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Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?

Richard Bridge 06 May 09 - 02:16 PM
VirginiaTam 06 May 09 - 02:40 PM
Richard Bridge 06 May 09 - 02:46 PM
Richard Bridge 06 May 09 - 05:55 PM
Pigstrings 06 May 09 - 07:15 PM
VirginiaTam 07 May 09 - 02:38 AM
The Barden of England 07 May 09 - 03:14 AM
The Barden of England 07 May 09 - 03:21 AM
melodeonboy 07 May 09 - 04:49 AM
GUEST 07 May 09 - 06:48 AM
melodeonboy 07 May 09 - 08:29 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 07 May 09 - 09:21 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 09 - 09:23 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 09 - 09:28 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 09 - 09:59 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 09 - 10:10 AM
Roj 07 May 09 - 11:11 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 09 - 12:27 PM
Half of No Worries 07 May 09 - 12:44 PM
Girl Friday 07 May 09 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Guest: Pigstrings 07 May 09 - 05:59 PM
The Sandman 07 May 09 - 06:10 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 07 May 09 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Rob English 07 May 09 - 07:09 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 07 May 09 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Rob English 07 May 09 - 08:32 PM
Richard Bridge 07 May 09 - 08:37 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 08 May 09 - 04:22 PM
Dead Horse 08 May 09 - 05:56 PM
Richard Bridge 08 May 09 - 06:17 PM
Richard Bridge 08 May 09 - 06:18 PM
VirginiaTam 09 May 09 - 02:09 AM
Richard Bridge 09 May 09 - 05:30 AM
Dead Horse 09 May 09 - 10:40 AM
Girl Friday 09 May 09 - 02:39 PM
Girl Friday 09 May 09 - 02:43 PM
Richard Bridge 09 May 09 - 03:50 PM
The Sandman 09 May 09 - 03:52 PM
growler 09 May 09 - 05:44 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 09 May 09 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,Morris Dancer 09 May 09 - 09:04 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 10 May 09 - 12:45 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 05:58 AM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 05:59 AM
Roj 11 May 09 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,guest morris dancer 11 May 09 - 11:53 AM
GUEST 11 May 09 - 12:12 PM
Girl Friday 11 May 09 - 12:17 PM
The Barden of England 11 May 09 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,T D L 11 May 09 - 01:23 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 01:37 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 01:42 PM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Gastove 11 May 09 - 04:02 PM
growler 11 May 09 - 04:12 PM
Chatham_Girl 11 May 09 - 05:20 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 12 May 09 - 12:26 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 12 May 09 - 12:47 AM
GUEST 12 May 09 - 12:53 AM
VirginiaTam 12 May 09 - 02:41 AM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 03:28 AM
The Barden of England 12 May 09 - 06:07 AM
fisheye 12 May 09 - 07:19 AM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Guest: folkandroots 12 May 09 - 10:01 AM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 12 May 09 - 11:16 AM
GUEST 12 May 09 - 11:31 AM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,guest morrs dancer 12 May 09 - 06:48 PM
Girl Friday 13 May 09 - 11:05 AM
Richard Bridge 13 May 09 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Magrat 14 May 09 - 07:17 AM
Girl Friday 14 May 09 - 07:17 AM
Richard Bridge 14 May 09 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Pigstrings 16 May 09 - 03:58 AM
Richard Bridge 16 May 09 - 05:36 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 16 May 09 - 05:52 AM
Girl Friday 16 May 09 - 12:28 PM
romany man 16 May 09 - 03:27 PM
growler 16 May 09 - 04:10 PM
Rafflesbear 16 May 09 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,guest morris dancer 16 May 09 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,woodsie 17 May 09 - 03:54 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 May 09 - 04:11 AM
Richard Bridge 17 May 09 - 04:17 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 May 09 - 04:38 AM
Richard Bridge 17 May 09 - 04:52 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 17 May 09 - 06:14 AM
dilligafxx 17 May 09 - 06:19 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 17 May 09 - 06:34 AM
VirginiaTam 17 May 09 - 07:51 AM
Half of No Worries 17 May 09 - 08:00 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 17 May 09 - 09:54 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 May 09 - 10:46 AM
VirginiaTam 17 May 09 - 10:51 AM
Half of No Worries 17 May 09 - 11:23 AM
VirginiaTam 17 May 09 - 11:34 AM
romany man 19 May 09 - 09:26 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 May 09 - 10:33 AM
Richard Bridge 19 May 09 - 01:06 PM
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Subject: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 09 - 02:16 PM

Doug Hudson is asking what sensible suggestions there mgiht be to improve Sweeps' fest. He writes: -

"Richard
I'm trying to get feelers for anything I can do to improve next year. I know you spent much of the time at the GI and that seemed to rock away very nicely.

