Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday 26th July 09

Up reasonably early for a big breakfast of cereals followed by toast, beans and scrambled egg.

Then up to Sewerby Gala which was very close to the Bed and Breakfast, and had to wait for quite a long time to be shown my performance space... which was right next to where I was standing at the entrance! There were some negotiations with the Punch and Judy chap... I like to work continuously as the day goes more quickly, the punters get more of me and the organisers get a better deal. So the P+J went to set up nearby and he was going to do just three half-hour sets. I worked continuously from 10am til 4pm, with 15 minutes sitting down for lunch... peanut butter sandwiches left over from yesterday! By 4pm I was exhausted.

I got a lift from the organiser's wife to the Bridlington Bus station where I got a bus at just after 5pm all the way home.

I had some bad news this evening. On Friday I had a message from my friend Hannah who was planning to work for the Big Green Gathering stewards team... she'd had an email from the BGG security team saying there was some doubt that the event would go ahead, although there were no explanations, and just a request for people to not buy travel tickets. So I'd left on Saturday morning not feeling that confident about the coming week, but chose not to share my concerns with Gill as I didn't want to cause her to worry, as she is prone to this.

Tonight, when I got back, Hannah messaged me and told me to check the website, and yes, the following message has been put on:

"urgent message
Dear Friends,
following threatened injunction proceedings in High Court by Mendip District Council supported by Somerset & Avon Police and having taken extensive advice from a prominent QC and other eminent lawyers, the directors of the Big Green Gathering have been left with no other option than to voluntarily surrender the license for the Big Green Gathering 2009. The event will now not take place and the directors' advice and request is that no one intending to attend the event should attempt to do so, as the site is now closed and they are likely to be turned away by Somerset Police. It is our intention to avoid any form of confrontation or public disorder in regard to this and it is our earnest hope that all those involved will follow this advice. It is with great sadness that we have been forced into this position and we express our profound apologies to all those concerned. The Directors of The Big Green Gathering.
A note to the traders from our markets coordinator: OK you’ve read the reasons why the event has been stopped at such short notice. We have all been fighting it up until this morning. It is with heavy heart that I have accepted the authorities have closed us down. Apologies to all of you who have been trying to phone me. There is one place on site where I can get intermittent signal so long as I don’t move more than half an inch to the left or right, but I've only got one cel left. If you need tips and help with other events to replace your lost trade, please text me. If you do, please put your stall name on the text to help me identify the sender.I am totally happy to talk to all of you and answer any questions about how this happened, but realistically it will be when I am back home on landline. Keep watching this space and I hope to make contact with all of you over the next month. With deep regret and much love, Jennifer Sunday 26th July 2009 3:30pm."

There is a blog post from Jennifer which explains a bit more.

I sat down with my family and explained what had happened. There was sadness, anger, tears, more conversation. We made alternative plans. My son and I will use the train tickets I've bought to get as far as Birmingham, and then get tickets to Leamington Spa where I'll spend the night and then probably cycle back to York. My boy will spend a few nights with his friend in Leamington, then they'll come up to York on the train together.

What a day!

Later, found this post which tells more about the reasons the event has been cancelled.

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