Friday, July 25, 2008

So much good...

..and so much bad at the festival. For me anyway. Professionally, the culmination of 18 months of planning and meetings, organising, decision making, site design, licence it goes on. But we did it. And we did it bloody well.

What we have worked towards since setting up the business two years ago. So much potential. The first major piece of work for us..and now most likely, the last. Question is, do I simply resign from the business, or do I request that it be dissolved, or disbanded, or whatever it is you do to a business? Cos SAND is Sally and David....and if I am not to be part of it any more, then I think it should cease to exist. But what happens to all the business things, the bank accounts, the assets, the is very, very sad.

However, some more pics of the festival to end on a high note..apart from the major evening events, there were day time events, and we designed the marquee space so it could be split into two halves, or one half and two quarters, with round tables and bistro chairs, so the coffee bar could have that intimate feel...every day there was a chair aerobics session - I joined in briefly while D took a picture, but then we had to run away cos we weren't taking it very seriously....there was a talk every day, a charity of teh day, a book review and a lunch time concert, as well as tea, coffee and cakes. It was very successful, well attended, and I heard some good stuff here, very moving and very apt.

Spot me doing chair aerobics...and the lunchtime concert with the Salvation Army sextet..excellent.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And so it begins...

After three days of site building, three fun days in which it all started to come together, three days of having teams of volunteers arriving and helping out and making friends..two days of which it didn't rain, and we ate outside in the sunshine, retired to the caravan to eat and relax at night, made friends with Andy the scary biker security guy who turned out to be lovely and greeted me each evening with a big hug, and who came into the caravan late at night for cups of tea before guarding us all night...the Big Guy who found me crying one night and just wrapped his arms round me and said, Sally, You're lvoely....and he looked out for me every evening and was the only Atheist on site but the lovliest. Thank you Andy.

The sound and lighting guys turned up. Dan and John, what characters, what a laugh we had..they all liked a drink back in the caravan after work....I stuck to cups of tea or coffee (except one night, more of that later...)
Then it began, the first Saturday night, the Youth gig, with the live bands, and my teams of volunteers turned up, I briefed them, kitted them out with radios and looked after them through their first shift. They had a whale of a time, for most of them, their first experience of any kind of festival, or of stewarding in a yellow vest. Radios were foreign objects, and teaching them how to use the volume control, channel knob, ear pieces and mikes was hysterical. But we laughed and they loved it. Doggit and Maria came and briefed the Pit Crew and stayed and helped with the gig.

They stayed the night in the caravan, and the whisky came out....

A good night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And there's more...

It was a city centre, non residential Christian Festival in the city centre park. It lasted 9 days, the longest festival we have worked on, hence the length of time on site. We had problems with suppliers, the stage was late, the chairs and tables were late, I was on the phone getting stroppy with people, being very assertive and getting things done. Oooh, she's scary when she's angry, said passing volunteers.

I was the only woman in a crew full of blokes..I made lots of cups of tea. I offered. I was also asked to put the kettle on when I was about to help build the stage. I did not like this and threw my work gloves across the marquee and left. DC followed me and asked to help build the stage. He apologised for the poor unfortunate male who suggested it. I threw a cup and broke it. I made the tea. I reminded people that I was working as an ASM in the theatre when they were all still in nappies, I have lifted stage weights, built scenery, and never, in the 70s...the last century!!!..experienced sexism like this. Everytime I wheeled a flight case off the van some bloke would say, 'Well done!'

The man delivering the generators saw me go into the portacabin site office and said, 'Have you got a kettle in there love?' No, I said, but I'll go and make you a cup of tea..... Now Mandy, the girl who drove the 100 ton truck and delivered the portacabin, Mandy with the hardhat, face piercings and tattoos, now she was lovely, I climbed up into her cab out of the rain, and showed her where to site the portacabin (we painted the marks earlier...) When we got to position, there was DC in his yellow Hi Viz waterproof waving us if I couldn't site a portacabin on my own. I sighed. 'Men!' said Mandy, laughing. Men, indeed....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Festival facts

1. It was brilliant.

2. I was on site for 13 days and nights, only left once for an hour, the rest of the time was working, or eating, or sleeping, or talking, or laughing,....or crying....

3. Professionally, it was A Success.

4. I had a badge saying 'Event Director.'

5. I was in charge (with David).

6. SAND stands for Sally an' David.. (get it?....)

7. I loved it.

8. I could do it full time. For ever.

9. It might be the last gig we do as SAND. First and last. Go out with a bang, not a whimper.....

10. I promised some pictures:
Day one, set up day, poured with rain from morning til night. Our caravan and site office, set up til backstage was built. Woken at 7.15am on Day One by Man phoning trying to get on site to deliver toilets (I did remember to order them!) and I had to throw some clothes on and some water proofs and take delivery!

The marquee going up in the exciting... the start of it all. David and I had gone round the park early in the rain, checking our site plan, measuring and marking out with spray paint where everything had to go..I had guessed the position of the toilets earlier and they were a few feet out...didn't think it mattered until Anal Person pointed out the lights would now miss them..... doh...

Building our Outside Safe Store in the rain, with my two beautiful assistants, David and David..(so many Davids on site, whenever I yelled the name, at least four guys came running...never the right one of course.....) I even wielded a sledge hammer to put the stakes in..did I mention how much I enjoyed myself?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What a roller coaster.....

Yes, a roller coaster, that describes the last few weeks. Thank you so much for those of you who have been there at the end of the phone when I have needed you. I am truly grateful, and hope you know I am always here to return the favour! I couldn't have got through it without you.

Friends....made in God's own image....if I don't say it often enough, you are lvoely...... thank you all of you for caring, if at a distance, you don't know how much you all mean to me.

However, I have survived, and part of surviving the past few weeks has been being very busy writing and delivering 7 training sessions for over 250 volunteers, preparing for the Festival we have been working for, over the last 18 months.

Against all odds, the training has been good, more than good, it has been well received, people have thanked us for it, said it was fun, informative and professional and excellent material well delivered. During my lowest moments, it has lifted my self esteem and self belief.

Now we are preparing to go to site, all the suppliers and contractors are booked, licence done, park booked, insurance sorted, risk assessments done..all that remains is for David and I to drive (well ok, David to drive) our caravan to site, and be ready for the marquee to arrive..and the fencing..and the portacabin, and the toilets (I did remember to order the toilets, didn't I?) and to put on our waterproofs and get stuck in.

I have designed every policy and procedure known to man (or woman) and have got my festival event file ready.

I will try and post some photos as we go will be a historic event. Maybe the First and Last major gig for SAND Consulting!!!! After that, who knows...