You may have noticed the yobbery problems of Rochester High Street and the desperation of some of the venues to chase the buck (moving Chris Taylor's Irish session so that yobbos could watch a footballl match). Others did very well and the Gordon, Man of Kent, City Wall Wine Bar Stage and Concert Marquee were grand.

Any thoughts from you would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Dougie"


From our exchanges it seems that both Doug and Gordon Newton would rule out a move to Chatham Maritime in any form.


I have already suggested

1.   Move the Gastove band session to a more central venue and give Gastove a proper operating budget. Maybe in the glass-sided room in the visitor centre next to the cafe, or a separate room in the Guild Hall (to cross-fertilise with Bob and Kath's singaround) or the old "Wish it was a brewery" clubroom at the King's head (if there was not a sound penetration problem with bands downstairs)

2. Get the council to shout at the police: plenty of police about during the day to police nice folkies yet they all run away when the feral youth comes out to play. There should be real police patrolling the High Street from 6 to midnight.

3. Bring the "mini-reviews" of the bands booked into the pubs back to the program to help people to decide what to see.

4. Camping by the new riverside walk. http://www.medwayrenaissance.com/news/?p=p_35&sName=Rochester-Riverside-Walk-Opens    and   http://www.medway.gov.uk/index/business/medwayrenaissance/sites/202-2.html


I have also of course suggested more folk music and less Americana and pub rock - but let's not please have another "what is folk" threa here - I want sensible suggestions!


Dilligaf has suggested having the procession on Sat am, and booking more sides for Sun and Mon. Once the procession used to be a highlight, but now more and more sides go home before it.   NB the coming year May 1st is on the Sat, so sides that welcomed in the May could then process, have a pint, and have a kip!


Over to you chaps and chapesses. Remember that less than 20 years ago you could walk into any pub in the High Street and people would be making acoustic music, and indeed Ben McManigan would be sitting at the bar with a half-drunk pint of Guinness and a half-smoked Capstan Full Strength. And no-one was getting hassled by piss-heads after 6 m.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 06 May 09 - 02:40 PM

Don't put acts so far afield as Strood. They should all be in Rochester. Ron Trueman Border and his support act which included Clive Lever were stuck in Strood. Not fair!

Council needs to put the programme up earlier in year, though this year was better than in past. And the mini blurb on each act is a definite yes. Chris' daughter and friend were complaining about the lack of that very thing.

Am I wrong or were there fewer sides this year than in past? It seems there was a lot more space between them up and down the high street this year. What happened? Recession? Fear of night time yob culture?

Council could make some money on selling little observer books of Morris. I will give my ideas free of charge if it will help make Sweeps more attractive, enjoyable to sides and public and feasible for council.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 09 - 02:46 PM

That pub in Strood has always participated.

Lots of sides I think on Sat. Fewer Sun and scant on Mon.

Police sufficient to control yobs at all times particuarly night when siad police seem to run away to hide in robust paddywagons is already a recurrnet theme on emails I have had.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 09 - 05:55 PM

Doug has a meeting with the council on the 18th May.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pigstrings
Date: 06 May 09 - 07:15 PM

The Sweeps always seems to me a bit of a balancing act between a folk festival and a show for the tourists. I sympathise with the sentiment "more folk music and less Americana and pub rock" but there are a limited number of acts that work in places like the Gordon, the Two Brewers, the Eagle etc. Many folk acts need somewhere an appreciative audience can...appreciate them!! Tricky once the yobs take over the town in the evening.

I'd like to suggest that venues which muck artists about are not included in the programme for future years. They're either supporting the festival or they're not. The TV's off when the music is live.

The City Wall Winebar are a good festival host. They always make us feel we are welcome and appreciated. When the budget's tight, a little appreciation goes a long way.

One thing that would probably improve the festival and Rochester generally would be to burn down the casino rooms...oh, wait a minute....


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 07 May 09 - 02:38 AM

I think it might be a good idea to PM some catters who attend and ask for input to this thread.

