Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Willow Festival

I am so tired you wouldn't believe it. I hardly slept last night. My mind was racing with thoughts and ideas about "Unity". This is the website I've been working on recently, and the club I've been helping out with. I remember looking at the alarm clock radio at 05:00am and thinking "Shit! I'm still awake." In an effort to get these thoughts about Unity out my head I phoned Richard this afternoon and told him all my ideas and my thoughts. He listened with enthusiasm. They had already thought of some of the ideas but others were new. He invited me to join him and another team on working on a music festival next year. I agreed if only for the experience. Live music is my passion. Not just sitting there watching it but being part of the promotion and part of the organisation.You never know we could get the "Willow Festival" up and running again. Oh of course you don't know about the willow festival. It ran for five successive years it was a free music festival with 6 stages giving continuous music over three days in the summer. Two huge stages for the main acts and four marquees. Most of the bands were local bands. It was one massive showcase with a fun fair and trade stands for those ethnic products T-shirts, tie dyed stuff, smoking paraphanalia, posters, you know the sort. Well it was wonderful. Everyone who went just loved it. One one stage there would be a punk band, and on the next a ska band, on the main stage a rock band. Another stage would have a solo acoustic performer. There was something for everyone. It was a huge picnic that lasted three days with a fire work finale at the end on Sunday night. It all ended two years ago when the organisers got fed up and didn't want to do it again. People were heart broken. We had people coming over from the continent just for this event. Then it was all over.All that experience lost.

It's a big thing to host. None of us has the experience to put it on ourselves. But maybe if we work up to it, it can happen again. It's not just a case of booking bands. No sirree! There's security. theres ambulance cover, there's rubbish collection, there's the marquees to hire, the stages to be built. The sound systems to find. The fun fair to book , the trade stands to encourage. Not forgetting the toilets and bars. The guys who did this before had it all sewn up. We've got to start from scratch not knowing anything. There's sponsorship and council grants not forgetting council permission. It's almost scary. But wouldn't it be a great achievement if we could pull it off?

I'm not saying we can do this or we will. But I'd like to think it's something we can aspire to. We don't have much in Peterborough in the way of music. Yeah we have the pub bands. But the "big" concerts are usually just "Queen" tribute bands or "The Animals" forty years after their last hit single with only one original member present and he's the drummer. It's as if the kids are ignored. Why can't we have the Kaiser Chiefs or the Arctic Monkeys playing here? Or any one of the up and coming new acts? Peterborough needs this. We don't need to be some avoidable backwater.

OK I've got it out my system now I'm going to bed maybe now I've written it all down I can sleep.

Rock on dudes


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