"The man behind Torbay Council's first Grinagog music festival event has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Chris Macmeikan, who is also known in musical circles as Chris Tofu or DJ Tofu, received the accolade for outstanding service to music and festivals.
He is the music director of Continental Drifts, the company that brought Grinagog to the Bay in conjunction with Torbay Council. Grinagog was also supported by Arts Council England.
Chris Macmeikan said: "I am so honoured to receive an MBE, which is specifically for festivals and music. Among all the gigs we do, Grinagog is for me personally the most important event and was my dream project.
"I am from Torquay and I feel the area is in my DNA and I believe that Continental Drifts and Grinagog have the potential of creating a transformative and important cultural event in the national calendar for the next 50 years and beyond. Vive Torquay and its cultural makers and shakers!"
Torbay's Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver said: "I would like to thank everyone who worked extremely hard to make this event such a success. I would also like to congratulate Chris on his MBE, a wonderful accolade for all his hard work. We have never had this type of event in the Bay and our great assets such as Torre Abbey and the Riviera International Conference Centre proved perfect venues for the festival.
"We are becoming established as an events destination and there is a collective belief that this festival will grow. It was sold out in its first year and is a great investment given the benefits to the local economy and potential future growth."
More than 40 percent of Grinagog tickets were bought by locals and the rest from regional and national postcodes.
Feedback quotes included:
"Grinagog has been the best thing to come out of Torbay in a long time!"
"This is an event I could confidently invite friends and their families to visit for the weekend for a quality culturally relevant event."
"A great atmosphere with so many different things to see! I loved that even the people who didn't have tickets could stroll through some of the area and get a feel for what was going on."
"Great festival …. overall 10/10."
"Grinagog was, in my opinion, a huge success and I could see the amount of effort and commitment from Council staff. It was first class."
"I don't actually live in Torbay - I've only visited this once! But I would definitely visit again."
"I would love a good, live, all year-round music venue with decent bands. I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who organised and helped at Grinagog. I know a lot of hard work, time and effort went into this. Well done. This is exactly what our town needs."