Also ask if they could talk to other non catters who have participated.

Pigstrings has made a good point about the accommodation of booked performers at venues. Some input from booked acts would be useful. What about Clive Lever and TDL for a take on the accessibility for differently abled participants?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 07 May 09 - 03:14 AM

The television thing also happened to Davey Slater at the Kings Head on Monday.
The Police and Local Council have sufficient powers under the Licencing Act of 2003 to stop the drunken yobbery stone dead if they but had the 'balls' to do it. It's all there in the act, but you can bet your boots that all the police will try and do is charge for extra policing at night as they tried to do with the Maidstone River Festival and almost managed to kill it stone dead. However, who do they charge when it's happening every weekend down Rochester's High Street? Why not ban all alcohol on the street from 5pm - They have the power?
As for the pubs who put the television on - well I believe they are precisely the ones that are serving the drunken yobs and I steer clear of them (when I can get away from my duties of course) so don't include them (the Kings Head comes to mind here).
Gastove's events are great (and give me a rest on Sunday afternoons) and I therefore am torn about moving them not only for personal reasons, but also for the sterling effort put in by Karen and Dal at the Good Intent.
And finally I totally agree with Richard regarding camping, but security may well be difficult.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 07 May 09 - 03:21 AM

By the way I think the best thing I said in a email Richard Bridge was 'I'm so happy to be over in Troy Town ( and how many would have said that in the past)'
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 07 May 09 - 04:49 AM

"Police sufficient to control yobs at all times particuarly night when siad police seem to run away to hide in robust paddywagons is already a recurrnet theme on emails I have had."

Yes, indeed. And let's keep repeating it. I just hope that if it's said enough times, someone (i.e. the rozzers) might actually take notice.

"That pub in Strood has always participated."

Yes, and may it continue to do so. This pub supports live music both throughout the year and during Sweeps, so let's, in turn, give it our support. Jumbo Gumbo played there during Sweeps last year and this year. On both occasions we received a warm welcome from the landlord and landlady, and we attracted a good crowd. And it's only five minutes' walk from the end of the High Street (about the same distance as The Good Intent is from the other end of the High Street - and we all manage to get there!). It also has a huge car park right behind it with free parking!

"I'd like to suggest that venues which muck artists about are not included in the programme for future years. They're either supporting the festival or they're not. The TV's off when the music is live."

Yes. If it's too much for them to turn the bloody goggle-box off for just a few hours on a few days a year, then my gut reaction is to say "s*d 'em". However, perhaps the organisers should liaise more with the pubs before the festival and establish agreement on procedures (I shan't use the word "educate" for fear of being branded as arrogant!). If we start alienating pubs, it may well work out to be to the detriment of the festival.

Having mini-reviews in the programme is an excellent idea.

I think there's general agreement that events at The Good Intent during Sweeps have been extremely successful and the atmosphere is excellent. (I declare self-interest here, but I like to think I'm being honest in my praise!). On the issue of whether Gastove's session should be moved from the GI, I think it's probably best to refer to Gastove and John Barden, and possibly Karen and Dal.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:48 AM

'twas a great festival,

somehow I felt it lacked a sense of unity, seemed more like a bunch of events coinciding at close proximity at the same time. Actually that's a point why do so many things clash?   Pub gigs start at 12.30-2.30 all over town!   

Also there was not much (if any) details given of many of the performers. Seems a shame as festival publicity is surely a great benefit to performing artists and people that saw them can find details of them more easily.

But had lovely time!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 07 May 09 - 08:29 AM

Ah, thank you, Guest. I knew there was something I'd forgotten.

Regarding the clash of events, I think it would be better for the events to be spread out more. My band were playing from 12.30 to 2.30 on the Sunday. Across the street was another band whose style of music was not a million miles away from ours, also playing from 12.30 to 2.30.

Consequently, a number of the audience were going from one gig to the other, and (on a personal note) I was unable to see the other band myself as I was performing.

Once our gig had finished, there was not a lot on in terms of gigs, as there had been so many on from 12.30 to 2.30. Surely, in this system, people are missing bands they'd like to see because there are so many playing at the same time. Broadstairs has the same problem.

