In the early part of 2009, our dear old friend William “Stan” Simpson was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. He had been sick for some time. Shortly after his diagnosis, he was admitted to Manorlands hospice where he received sterling care from the staff. Stanfest was organised around about this time so we could have one last blast in his honour and raise some money for Manorlands, which is a charity run organisation. The date for Stanfest was 3rd May 2009. We discussed the event and Stan handpicked a few of the bands for the day himself. Although he was in his 70’s, he was a keen gig-goer and he loved live music and up until his illness could often party harder than a lot of people even a third of his age. The original intention was for Stan to be there but his health had deteriorated too much in the days running up to the event.
Stan passed away on the morning of Stanfest itself, which made the day all the more poignant. Many many people attended and we all raised a tearful glass in rememberance to our Stan whilst we saw some of his favourite bands rock the house. The Mannville Arms was positively overflowing with people coming to pay their respects and everybody made it a day to remember for a special man who we will never forget.
I never intended for it to be any more than that one event as I wanted it to be a single special day. However, I received an overwhelming number of messages saying that we should make it an annual thing. Even up until very recently, I was unsure about doing it again but in the end I thought why not.
Cheers n beers!