The floor space available in the Blackmore marquee was smaller than last year because about a third had been lost to the craft section. However, the dance floor itself was not that much smaller because although it was shorter than last year it was also wider which made a better shape for dancing. The main loss was to the area put aside for sitting and standing which was far too small forcing the excess people on to the dance floor. Next year they should go back to the full size tent, with a full width dance floor occuping two thirds of the length of the tent, and the remaining third for the bar and socialising.
We did the best we could regards opening the sides. Apart from the entrance there were two ten foot openings which were manned and a number of vents on the other side. It is not feasible to have more openings because we do not have that many stewards available and if the sides were totally open then they would be impossible to police.
The entrances to the tent has to be manned to prevent free-loaders getting in, to control numbers for H&S and fire reasons, and to prevent drinks from being taken off of a licenced premises. We often struggled to control the three openings even with four stewards, occasional bar staff and security staff all pitching in! So more openings would be a logistical nightmare. As Steve points out, a breeze is far more effective than more openings in cooling the tent.
Can't do much about the oppressive regulations but hopefully next year there will be a fenced off, licenced area outside the tent to alleviate the over crowding.