I appreciate that "spreading out" the gigs may make scheduling more difficult, and might make it difficult for a band to do two gigs in one day. That's possibly why Broadatairs and Sweeps follow this format.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 07 May 09 - 09:21 AM

This was my 1st Sweeps Festival and I throughly enjoyed it.
5.30 Sunday evening
The Alcohol fueled drunken Mob that had assembled on the High Street Sunday evening was a very disturbing sight indeed and I think if a large Police presence was to have moved into the area all Hell would have broken loose , Clearly this was what the Mob were waiting for.

How can I on this thread make a sensible suggestion to the improvement of the above.
When the police seem powerless to do anything about it?
Send in a column of soldiers Fire a volley over there heads ,This indeed was a scene from the Mobs of the past ? Its bad for tourists who come to see the event, Its bad for locals and shopkeepers . Its a ugly Carbuncle on the neck of the whole festival.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The Morris dancers were a fantastic sight for me to see such color and the costumes.
Its took me several strolls of the High street Saturday to take it all in. By 1pm it was Jam packed to the point where it was hard to make way because the Morris dancers take over the whole road leaving a mere slipstream on the left and right pavements for folk to pass on route. Then when the Morris have stopped performing the crowd are reluctant to move for they are not sure if the performance is over?

To limit the congestion with Morris troops dancing perhaps it could be announced by one of the Morris team to make it clear to the crowd assembled that the performance is over and to "MOVE ON Please or words to that effect?
Ease the congestion.
............................................................................................................................................Finally

That place at the top of the high street blasting out Drum and Bass that was the only place on the high street Saturday where I saw the first signs of out of order public drunkenness.
If its is a night club then it should not be open during the day when the Sweeps is in full swing because it attracts exactly the type of person that is clearly NOT WANTED.
The music blasting out is nothing whatsoever to do with The Sweeps Festival so close them down during the Daylight hours.
Kind regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 09 - 09:23 AM

From today's Medway Messenger


Story begins>
"It was early doors for drinkers in Rochester after trouble erupted in the High Street on Sunday.

Police asked pubs to close early after anti-social behaviour marred the Bank Holiday weekend.

About 80,000 people descended upon Rochester for the annual Sweeps Festival celebrations.

While most enjoyed the sunshine, music and Morris dancing, for others it was an occasion to get drunk and cause trouble.

Police made 13 arrests over the three days - five people were arrested for being drunk and disorderly and issued with £80 fines, four people were arrested for affray; two were given police cautions, one was released on bail and one was charged and released on bail. Three people were arrested for actual bodily hard. Two were charged and released on bail and one was released without charge. One person was arrested for grievous bodily harm. They have been released on bail.

After a number of incidents, officers visited pubs on Sunday evening and requested they shut their doors at 10.30pm to help deal with the huge numbers of revellers.

One landlord who did not want to be named, said: "Officers came in about 10pm asked if we could shut at 10.30pm because there had been a some trouble up the high street. We usually would have stayed open until midnight.

"The police wanted all the pubs to shut at the same time because if you just shut some of the pubs which have experienced trouble, you are just dispersing it elsewhere.

"I think the problems have occurred because of the Bank Holiday weekend, it's not necessarily because of the Sweeps Festival."

A spokesman for Medway Police has insisted any anti-social behaviour was dealt with swiftly.

A spokesman said: "Between May 2 and May 4 there were 13 arrests in the area around Rochester High Street. Not all of these may be attributed to the Sweeps Festival.

"The festival was a success for Medway and there were few incidents. Those, which were brought to the attention of officers, were dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Kent Police asked the local pubs and bars to close at 10.30 on Sunday to help with the safe dispersal of the large number of people around the Rochester High Street area.

"All of the licensees were cooperative with this request and the day ended safely."

Story ends>


A bit self congratulatory. The number of arrests could have gone up 10 fold or more and still not have scratched the surface, according to the feedback I am receiving.

If there had been 5 police outside every pub/alcohol purveyor in the High Street, another 5 on each unpubbed corner by the King's Head, and another 10 outside the rear of the Jolly Knight, the rest of us might have been able to go about our revels unmolested.

Nicking only 13 is letting most of the oafs off scot free. Closing the pubs early is punishing the innocent along with the guilty.


I am however starting to worry that we are beginning to sound like the Daily Mail...


