The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84178   Message #1552995
Posted By: Liz the Squeak
30-Aug-05 - 05:02 PM
Thread Name: Towersey 05 - Thoughts Of A First Timer
Subject: RE: Towersey 05 - Thoughts Of A First Timer
Hi, as a Towersey steward of 8yrs standing (mostly at gates), it's always nice to get feedback from 'punters'.

1) Lineup. It's been a lot worse in previous years, believe me!! There were several headline acts this year, but there have been a lot of negative comments about having to pay extra for the Rolf Harris/Kate Rusby concerts. I personally didn't want to pay the extras but managed to sneak a quick 10 mins just standing outside of the arena.

2) Yes, there were a lot of people there. I cannot comment on the 'extra tickets' because I do not know. What I *do* know is that it has always been a 'sell out' festival. Oddly enough, the events there that I attended were nowhere near as crowded as in former years.

3) Yes... campsite 2 was appalling. Campsite 1 filled up quicker than before, it was practically full by 1.00pm Thursday. There are steps in hand to try and control this with the proposed limits/ban on gazebos. The amount of space there is constant, the size of tents is not. Over the years, the same people come but bring larger tents or larger offspring with their own tents. This takes up the extra space - an adult couple with 2 older children in their own tents will take up 3 tent spaces whereas previously they would have taken 1. People 'stake out' their territory with windbreaks, creating their own little villages but also taking up space that in previous years another person would have pitched in. The overspill went to campsite 2, which then spilled over into 3.
It is correct that only 1 of the proposed 6 volunteer 'bog squad' team turned up. The organisers then arranged for contract cleaners who could only fit in the cleaning around their available time slots. The situation was not helped by people taking away whole toilet rolls as soon as they appeared. The site 2 loos were 'papered' at 3.00am. By 7.00am all paper was gone. Because the contractors didn't come back until the following 3.00am, there were emergency runs to the supermarket for more. As for washrooms/showers, it is entirely possible, if you come prepared, to wash in your tent. The showers are only available because the social club make them so. I've not been to many other festivals where showers have been available.

4) 'Professionalisation' - this may be truer than you think. Members of the professional security staff had to complete a training course at employment. There are proposed legislations to make this compulsory for ALL festival stewards, at a cost of £80-£100 per course per person. The days of the volunteer steward could be numbered. As for those 'jobsworths' you came across, I can only apologise but sometimes people take their jobs literally. If we bend the rules and something happens, it can be traced back to the steward on duty and we are off the list, further applications to steward are turned down. Similarly, we have a certain number of people who turn up, take their free ticket and are never seen again. This puts more pressure on those who do turn up; the organisers are made to call upon the 'floaters' - people who turn up offering to steward after the rota is made, and may not have had much experience before. If you have a serious problem with a particular steward, report it to the stewards office or the main info desk. That way, the organisers know who is trustworthy and who would benefit from a few general pointers.

5) Artists tickets. The best person to talk to about this policy is the festival organiser. All the artists I dealt with had day season tickets - this gave them access to all areas but no camping. Most artists prefer to have B&B nearby. I saw Pete Coe, Jez Lowe and Phil Knightly all 'mingling' with the crowd, never set eyes on Andy Cutting all weekend!

If you want to volunteer to steward in the future, or want to make more comments on the festival, then try Emailing Mrs Casey Music at office@mrscasey.co.uk.

Thank you for your input though.. there were several things about the layouts this year that were very different to previous years.... they may well be rethought and rearranged next year!

LTS