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Let’s all go Balearic, 1-4 May: it’s all free

Horses from the Balearics to gee-up the city centre. Plus dance, music, giants, street performers and food: adding up to one huge fiesta

Published on April 27th 2009.

Let’s all go Balearic, 1-4 May: it’s all free

The city centre will be filled with festive fun from the Balearic Islands this Bank Holiday weekend. And how. This is a massive festival paid for by islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera to showcase their delights.

And it’s all free.

Here’s what the solid citizens of our northern capital can look forward to: more than two hundred artists, dancers, musicians and craftspeople rocking two custom built pavilions in Albert Square. If that’s not enough there’ll be break out parades through the city and flamboyant firework displays.

First the main marquee. Here you can watch, at various times, a dressage performance by nine Menorcan horses and riders, music, dancing and street acts. There’ll also be demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts with food and drink including orlettes (sweet biscuits), almonds, sobrasada, cheese and the ensaimada a delicious sweet pastry.

In the family marquee there’ll be storytelling, face painting, games and recycling workshops. Confidential isn’t sure how the latter are meant to be fun, but families certainly get plenty of time to enjoy the various delights as the tents are open until 8pm on Saturday and Sunday and 5pm on Monday.

The parades take place on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1pm and on Monday from 11am. The processional route will be Market Street, Cross Street and into La Plaza de Albert. The parades include street performers, dancers, Geants, (those bighead giants), acrobats and musicians.

A highlight will undoubtedly be the Menorcan gee-gees doing whatever dressage is in the main marquee. This will be the most impressive horse display since the Greater Manchester Police riot dressage for Rangers' fans last year. The event takes place on Friday at 6pm and 8pm and continues until Monday.

Meanwhile Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings finish off with fireworks at 9pm on all three nights. These are entitled the Correfoc Devil’s fire display and are demonically possessed and very loud extravaganzas of crazed pyrotechnics.

Other keynote acts include flamenco with Paco Fernandez, Eva Redondo and friends where traditional Iberian rhythms merge with jazz and hip-hop. Big Yu Yu features a ten piece rock band fusing blues and contemporary style. Xalandri is a spectacular folk band with six musicians and a repertoire made up of songs by Menorcan composers including romantic ballads and songs based on ancient legends and music.

All of this should amount to some serious fun and some great entertainment and it's all free.

For further information check out the official website: click here.

Click here for the performance timetable.

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24 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

MEATY BEATY..April 27th 2009.

Let us hope that the BNP are out in force to see how money is being wasted on this ill conceived, politically correct foolishness.

MobertonApril 27th 2009.

Is the food free also? =P

burt CodeineApril 27th 2009.

I'll be popping down to take this in - they had a few dance companies perform around the city last summer, some of which performed in Albert Square (i forget the name of the company...) which seems naturally inclined to put on such shows (then again it seems perfectly natural for the Christmas Markets too) - what a wonderful amphitheater type stage we are blessed with. Looking forward to this...there seems to be a festival/market drought in Manchester from January to May.

castlefieldApril 27th 2009.

You're onto a winner there. I'm a bit concerned for the Stop the War brigade as it was set to be against the Iraq war and didn't that end today? I don't suppose they'll let a little detail like that get in the way though.

emma graceApril 27th 2009.

I enjoyed this event...the horses were really impressive. And the band were fun too. Especially the guy on the left, he was a beaut :) The only thing I didn't like was the dancers that were outside Marks & Spencers. The ones with the horns reminded me of that film "The Village", and I'll admit it, they really scared me! I had to make a swift exit when they started dancing around me.

rosieApril 27th 2009.

spelling?grammar? EDITORIAL: any better Rosie?

James SandersonApril 27th 2009.

