Local musician and organiser of the ‘Boatfest’ Simon Ryder talks to the Irlam and Cadishead Times about the history of ‘Boatfest’ and this year’s two day spectacular in July.

“Boatfest held in the Boathouse Pub grounds on Ferryhill Road in Irlam is now in its third year and every year has been more successful than the last. So much so, it is in my opinion regarded as the communities’ favourite music festival. People come to watch their children, grandchildren, mums, dads, second cousins once removed and friends give the performance of their lives as a tribute to their own community, solidifying their relationships and passion for this district, to create an everlasting brilliant memory that when recalled envelopes me in a cosy blanket of pure joy!”

Simon continued, “For me personally the ‘Boatfest’ started in 1994, when a wet behind the ears 16 year old started playing in a rock and roll band. We had no interweb, no teachers or mentors and no where to play except the odd jam night. Until my home town held a music festival we would work so hard to hone and polish our act because we new we only had that one performance to really shine. To show the bullies at school that everyone else could accept us as ‘rock stars’ regardless of their best efforts to put us down, to show the people we loved and respected the fruits of our labour and the glory of our small but perfectly formed success.

Twenty years on and whilst writing this I am flashing through every single one of those performances and loving it, even the really cringe worthy bad ones. But that was me and I have had my glory over and over again, now its time for the next generation to have theirs, and let me tell ya kids these young dudes are awesome!”

The 2014 ‘Boatfest’ will be held over two days Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th July 19th, with 22 acts spread out over the weekend. We start on Saturday morning at 11.30am sharp with ‘Holmesey’ aka Baz Holmes (one of our generous sponsors), doing a high octane fitness class in the arena for those of you with the stamina and strength to take part, From 12pm until 8.30 pm we’re straight into the bands full on all the way with acts including Carnage, Jess Kemp and Koal. There will be other challenges form ‘Holmesey’ and raffles, announcements etc. The after party will be in the Boathouse from 9.30pm with a brilliant acoustic duo “Like I Care” performing until midnight.

Sunday is Chill out day, this is where we all get mellow to the more acoustic acts, were starting the day about noonish with a gospel accapella Soul Inspirations then cruising through the day until about 6 or 7ish, with some really breath taking singers, such as Molly Blackwell, Bett Seldon and Rich Scholes. Again the after party in the pub with ‘King Monday’ yeeeah boooyee!”

He added, “This year were having more stalls showcasing some of our local businesses such as Shabby Chic, Aunt Nelly Sweets and Treats, speciality beers and Caribbean food. Along with everyone’s favourite entertainer Mike Benson aka “budgie.” For the first time this year we will be showcasing two dance acts the Irlam Hornettes Cheer leading group and Palms School of Dance. We want to raise as much as possible over the weekend for all our local primary schools, for whatever it is that they need to improve our younger children’s development. The wristbands can be purchased on the gate at £3 per adult and all kids go free if you wish to donate more go for it and thank you we will do our best to put that money back into your town! Love si x”

Leave a Reply