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Moorfest 2005 Report
A review of the 3rd year of Moorfest

Moorfest first took place in 2003 and attracted only 500 people. The bands that played there were all small local talent who were hoping for some free publicity and a good night out. Two years on the third Moorfest has just taken place and it featured well know acts, such as Howard Marks, Badly Drawn Boy and Mani (ex-Stone Roses). heatonmoor.com were there when the gates opened to find out how year number three was going to go.

Howard Marks
© Leon Chipchase
Moving from Heaton Moor Rugby Club on Green Lane was never going to be a small step. The size and shape of the Heaton Mersey Bowl makes it perfect for a music festival, but surely it would be too big for a local festival in only its third year? A lot of people seemed to be worried about just that until the week before the festival when the Moorfest team announced that Badly Drawn Boy would be playing.

So now not only did they have Howard Marks giving a liberal talk about his personal areas of expertise, but they also had legendary ex-Stone Roses bass player Mani and Badly Drawn Boy all on stage in one night! I could hardly contain my excitement as I walked through the entrance to Moorfest 2005.

The main tent dominated the field. A tent that has seen most areas of the UK recently, including this years Glastonbury. Along the left perimeter stalls were lining the walkway toward a giant fairground ride, and beyond the hill that would soon see Hollywood coming to Heaton Mersey.

A ride at Moorfest
© Leon Chipchase
Food, drink and entertainment had all been organised. Even for those who weren't thinking of listening to the great selection of music that would be on the main and second stages. The weather seemed to be holding up and all was looking good for the rest of the afternoon and evening to come.

At 12 noon sharp the music began, as though it had been waiting for its chains to be released. Marc Rowlands didn't mess about diving straight into some heavy and lively dance tunes. All the early acts did themselves, and the festival proud. Screaming Mimi are not a band I had heard before, but their creative stage performance made me want to find out more.

By 4.30 the main stage was running 30 minutes late. It was as though they had planned it to make the appearance of Howard Marks even more exciting than it already was. When he did appear, the cheering of the crowd drew everyone into the main tent to see what the fuss was about. He is not a man to stand on ceremony. He started by downing a pint of beer and sparking up a 'cigarette'. After reading his book 'Mr Nice' a year ago I had been imaging a person that I had created in my head. Amazingly I was spot on with every part of my created Howard Marks. He is a funny man who has had an incredible life. A credit to the third year of Moorfest.

At about this time a stream of people were climbing the hill at the back of the festival like a line of ants. Each member of the line was carrying several large pieces of white board. When the group had finally gathered at the top of the hill and arranged themselves and their cardboard it was clear to the large number of visitors at Moorfest that Hollywood really had come to Heaton Mersey. For pinned to the fence were not only large white canvasses, ready to be coated with artistic graffiti, but also a string of large white letters spelling out Moorfest.

The Mighty Wah! made an appearance at around 8pm, and although I am too young to remember them the first time around I was dancing away with the other thousand or so people watching in the main tent.

Folded Remediez
© Leon Chipchase
Folded Remediez were a breath of fresh air to the other standard genres. Two young lads getting up on the main stage with just a microphone each and creating whole songs with the combination of their mouths and hands. They made the crowds jaws drop at the sight and sound of it. At one point 'you don't love me (no no no)' was performed - including beat and rhythm by just one of the group made up of Drase and Jam. Fantastic.

Badly Drawn Boy was as good as everyone had hoped, getting the crowd to join in with hand clapping and singing. He has so many songs that you recognise but did not realise were released by him. His finale after his solo set was to get several of the more recognised musicians at the festival to jump up on stage with him and play a final song.

Badly Drawn Boy
© Leon Chipchase
Mani came on stage next to dj while they reset the stage for 'A certain Ratio', another band that I haven't heard of before but enjoyed immensely.

The night ended at 11.30 (as per the councils demands) with the crowd being shown the Moorfest signed artwork, to be auctioned to the highest bidder with all money adding to the charity donation that the festival has already collected.

A fantastic day, and worth far more than the ticket price. All that is left now are blurred memories of the acts and to wonder how the Moorfest team are going to out do 2005 next year.

A massive thank you to everyone who helped out at Moorfest 2005. I myself went down on the Sunday morning to help clear up the mess that you all made. Just the sight of the piles of cans was enough to make you never drink again.

Words by Harry Bailey

If you have any additions, stories, amendments, or comments to make then please contact us.

www.eye-photography.co.uk (with special thanks to Leon Chipchase)

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