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WestFest2010 : Part 1

September 12, 2010
WestFest2010

WestFest2010 - banner photograhy by Mark Nelson

We had intended to blog immediately after WestFest, but to be honest we were absolutely shattered and then the “normal” world comes back into play – meetings, late nights, return to full time teaching etc, so apologies if this seems like old news.

WestFest2010 was our second big event and we had high hopes after the inaugral event last year. With nearly 100% participation from West Didsbury businesses, we had an idea early on this was going to be good – if not better than 2009. The weather was obviously a concern, especially given the washout summer we’d had.  I suppose if we lived in Italy or Spain or Greece we wouldn’t even consider the weather, but when you live in Manchester, you probably have to expect that rain will probably play a major role. However, as everything else seemed to be going according to plan, I saw no reason not to expect that the sun would put in a late (and very much needed) late summer appearance…

So – back to WestFest. The whole point of this event is to promote West Didsbury as a hub of independence. And, over the weekend, West Didsbury really put on a show. We awoke to clear blue skies and bright sunshine on Saturday morning. By 9.30am business owners were sweeping, putting up bunting, setting up stalls and generally making the area a very beautiful place.

The banner, above, came about as a result of a real collaborative effort. If you know West Didsbury, you’ll know Hibberts. It’s the one property on Burton Road that’s in real need of a bit of a TLC. So, we decided to give it just that after an inspirational idea from Gregg at Cactus Design. Kevan from Printserve was an absolute star – not only did he enter the spirit of the festival by doing the banner, he was also very accommodating as we tweaked the design. Our photographer friend, Mark, donated the image and Chris, our designer, designed the banner. Thanks also to Mark for the slogan.

We also have to offer huge personal thanks to Moregeous and Mr M for their invaluable help in installing the Didsbury Life mosaic, which was created for us by Amanda McCrann. A lovely bunch of friends! 🙂

We were very lucky with the weather – the sun shone all weekend and the rain stayed away till Sunday evening. Westfest seems to have captured people’s imaginations and we think it will can only go from strength to strength. Of course, like everything that involves lots of people & lots of logistical organisation there are always hitches. We’re sometimes overly idealistic here at Didsbury Life and we tend to assume that everyone shares the idea of what we’re trying to achieve. It’s a really simple idea. A community working and growing together. However, we were pulled up a bit short by the actions of one business who had their own fairly selfish agenda. Having spent much time post-WestFest dealing with the fall-out of their actions, suffice to say, a lesson has been learned.

So, back to the positives – lots of happy, smiling faces all weekend, fabulous music, amazing food, gorgeous weather, a community mosaic being created over the weekend, poetry performances, a magician, some notable examples of real generosity from certain businesses, hugely increased footfall into the area…

We’ll be adding to this blog over the next week, with more thoughts about our lovely West Didsbury festival. Planning has started for a Christmas event – and in fact, if you go over to the WestFest site, you can see info about our Prize Draw for the Christmas Lights. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with some images which hopefully give a flavour of this fab event…

WestFest2010

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To see more images, until next blog – check out Didsbury Life’s WestFest galleries on Facebook.

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