preferred venue, the council listened and were so impressed with the plan and how it might be a focus for the community they supported it whole heartedly. So it was that Irlam Live as an event got the green light and now the hard work began to get Irlam Live up and running in 2016 began.

The big breakthrough artist wise was achieved when Tony Hadley agreed to headline quickly followed by Billy ocean, T’Pau, Kenny Thomas, Aswad and a pleathora of others. Local charities and community organisations had stands at the festival and local businesses provided food, drink, loos, equipment and various others services.

Irlam Live 2016 was a huge success and Princes Park became the focus of many community events throughout the year. The local music festival seemed to have supported the local community to further support each other as does the Irlam & Cadishead Community Festival which also takes place in Prince’s Park.

The first time you do something mistakes are made and you see afterwards how you could do things better. Which is exactly what the team did for Irlam Live 2017. They listened to feedback from the public attending, Vendors, artists, the council and community. The first thing for 2017 was more loos to cater for 5000 daily attendees. Etickets and a bigger VIP area plus a wider range of food and drink. The addition of a marquee where artists, DJ sets and various activities which could take place in between acts on the main stage. All provided by locals.

The marquee hosted the silent disco, Twisted Soul and an amazing set by Timperley girl Amanda Jane Heywood. She is someone to watch out for as she has the voice and presence to be a future major artist. Oh and like most folk from this part of the world she’s really down to earth.

There was music for everyone over the weekend which kicked off on Friday evening with local girl Jess Kemp, Ben from Curiosity Killed the Cat and headlining the Wailers Ft Jnr Marvin. SoulFest Saturday saw K Klass, Odyssey, Imagination Ft Leee John, Dave Finnegans Commitments and headliner Alexander O’Neal Retro Sunday had Dr & The Medics, Owen Paul, Toyah, Dodgy and headliner Jason Donovan.

Grandma’s, Grandaughters and everyone else including the crew and security danced, sang, laughed and joined in an event that had an amazing vibrancy about it. Their was a true community spirit and a feeling that you belonged and were part of something bigger than yourself. The charities that attended such as St Ann’s Hospice, The Jamie Horrocks Trust and Animal Rescue raised much needed funds and raised awareness of important issues. After the event the organisers will work with the local council to not just restore but improve the park.

Many of the artists paid tribute to what had happened in Manchester last week and Dave Finnegan and Alexander O’neal’s were especially poignant Alex getting the crowd to take a few moments of silence in remembrance and the silence was eerie.  It seemed even more poignant when I arrived home later in the evening to discover the tragedies in London.

There’s now quite a few annual events taking place in Irlam to help a community that had maybe lost a little of it’s confidence. But Irlam Live showed a community that is strong, confident and ready to stake a place alongside it’s bigger and more well known neighbours. And it’s festivals to punch above their weight. Roll on Irlam Live 2018 and another year for a small community.

Pictures of Irlam Live from Salford City Radio courtesy of Dave G and Tom Hughes

Irlam Live website

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Can The Life Aid Project Help Beat World Cancer Together with Music?


Cancer is one of those things that that most of us in our lifetimes will have close contact with. Either contracting it ourselves or through supporting a relative our friend who has the big C.

Survival rates and treatments are better than they have ever been, but it is still a major killer. Research and treatments need to continue for some years before cancer is finally beaten.

My Good friend Peter Cook has given up a lot of his time to start the Life Aid – Let’s Beat World Cancer Together With Music Project The aim to launch a project for Cancer Prevention and Treatment through a series of “Live Aid” styled Music Concerts all over the world.

Many people who have suffered from cancer will tell you that living as normal a life as possible and not being treated like an invalid is key to either recovery or living as full a life as possible. A part of that is also doing normal things with family and friends.

Music helps in bringing back happy memories and joy to the spirit so what better way to support cancer research and treatment than being involved in a musical extravaganza in your community with family and friends. Just attending and watching such an event can be an extremely powerful antidote.

Maybe you have skills that could help set a Live Aid style concert up in your area? If so read the information on the Life Aid – Let’s Beat World Cancer Together With Music Project website and contact Peter if you feel you can help. He already has many Musicians, technicians and others on board but your help will make all the difference.

Smile, enjoy life and support your community

Here’s a couple of songs from Heather Small that raise the spirits. First Proud from the 2012 Olympic Games. Made you feel proud to be British. Then Search for the Hero, there’s one in us all.

 

Beat World Cancer Website

Halloween Scary or Fun?


It’s that time of year again and no matter how scary real life can be we love scaring ourselves with spooky stories, movies and music. All hallows eve may be synonymous with lost souls, ghouls and all manner of gruesome creatures. But it also allows us to dress up and party and who doesn’t love a good party?

Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. They also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the centuries it has transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to be more about costumes, trick or treating and merriment.

Does Halloween scare you and fill you with a sense of dread and doom or does it fill you full of fun?

If you’re having a Halloween party make it a spooktacular event with my Halloween party mix 4 hours of non stop atmospheric music that will keep your Halloween party in the mood. I hope you enjoy it.

The music is interspersed with spooky music, narrative, sound effects and bits from movies – see if you can spot them.

Enjoy yourselves

You can listen to the Halloween party mix here

Have a spook y Halloween

Have a spooky fun filled Halloween