Whilst two-thirds of these fans continue to descend on the island during the TT’s middle weekend, there is a growing trend for ‘early bird’ visits, with more fans discovering the benefits of visiting for the start of the event. And fans arriving early this year will find much more to see and do with a new-look schedule and more official entertainment than ever.
The creation of the TT Fan Park, along with its first big event, the Party in the Park, is in part a reaction to the ever-evolving habits of TT fans as much as how fans worldwide now engage with sport.
So, if you haven’t yet looked at a TT ‘early bird’ deal, then now is the perfect time to check out our top ten reasons for doing just that:
1. PARTY IN THE PARK
The Party in the Park is just one brand-new event for TT2020. Bursting into life on Saturday 30th May, the Party in the Park offers a heady mix of live music, family entertainment and racer - fuelled fun. With all the top riders and drivers making an appearance, it’s the only place to be if you love the TT.
2. THE TT FAN PARK
Open each day for 15 days, the newly-introduced Fan Park will be the place to be for the best TT entertainment from morning to night. The Fan Park will be free to attend and will boast a packed schedule of daily content including chat shows, signings, competitions, award-winning live music and more. Fans will also be able to take in all the big screen action, indulge in the best street food, and grab a refreshing drink or two from the Trackside Bar.
3. SUNDAY’S ALL-IMPORTANT QUALIFYING SESSION
In another move away from recent tradition, the opening qualifying session has this year switched from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon. With its new extended daylight slot, fans will not only be able to catch a first glimpse of Glenn Irwin and his fellow rookies, but enjoy a first taste of all the TT classes, including the Superbikes and Sidecars, which both make a welcome return to this particular session.
4. FREEDOM OF THE HEDGES
No more two hour waits here: early bird visitors get the freedom of the hedges and walls that line the TT Course and can tip up to their favourite spectator spots just minutes before roads close. If you have a list of must - visit locations, then an early trip to the TT is the perfect opportunity to tick them all off. And with guaranteed roads opening times, you CAN afford to go just wherever you like and still be home in time for that evening’s TT programme on ITV4.
5. FREEDOM OF THE HIGHWAY
Okay, there’s not really a highway, only the world’s most famous road racing circuit. And at more than 37miles in length, it’s a beauty. If you’ve brought your motorcycle to the island before, only to feel frustrated by the volume of traffic, then an early visit is for you. Sharing the TT Course with only a minority of life-long enthusiasts is guaranteed to remind you just why you got into bikes in the first place.
6. FAMILY TIME
Yes, there are plenty of kids who think the TT is better than Disneyland. For us adults, meeting your TT heroes can be like bumping into Elvis, but for young fans, meeting John McGuinness is like getting your hat signed by Father Christmas! If you haven’t thought about bringing the family before, why not take another look at our deals for TT early birds. Not only do they make family trips affordable, they offer quiet roads and plenty of time to go explore all the castles, beaches and fairytale glens that make up this stunningly beautiful island. It could just be the magical end to this summer’s half term holiday!
7. DISCOVER MORE
It would be impossible to imagine the TT without the Isle of Man. Found at the heart the British Isles, the Isle of Man is both familiar and a world apart - timelessly beautiful, with a character and spirit all of its own. A visit to the TT can be an adrenalin – fuelled experience, but it can also be time of relaxation and discovery. With qualifying sessions largely taking place across a string of balmy summer evenings, there’s all the time in the world to go fall in love with this unique little island. Just one word of warning: if you decide there’s no other place in the world, you’d rather spend the rest of your life, you certainly won’t be the first or last.
8. BECOME A MARSHAL
Swapping the beach for a week or two of hard graft may have become a more fashionable choice for trendy holidaymakers in recent years, but for decades, hundreds of bike fans have been crossing the Irish Sea to do their bit at the TT. If you too, are up for some life experience and keen to give back to the sport you love, then signing on as a TT Marshal is for you! Away from the pressures of race day, the shorter road closures of TT qualifying provides the perfect introduction to marshalling the mighty TT Course, so give it a go!
9. SAVE £££s
Money talks, and if the old Manx plastic pound notes were still in circulation, they’d tell you the TT is – and always has been – the greatest free show on earth. Of course, you still have to get here, and whilst we don’t encourage sneaking onto the ferry like the young John McGuinness once did, you really don’t have to part with that many of your own notes to pitch up at Bray Hill, Brandish or Ballaugh Bridge. Arriving early, you’ll find there’s still plenty of accommodation to choose from – as well as a whole raft of superb offers on ferries and flights.
The TT’s official travel partner, Duke Travel, are on hand to help, and have a range of cost-effective packages as well as exclusive offers for stays in the IOMTT Village. Or alternatively, grab yourself a TT Taster package, courtesy of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Increasingly popular, the TT Taster provides for return ferry travel for you and your bike at a fraction of the normal price when travelling early in the fortnight.
10. TIME IS SHORT
Any TT fan knows this to be true. The TT – more than any other sporting event – is all about living in the moment and living life to the fullest. So, if you haven’t been successful in securing your ideal sailing, or your favourite guesthouse, don’t let that stop you. Seize the moment and become a TT early bird – you won’t regret it!