Ahead of the eighth Liverpool Irish Festival starting this coming Friday 15th October, Liverpool Acoustic caught up with Festival Director Jake Roney to find out a little bit about the man who makes it all happen.
Where are you from, and how and when did you end up in Liverpool? I’m a London boy and moved up to Liverpool in the late 1970’s – I had some great friends up here – I soon got to love the vibrancy of the city – the place was a bit of a dump at that time but the people were (are) just my kind – noisy, funny and in yer face!
How long have you been involved with the LIF? and how did your involvement come about? With long experience in art and culture I was asked on to the LIF board in 2004 to give a more ‘professional’ feel to the Festival, due to pressures of work I left after a couple of years, but kept in touch and took over as Festival Director in 2008
What’s involved in running a festival like this? Above all – Experience: more specifically, a passion for a whole variety of art forms, an interest in marketing and publicity, an ability to work independently, working to a budget, pleasing as many interest groups as possible.
What are the biggest challenges? And what gives you the greatest satisfaction? There is no doubt that lack of money and the insecurity that goes with it is the biggest challenge. The biggest satisfaction is what I feel when I look back at a Festival and realise that given the resources available I have achieved everything that I could – a high quality programme appreciated by thousands of people – you can’t beat it!
How has the festival developed and changed since the first one, eight years ago? The Festival is much bigger with more high profile events and we are highly respected by Irish Festival’s all over the country, much of this is to do with the partnerships that we have developed over the years particularly with Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, St Michael’s Irish Centre and The Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University.
What can we expect from this year’s festival? Any surprises? Any particular highlights? A good programmer never distinguishes between events – it’s all good!
This year’s festival runs from 15th to 31st October. What will you be doing on 1st November? Zzzzzzzzzzz
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.