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 09 - 09:28 AM

I agree with Pierre le Chapeau that the establishment opposite the Queen Charlotte, opposite the old post office, was looking like trouble early on. How can they have got a licence to play amplified music outside the establishment, in a way and mood that is clearly antithetical to the ethos of the festival? Surely their premises licence under the Act cannot include playing the music outside?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 09 - 09:59 AM

The key to mobility is to know where to duck in and out of the High Street

1. Star Hill - you used to be able to get from Victoria Street via the Terrace to Bishop's Walk and Eastgate Court - but that may now have been closed off.
2. Almon Place alongside the Queen Charlotte
3. Between the Adult Education Centre and Eastgate House
4. Crow Lane (clearway to Vines and Boley Hill)
5. Blue Boar Lane
6. Sometimes if the gates are left open you can get through La Providence.
7. Through the Visitor Centre
8. Through the Gordon
9. Carpark alongside Gordon to Corn Exchange
10. War Memorial to Boley Hill
11. Northgate
12. Through the mews next to the motorbike shop (Corporation Street end) - if the gate to the High Street is open.
13. Opposite the Guild Hall to the Boley Hill Car Park (by the Sweeps' memorial)
14. Narrow alley to Castle Hill.
15. I have been through Baggins Bookshop, but not on a festival day...
16. George Lane, alongside the George Vaults
17. If the gate is open, about 20 yards east of Expectations Bar, nearly opposite the Vic and Bull
18. If the gate is open, Gundulph Mews to Castle Hill.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 09 - 10:10 AM

Ah - the bar that offended PlC and me is the Enigma, that treated No Worries badly, and which residents objected to changes in its licence last October. I think it used to be "the Vaults" - a disreputable drinking den and disco, and before that "the Subterranean" - not to be confused with "Subs" at the King Charles Hotel.

Clearly bidding to replace Aaron Stone's as a star turn on the next "Street Cop" reality TV show.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Roj
Date: 07 May 09 - 11:11 AM

"I am however starting to worry that we are beginning to sound like the Daily Mail..."

Good point, Richard, but I'm not convinced that pretending that if we (the law abiding majority) stick our heads up our own fundaments and pretend all's well that it'll put itself right. We've reached the point where liberal thinkers are offended. That doesn't make us rabid raw meat eating fascists, it means we've had enough. I'm going to have to withdraw from this debate, my health will surely suffer if I don't.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 09 - 12:27 PM

Understood. Thank you for your very helpful input so far.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Half of No Worries
Date: 07 May 09 - 12:44 PM

Talking on the positive!! Brian and I DID have a wonderful weekend and there is much to celebrate and to be proud about in our local festival. No Worries may have ended up in the smoking marquee of the Enigma Bar but we had power supply, nice seating( very welcome to weary visitors) shelter and a car park to rear for unloading PA. Could have been perfect without the disco. We were also well supported and the GI was an absolute gem as always.
The police respond to incidents and complaints but although we were shocked and disgusted by what we witnessed on Sun. night in the High Street we did not complain to the them. How can you ask for dozens of drunks and foul mouths to be removed?
Difficult to see solutions to such an enormous public order problem which extends well beyond our lovely festival. Good luck Doug and friends in finding solutions and thanks for asking for our opinions.
PS
Park and Ride is currently not available into Rochester for Festival events. A strange decision?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 07 May 09 - 05:03 PM

Following the suggestion that T D L might like to contribute, here are our thoughts.
1. Please put some info about performers in the programme. We asked Doug who Roy Goulding was, as he was in Expectations for hours, every day. He explained, and said we wouldn't want to see him. We ignored Heretic, because we didn't know who they were. If we'd known it was Jon Loomes, we'd have been there.
2.With regard to the outside disco at Enigma. Yes, it was noisy, but it was keeping the queue of yoofs entertained, and stopping them running amok. That's not an excuse though, it shouldn't have been open during daylight hours.
3.Yes, I have trouble with stairs and cobbles,but that's Rochester, I live with it.We can manage the walk to and fro the GI, but would rather not have to run the gamut of the yoof population to get there.
Perhaps you should consult with Clive Lever and Dave Reay, they are unsighted which is a greater handicap than ours.
4.It was a shame that the visitor centre wasn't used more, having no licence keeps the yobs away.
5.If gigs were more spaced out, it might also keep the yobs out of town,provided the pubs were devoted to the Festival,and not to tv football etc.
6. Leave the gigs in Strood,if the pub wants to support the Festival, but yes, bring Ron and The Strangers into town, they deserve more of a hearing.
7. If you set up a campsite along the Medway there would be huge security issues,such as we already have to contend with at Broadstairs.
8. Lastly,Trevor has a theory to expound ,which is possibly very contentious. This was his first "Dry" Festival", he can't drink with his heart tablets. For the first time he felt far less threatened by the yobs and chavs, and wonders if the amount of drink consumed by ourselves,heightens our anxiety levels. Is there a doctor on the Cat who can confirm or deny this? (Maybe it's the tablets)

Thanks for giving us a hearing

TDL


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Guest: Pigstrings
Date: 07 May 09 - 05:59 PM

Did I miss something?

