Fetch Didsbury

Local entrepreneur hopes staging Raw Fest will win him £1m

Raw Fest poster

A young entrepreneur from Manchester is to stage his debut music festival to compete for up to £1m investment as part of an upcoming BBC competition.

Kris Sparrow, 29, is one of 500 finalists selected from thousands of applicants who will now be challenged to pull off a profitable business venture in under four weeks using £100.

The former events promoter is planning mini music festival ‘Raw Fest’ to showcase Manchester’s finest raw talent across a variety of genres. He hopes to catch the eye of Innocent Fruit Smoothies co-founder and competition judge, Richard Reed, to win the investment in order to take his South Manchester houseshare concept www.idealhouseshare.com to the next level.

Sparrow said he applied for the BBC competition because he wanted the prize to grow his business nationally.

Said Sparrow: “I love music but I’ve never organised a festival before and I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone because you have to challenge yourself.

“I’m definitely pushing myself to the limit as I’m working 18 hour days in the run up to the event.”

Sparrow will showcase unsigned local bands, guest artists, singer/songwriters and DJs during Raw Fest at Manchester’s famed Rampant Lion pub on Sunday May 27. Any profit will be donated to BBC Children in Need.

Sparrow, who grew up in Stockport and now resides in West Didsbury, set up the www.idealhouseshare.com concept in 2009 to help migrating young professionals find a foothold in South Manchester, by bringing them into a unique social network based around providing shared accommodation in Didsbury, Chorlton and the city centre.

“It’s not just a houseshare management site, but a geographically specific social networking site. We personality-match newcomers and invite them to events where they meet other potential housemates along with our existing members,” said Sparrow.

Raw Fest, which is sponsored by BACKSTAGE ACADEMY® and LS-Live, kicks off from 2pm with bands playing on the outdoor stage until 9pm, and DJs carrying on late into the night. There will be BBQ food available, speed painting, art installations and the event will be filmed as part of an upcoming BBC competition.

Local bands Gold Jacks, Jimmy Lynch & Liam Ward, and Brouhaha will play alongside DJs Mike Richardson (Unity FM), Alex Blaxx (Drop the Mustard), Woody, Scooby Drew and Jut.

To secure a £6 guestlist place, register on the website www.rawfestmanchester.co.uk, otherwise a limited number of tickets will be available on the door for £7. You can also ‘Like’ the festival on Facebook.