Thursday, July 22, 2004

Lessons Learned and a Night Off

The major lesson learned this year is don’t go on holiday in July when you have a major festival in August.

Even taking the laptop with me and doing the odd hour or two here and there has not prevented me from having a huge backlog by the end of the week that I am now ploughing through.

July is a busy month in my slice of the Greenbelt world; a month full of deadlines. The ticketing forms need to be in, meal vouchers ordered, risk assessments chased up and global policy documents updated, Venue Manager Days organised, information to go out with all the tickets submitted, volunteer forms and references sorted, credits for the programme written and so forth.

All this is on top of all the ongoing stuff like: how will we provide a decent bridge across the creek, where can Stage 2 bands park up for unloading, how do we operate Centaur to get the vibe right for different events, how can we try and prevent the World Music venue drowning out the films next door, where should Radio greenbelt put their aerial (don’t tempt me…), what will happen to the clay sculpture if it rains, what about the planned fire-eater, how many muffins should I order for the Venue Managers in the Worker’s Rest Room…you know, the sort of things that keep you awake at night.

Time and money are both in short supply this month, particularly given I’ve had to buy a new fridge freezer, pay for the holiday and fork out car tax…ouch! OK so the shoe buying probably didn’t help, but I was powerless to resist…

Tonight I did however, manage the promised night off as best mate Sarah and I head out for a girly evening at our favourite restaurant, That Café in Levenshulme.

We even push the boat out (sssh don’t tell the bank manager!) and abandon plans to be good and go for the early evening deal menu. Sarah has had a crappy week at work and this is just what was needed…for both of us.

Even so, we head back at a fairly early hour so I can still fit in 4 hrs of Greenbelt work, calling back people who left messages whilst I was in the restaurant and making a dent in the 47 new Greenbelt messages that appeared in my inbox in the last 24 hours. Still it’s worth it to feel that I’m almost on top of things.

I realise as well that I'm not alone in doing these long hours at the moment. One of the phone calls is to a Greenbelt colleague, who has decided that rather than go home between his day shift and his additional night shift, he will stay in the office and do Greenbelt work. Even I'm not that dedicated!

People like this make the festival possible. I do so hope I haven't forgotten any of these hereos in the programme credits...

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