We went to see the Singing Loins and Sur Les Docks at the Gordon Sunday night. We passed Norcsalordie & TDL on their way in for the late session as we left at around 11.00.

Grant and I walked back to the Blue Boar Car Park and the kids walked back to the campsite some time between 11 and midnight. The High Street didn't seem any different to a normal Rochester late night to me. Earlier, we had to ferry all our kit across the road from the City Wall Wine Bar to the Blue Boar Car Park, through milling crowds of yoofs; but they were just boozing, chatting and doing their thing, they weren't a problem. I was told (by a steward) that the street wasn't opened to traffic at 6.00 as it normally is just because there were too many people around. Understandable - you do not want drunks swaying in front of your car, whether they're chavs or Morris men.

The Gordon beer tent stopped serving...because they had run out of beer!!!

I don't want to overdo the rose-tinted specs; the whole country has a problem with youngsters drinking to excess and with the clubs and pubs that encourage them down the road to self destruction. The grievous bodily harm took place almost opposite where Pig's Ear were playing. Nevertheless, I think Richard is right to be a tad wary of Daily Mail-ism. The sun was out, it was a Bank Holiday, and there were 80,000 people in a town that's end-to-end pubs! Whaddya expect?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:10 PM

Following the suggestion that T D L might like to contribute, here are our thoughts.
1. Please put some info about performers in the programme. We asked Doug who Roy Goulding was, as he was in Expectations for hours, every day. He explained, and said we wouldn't want to see him. We ignored Heretic, because we didn't know who they were. If we'd known it was Jon Loomes, we'd have been there.
should you not have some trust in the organiser of the festival,is it necessary to know who someone is,why not just go and see Heretic,as an outsider it sounds like,you either dont trust the organiser,and think he might book crap,or are not prepared to take the risk to see someone new.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 07 May 09 - 07:04 PM

I fore one have expressed how wonderful the Sweeps festival is ;I mean when it was time for me to depart the GI every one started singing " Hit The road Jack ' Which was great. But I will be back next year..


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Rob English
Date: 07 May 09 - 07:09 PM

Have a minimum standard of dance for the Morris teams! Too much midlife crisis Morris! :)


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 07 May 09 - 08:12 PM

The Morris teams rotate in dance,.I know because I asked a a fellow . Let them dance all night but having worked with the public for 34 yrs When a troop stops Move On Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Rob English
Date: 07 May 09 - 08:32 PM

? What does that mean?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 09 - 08:37 PM

Actually, security for a Medway campsite where I suggested would be easy-peasy. There are only three ways to get in unless you want to cross electrified train tracks (or the Medway): Cory's Road, Blue Boar Lane, and a fair way down into Chatham entry, past Nag's Head Lane.

I didn't personally run into any situations in which I felt yob-threatened, but the sound outside the Enigma (as I went from the GI down into town) was unpleasant by 1500 hrs on Sunday and there was a ambience as if the yobs were gathering there specifically against the folkies. I came back to the GI, up Boley Hill and along the Vines at about 1830, and it was starting to look like having the potential of a running fight outside the King's Head. I'd guess the Enigma and the King's Head to be the most problematic venues.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 08 May 09 - 04:22 PM

Hi Rob English.
Read the threads it fits in Re above.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 08 May 09 - 05:56 PM

Rochester Sweeps is Rochester Sweeps.
Chatham Maritime it aint.

Yob problem is same all over nowadays. Blame police if you like. Blame pubs that sell 'em lager if you like.
No good blaming the parents, 'cos thats you.

Camp site at Broadstairs has only two ways in, Richard.
So how would your suggested site be safer?

Folk, Rock, Americana etc music is what people, and more importantly, pubs, want. If you wish to apply for Superintendant of Folk Police, and keep Sweeps "pure", bloody good luck to you, you will need it.

