Introducing Sean Smith
I am a Manchester citizen and a journalist. I've been living and working here since 1996. I started out as deputy editor at the northern Big Issue but more recently have freelanced for publications as diverse as Metro, Flux, the Daily Sport and Creative Times.
Manchester is just about my favourite city in the world. You can make all the plans you like, but when you go out on a Saturday night in Manchester you never really know where you're going to end up - but you do know that it's probably going to be somewhere full of interesting, down-to-earth people with something to say about anything and everything. It's like a roller coaster crossed with a magical mystery trip. Except it's usually raining…
People usually measure the success of festivals in terms of sold-out performances and critical acclaim but I'm more interested in what the people on the ground think. And if there's one thing you can guarantee about talking to people in Manchester, it's that they'll give you an honest, no-nonsense opinion.