God the BNP are simple fools. Not a single penny of Manchester, let alone, British money has been spent on this. Get your facts right and I don't think Manchester Confidential is your constituency is it? I mean this lot go for expense meals, like their art reviews and a nice bit of satire. You are purely campaigning to win the votes of the dispossessed and disenfranchised which I can understand very well. They need better representation but I don't think from the BNP who are party of negative blinkered outlook. By the way the free Paco Fernandez paid for by the Balearic Islands is an excellent act and on at 9.30pm....although you may find him a bit foreign.

ADApril 27th 2009.

What about jobs making bombs? that must make everyone happy... right?

Castlefield TooApril 27th 2009.

The Balearic Islands event will be in Albert Square rather than Castlefield Arena because it’s a promotional event designed to encourage us to holiday in the Balearic Islands; the organisers, who are not the council, need footfall to justify the expense and Albert Square will attract more shoppers. Even so I expect those of us in Castlefield will still hear those crazily loud fireworks every night. The Castlefield event is indeed a ‘lefty’ event, but then it is May Day – Labour Day or Workers’ Day in much of the rest of the world. I do like the sound of the Sargasso Township Jazz Band, described as an exciting new acoustic jazz/world quartet playing a mixture of township jazz, exotic mixtures and some familiar jazz funk grooves, and features some well-respected local musicians. I suggest we assemble under ‘Castlefield’s’ balcony and organise a free omelette.

ADApril 27th 2009.

probably tell themselves they only still play to "get chicks"!

castlefieldApril 27th 2009.

I just googled it, and the rough run of it all is: 'Jobs Not Bombs', 'The Right to Work For All'. At 5pm there is a workshop entitled 'how to stage an occupation' by visiting strikers from Belfast. The next workshop is 'The crisis in local media' by NUJ. And there is a band called Al Baker and the Dole Queue. So not really the community event they got a licence for then, more a political rally.

rosieApril 27th 2009.

thank you

castlefieldApril 27th 2009.

There's already an event in the arena on Monday. A trades council lefty event. It's billed as 'Love Music Hate Racism' but will probably be the usual red flag brigade shoving their union demands down our throats. Be interesting to know whose mug they splash all over posters now Bush has gone. It says 'there will be performance on stage with amplification. There will be children's activities, campaign stalls and refreshments'. So expect the juggler that turns up to everything and kids going home with temporary hammer and sickle tattoos. I may rent my balcony out and sell eggs. Am I cycnical or just used to it?

CoralApril 27th 2009.

Back to the balearics- Any idea what time they bring on the dancing horses?I can't find that here or on the website...

rosieApril 27th 2009.

absolutely fab event.if you can get there,go see it.

AvoApril 27th 2009.

Any money being wasted is from the pockets of the Tourism Council of the Balearic Isles and is being pumped into the local Manchester economy so I don't know what your issue is?

NancyApril 27th 2009.

You most certainly can just turn up for this fabulous free event - no booking required! Lots of family activities in the daytime also.

rosieApril 27th 2009.

does anyone else think that Al Baker and the dole queue are a bunch of embarrassed middle class blokes who're only there to get the interest on their mortgages paid?

EditorialApril 27th 2009.

Yes, everything is free, even the food.

PablosanchezApril 27th 2009.

This is excellent the council should do more of this instead of rolling out the same tired old ideas e.g. European markets. Castlefield would have been an excellent setting for this. There is an office (The Castlefield Centre) an ampitheatre, lots of space and would have breathed lots of life. Why was this area not considered? They could have had a little shuttle bus from the centre if they were concerned about footfall.

EditorialApril 27th 2009.

As far as we're aware you just turn up.

Craig CunliffeApril 27th 2009.

This seems excellent. Tremendous fun. Do we have to book for the performances or just turn up?

burt CodeineApril 27th 2009.

I think the 'dressage' business (is that right? I get horse dancing and human dancing mixed up) is on the hour every hour from 11am onwards all weekend...at least according to the weather lass on BBC up your News at 6 and a half past.

AnonymousApril 27th 2009.

The perfect opportunity for Castlefield residents to brush up on their protest skills then, those workshops sound ideal...

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