When there are masses of morris sides performing, the selected sites for dance do become road blocks, but the sides are reluctant to allow the crowds to slip away before the next performance, and those interested are equally reluctant to move on. Follow Richards alternative routes between venues if you wish to avoid crowds. Maps are in the programme.

Prince of Wales pub in Strood deserves to be included as it supports bands throughout the year. Pity they dont sell real ale, but it is just over the bridge and a lot closer than Good Intent.

I do hope that being able to stand in the streets of my own town with a glass of beer in my hand while observing various folk activities will not become illegal as it is in some facist controlled parts of this country!

I may very well be wrong, but I think that the decline in numbers of morris sides attending is due mostly to May Day festivities occuring all over the place now, whereas the choice in my younger days was Hastings, Rochester, or nuffink!
Perhaps we should all shift to Maidstone, which has such a warm and friendly atmosphere during summer weekend evenings? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 09 - 06:17 PM

Campsite at Broadstairs has a low wire fence that any yob on a bit of speed can hop over in seconds! If they try that on the vacant land by the Medway -ZAP! on the traction current. Darwinism in action.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 09 - 06:18 PM

No use blaming me as a parent. My sprog was in the GI singing.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 May 09 - 02:09 AM

why not just go and see Heretic,as an outsider it sounds like,you either dont trust the organiser,and think he might book crap,or are not prepared to take the risk to see someone new.

Since many acts were conflicting with each re times (they did not stagger the schedule) information about the acts would have been useful in making an informed decision. One only has so much time and energy. If an act you know nothing about is against an act you know and enjoy, which would you choose? That little bit of information might change your mind.

Re the camping. Charging more than the typical going rate per pitch might pay for some private security. Needs someone willing to organise it, though.

Re knocking down drunken Yoof or Morris while driving down High Street. More challenge in hitting the Yoof as those suckers move fast. Though would be more colourful and musical if you hit the Morris.

Re walking to Strood. Well, we B&B up Watts Avenue just up from the GI. A walk to high end of Town is something of a killer for arthritic feet, hips and now knees. I never made all the way down to the bridge end, because I feared not being able to get back to GI. Strood just too far. Maybe I should get a mobility scooter. Ugh!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 May 09 - 05:30 AM

I think there is a bus from Star Hill that stops right outside the pub in Strood. It goes along Corporation Street. I think.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 09 May 09 - 10:40 AM

Buses from Star Hill that stop outside PoW.
136. 140. 141. 142. 143. 147. 151. 172. 173. 191. 192.
Stick yer 'and out ta git on. Ring bell ta git orf. Easy.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 09 May 09 - 02:39 PM

Captain Birdseye has taken up my point and has put his own spin on it.
"Following the suggestion that T D L might like to contribute, here are our thoughts.
1. Please put some info about performers in the programme. We asked Doug who Roy Goulding was, as he was in Expectations for hours, every day. He explained, and said we wouldn't want to see him. We ignored Heretic, because we didn't know who they were. If we'd known it was Jon Loomes, we'd have been there.
should you not have some trust in the organiser of the festival,is it necessary to know who someone is,why not just go and see Heretic,as an outsider it sounds like,you either dont trust the organiser,and think he might book crap,or are not prepared to take the risk to see someone new."
The fact is, we cannot physically be everywhere, and there were other acts that we had wanted to see.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 09 May 09 - 02:43 PM

I pressed a key and my message got posted .This is a fairly major festival and venues are fairly spread out. Not only that, but all the pub sessions run at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 May 09 - 03:50 PM

My intelligent beautiful and musical daughter points out that in most other festivals there are many more craft and folk arts stalls - that even goes for full on rock festivals.

She also points out than many other street festivals have much more street music, and remarks on the excellence of buskers seen in the castle grounds.

And repeats that many folk music and dance festivals have folk music, not pub-rock.

As to the first two, the question is "Where?", bearing in mind the noise from the funfair rides in the castle grounds and indeed the banging of the Morris drums in the High Street.


One possible is, as I have previously said, the garden and tea room behind the Eagle.
But I wonder if the better answer is not to put stalls and street music in propinquity - either on the Esplanade grass, or in the castle and move the funfair to the Esplanade grass. Or even to put the funfair the other side of the ralway tracks. Moving the funfair would get many of the arseholes further out of town.

