horses, a powerful marketing tool
…and that’s why the goverment and tourism promotion bureau of the balearics doesn’t hesitate to use them as the most alive example of passionate traditions and spectacular devotion of the minorcan people to this “black beauties”. Next weekend they are one of the highlights during the May Day bank holiday at a free four-day festival (May 1-4) that will reveal a slice of Spanish life. Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere in the heart of Manchester in the festival hub on Albert Square. Throughout the weekend you can discover a huge range of entertainment with music, dancing, street performers and of course the amazing dressage with nine fine Minorcan (Pura Raza Menorquina) horses. You don’t want to miss it!!
Heartbeat of the Balearics comes to the city
MANCHESTER will dance to a Balearic beat over the May Day bank holidayat a free four-day festival (May 1-4) that will reveal a slice of Spanish life.
The Discover The Balearic Islands festival, on May Day bank holiday weekend, brings food, music, dance and performance to the city centre’s streets to promote Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
More than 200 performers, musicians and entertainers will be involved in the events, including daily parades with traditional giant costumes, street theatre, juggling, stilt walkers, dancing, contemporary and traditional music, craft displays, fashion shows and Correfoc – daring fire displays performed by ‘devils’ on the run.
There will also be displays of dressage from Minorca by riders and their specially-bred black horses and a family activity area with performances, storytelling and face painting.
Gourmet food will be available, with free tastings and chef demonstrations.
There will be prepared almonds, orlettes (sweet biscuits), sobrasada (pork red sausage), ensaimada and flao (cakes), herbs, cheese as well as wine and pomada (gin and lemonade).
The festival, which runs from May 1 to 4 in Albert Square, St Mary’s Gate and Cross Street, has been staged previously in Berlin and Madrid and will travel to Paris after Manchester.
Event organiser Sy Badham says it’s “an opportunity for people to experience the islands without necessarily having to travel there!
Huge Perspex pavilion
‘’There have been events like this before in Berlin and Madrid where thousands of visitors have flocked in to soak up the atmosphere and, straight after it finishes here, the festival will be travelling on to Paris.
“We chose Manchester for our English visit because it’s such a vibrant city – and also because it’s so easy for people to get to the islands from here!”
Supporters of the free, family-friendly festival include the likes of tennis champion Rafael Nadal and Hollywood star Michael Douglas.
Organisers are not taking any chances with the weather as many of the events will take place in a huge Perspex pavilion in front of the Town Hall, and is one of the biggest structures planned for Albert Square.
THE MAIN MARQUEE
Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere in the heart of Manchester in the festival hub on Albert Square. Throughout the weekend you can discover a huge range of entertainment with music, dancing, street performers and of course the amazing dressage with nine fine Minorcan horses.
There will also be food and drink sampling and demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts from the four islands. There will be the chance to try a wide range of food and drink including orlettes (sweet biscuits), almonds, sobrasada, cheese and the ensaimada a delicious sweet pastry.
THE FAMILY MARQUEE
For children and parents we have a family marquee on Albert Square next to the stage area. Storytelling, face painting, recycling workshops and games will take place throughout the day. It will be open from 11am to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday and 11am to 5pm on Monday Please note that children must be accompanied by a responsible adult
PERFORMERS AND PARADES
Parades of street performers, dancers, Geants, (traditional giant), acrobats and musicians will take place everyday over the bank holiday weekend with performances on Albert Square.
PARADE TIMES Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 13.00-13.30, Market Street, Cross Street, Albert Square Monday, May 3 11.00-11.30, Market Street, Cross Street, Albert Square
DRESSAGE WITH NINE FINE MINORCAN HORSES, ALBERT SQUARE Friday 1 May 18.00 and 20.00, Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00, 17.00, 18.00, 19.00, 20.00, Monday 4 May 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00
Nine fine Minorcan horses and specially trained riders demonstrate their skills in a tradition which dates back to the 14th Century.
CORREFOC DEVILS’ FIRE DISPLAY Friday 1, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May 21.00h- 21.30h
A band of mischievous devils will appear on Albert Square to perform a spectacular display of fireworks and dance performed in the Islands during festivals. This traditional Correfoc is something for the whole family to enjoy – prepare to be amazed.
FLAMENCO WITH PACO FERNANDEZ, EVA REDONDO AND FRIENDS Friday 1, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May 21.30h- 23.00h
During the weekend, each evening ends with an exciting finale by virtuoso flamenco guitarist, international star Paco Fernandez who is joined on stage by friends, musicians, Flamenco dancer Eva Redondo and Foc I Fum Paco. An unmissable fusion of flamenco, jazz and hip-hop.
BIG YU YU Friday 1 May 18.20, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May 14.25 and 19.25
Ten piece rock band fusing blues and contemporary style and currently receiving rave reviews internationally check them on big yu yu.net
XALANDRI Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May, 11.25 and 15.25, Monday 12.20
Six musicians formed Xalandri to keep the unique style if music and traditions of the Balearics alive. Their repertoire is made up of songs by Minorcan composers, romantic ballads, songs based on ancient legends and music with its roots in the island’s sea faring past.
S´Estol del Rei en Jaume Friday 1 18.30, Saturday 2 13.25, Sunday 3, 17.00 and the daily parades
The group S´Estol del Rei en Jaume (King James’ Gang) is made up of nine characters inspired by Father Alcover’s traditional Mallorcan tales. In the early 1990s, the Alcúdia Town Hall had set itself the goal of reviving Mallorca’s most popular ancient traditions and commissioned one of the island’s finest artists Josep Fluxa to create these amazing papier mache figures.
These characters, all of them original, symbolise Mallorca’s historical past with these figures from literature, and other larger than life characters.
Event times: Friday, May 1, 6pm-11pm; Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May, 11am-11pm; Bank Holiday Monday, May 4, 11am-5pm. For full performance times follow link right.
By Paul Hogan