Organisers of the world-famous Isle of Man TT have prioritised access to the stars of the motorcycle-racing extravaganza as part of a revamped fan festival that will complement two weeks of adrenaline-fuelled action on the island’s Mountain Course from May 29.
To celebrate the return of the 115-year-old event to the calendar after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the new Monster Energy Fan Park will provide a hub of live entertainment for the anticipated influx of approximately 45,000 attendees, who will temporarily swell the Isle of Man’s population by about 50%.
The Fan Park will be open from 9am until 11pm every day, giving visitors unique opportunities to gather for a range of attractions. However, most importantly, the riders themselves will be a prominent presence in the space on a daily basis.
Organisers have opted to bring the Official TT Prize Presentations into the Fan Park, to serve as a central attraction and natural gathering point at 9pm on race days.
“Fan parks are very popular today,” an Isle of Man TT spokesperson tells Fan XP. “Some of that is the age-old appeal of coming together and sharing special moments with like-minded people, but fan parks have found a real niche when it comes to accessing sports stars.
“Fan parks are an ideal way to connect fans with their heroes, and that sort of access is unbeatable – it’s something we all love and appreciate. The TT is unique in that it is actually already a leader in this area; you can already collect countless autographs and selfies just by walking around the Grandstand area and visiting the team awnings in the paddock.
“You can access miles and miles of trackside vantage points at no extra cost and, between racing, you may just bump into your favourite rider at the local ice-cream shop. But the Monster Energy Fan Park is just going to take that access up another level through some interesting and entertaining content.”
The inaugural free-to-attend Isle of Man TT Fan Park was planned for the 2020 edition, before the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
However, organisers have been keen to make up for lost time by reimagining the concept, and this year’s offering will include uninterrupted live coverage of the race action on a big screen, as well as live music, signing sessions, games, competitions and more. A bumper entertainment schedule will conclude on the final evening with a set by world-renowned DJ Sister Bliss at the event’s hospitality suite.
Furthermore, fans will be able to join in the celebrations with a variety of drinks on tap at the TT’s official bar, the Trackside, and by sampling premium wines and spirits at the brand new Vino bar, which will also make its debut this year.
Organisers are convinced that bringing fan-facing attractions together into a single location will be appealing for spectators, particularly given the plans of spectators who will travel from overseas to sample a taste of what the iconic event – and the island – has to offer.
“As we see more and more fans arriving on the island by air or without their own transport, spectating at the Fan Park can provide a stress-free day at the TT, especially for those staying in or around [the capital] Douglas or those travelling light,” the spokesperson says. “Everything we’re doing is about giving fans more access.”