Research into alternative models for festivals has led me to the Secret Garden Party. Held once a year in the traditional sense as a music based festival, complete with head liners, its main attractions are in the small events and atmosphere of the festival.
“The Secret Garden Party festival’s main selling point is not the music. Most people purchase their tickets before the head liners are even announced, and the festival promotes an ethos of freedom from ‘timetables, meeting points and ‘must see’s’, instead suggesting that ‘gardeners’ (festival-goers) wander freely, stumbling upon such delights as a dog show, a secret woodland rave, or a tiny Gipsy Disco, complete with knife throwers”. (Octavia Sheepshanks, Huffington Post)
This is the kind of style that could be brought to a festival designed for Manchester. The opportunity to wander and create and have fun. Additionally to this the ‘secret’ style is intriguing too. Small events that only handfuls of people know about and can share with each other could create different kind of engagement in parallel to larger more fantastical aspects.