Saturday, July 01, 2006

Festival Ops and Programming Group

Festival Operations and Programming Group have arranged to hold meetings on the same day on the racecourse this year - allowing for an extended lunch where lots of cross-group sub-meetings and discussions can take place.

There’s so much to get through and so little time to sort it in. The July ops meeting is always packed and the kick-off of a certain football match at 4pm this year adds an extra pressure. Why did I agree to chair it again?

We just about make it, though a few sub-meetings will have to happen later this evening and tomorrow morning.

Exciting stuff getting planned and excellent solutions are found to some key problems. We’re getting there.

Competing constraints are always a nightmare and in one case there are serious concerns about how we can run a key venue in what is a very problematic space. What ensues is a masterpiece of lateral thinking kicked off by Oli. In a process reminiscent of those sliding puzzles with one piece missing, we work through various versions of “move A to B, B to D, C to E, D to C and E to A, quene B through foyer X, D through foyer E, black out part of C, move that horse and jump thing in B, work out if there’s really a cafĂ© in foyer Y, move that installation from F to G and Bob’s very much your mother’s brother”.

Simple really…

Happily the final resolution, whilst needing a bit of work to achieve, looks to be better than we could have possibly hoped for. It’s such a pleasure when all these diverse interested parties get together and graciously collaborate to make it all work out.

I make one spectacular fuck-up, when one party fails to have taken in a previous agreement (made at a previous meeting and revisited in recent emails) and is ploughing on regardless. They’re working on one premise when it’s been agreed we’re actually going with as very different set-up. It reaches a point where it comes to a head, where a proposal publicly made by said individual is in direct contradiction to the agreed set-up and I stupidly go “err we need to talk about that” in public. To say I was kicking myself is an understatement. It was one of those moments when you have to make an instantaneous choice about how to deal with a very awkward situation and you just panic…and in this case make the wrong decision about how to handle it.

Bugger, bugger, bugger.

The day improves as we head for the BBQ set-up by the wonderful Pete & Janet. An earlier start than usual with big screen set-up for all but a small group of dis-interested parties (weirdos!).

We’ll not talk about the game itself eh? I think Dave Walker sums it up rather well in this cartoon:

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker.

Suffice to say that the post-match meeting Oli, Ben and I had to go through some major Venue Management stuff, our levels of enthusiasm and creative thinking may not have been quite what they might. We get there though and that’s the main thing.

Heading back to Hunters’ the drinking and socialising continues into the wee small hours.

And this time I partake.

The world is back spinning on its usual axis.

1 comment:

Rob (the ergonomist). said...

You're right L1z, it was a very traumatic episode of Dr Who. Cybermen AND Daleks: who'd have thunk it?