Or an "acoustic" tent with low powered PA in the Vines, and tut stalls there too?

Or another Pig's Ear stage, by negotiation with La Providence? Or by the War Memorial, leaving a bigger gap between the Morris sides just there?

Or more use of the Visitor Centre, depite the lack of beer on site??


Or another crack at pushing intelligence into the very decorative George Vaults, ideal place for a sing apart from the absence of beer and the presence of chavs.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 May 09 - 03:52 PM

very good points, Girl Friday.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: growler
Date: 09 May 09 - 05:44 PM

Richard, I concure that your daughter is both intelligent and       beautiful, but she also has a voice that can be heared within 30 miles of her singing. I find it easier to sit in the ,Good Intent', and lt her come to me


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 09 May 09 - 07:58 PM

.It was a a great weekend . Im fearful of camping due to security and Im in security its my job.

But Andys place came up trumps no complaints re B&B.   Infact it was very good. Im returned to my room and found all me Harmonicas were put back in there cases ok wrong cases but i was Impressed I think my complaint worked for me.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Morris Dancer
Date: 09 May 09 - 09:04 PM

I have to say I really enjoyed the festival. I camped all three days and we all had a great time. My only critism is that I took a walk along the high street one evening to see what was on and although I could hear music I could not find anything to say who was playing on the window of the pubs, which we always used to have. I admit I did have a programme back at the tent but having walked down the hill I wasn't walking back up to get my programme. More posters with who is playing where would have been useful.
So I was forced to go to the GI and join in with the playaround which was hard, and drink nice beer also very hard, and then have some more nice beer and play some more nice tunes, and maybe have some nice beer. You get the picture


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 10 May 09 - 12:45 PM

Most Pubs had a size A4 piece of paper up on the window and doors promoting what was on but they were hardly noticable. I agree Morris Dancer more effort could have been made with larger posters attaced to windows and doors.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:58 AM

Proposals that Doug will be trying to get carried forward for next year include (not by way of limitation):

1. A ban on drinking in the street after 6 pm.
2. Short artist profiles in the programme.
3. More A4 posters about what is on where.

(Damn, no promise of folk music only, or free beer for morris dancers)!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:59 AM

I think that maybe should be A3 posters...


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Roj
Date: 11 May 09 - 09:40 AM

I'd steer clear of "folk music only" issues, Richard. We might all end up embroiled in yet another "so what is folk music really" debate. God help us all.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,guest morris dancer
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:53 AM

One of the reasons for the lack of information on what was on as far as music was concerned was down to the fact that it was almost impossible to get a programme.tourist information centre usually hands these out to local shops and business a couple of weeks before the event, it didnt happen this year, so there was a lack of information in the weeks leading up to the festival.

I think an effort definetely needs to be made to book more morris sides, especially for bank holiday Monday.It might be a good idea to have two parades, on the Saturday morning as well as the Monday.

The high st in general is always pretty dodgy after six, and this is down soley to a couple of particular pubs, loud music, yobs etc and total lack of police presence.On Sunday we didnt dance, but had a day off, as we left the Gordon Hotel about six it was already filling up with people who were threatening, this ominous presence continued in the high st particulary outside the city wall wine bar, where a huge crowd had gathered.There was not a morris man or woman in sight, no folkies either or funnily enough no police.I was very glad at that point that I wasnt wearing kit!.
This situation was soon remedied by heading for the GI to a warm , friendly and welcoming atmosphere.good food, beer and company!

I think the police need to get off their backsides and be more visible, its not helped by certain venues who actively encourage yob culture either!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:12 PM

Gastove
I read with interest the various suggestions for improving the Festival. To answer the suggestion that I move my "Bands" to another venue, well, no I won't. I will, however, stop altogether if that is really what people want. When Karen and Dal said to Doug that they wanted to be part of the Festival,Doug asked me to go and see what I could do.One thing I did was to provide a stage for people who were known to be very good floor singers, but had not yet made the transition to taking bookings at clubs.This was a facility that I thought was needed. I gave them a 50min. concert spot with a P.A. and sound engineer so they could show people what they could do. Many were booked on the spot. Since then, more established musicians have been included by request.I would certainly welcome suggestions as to performers. Currently, I invite people that I have seen personally. I don't, however get around the clubs like I used to, so if you see a floor spot that you would like to see more of, let me know, because that's what it's all about. I will be guided by you, but in any case I will continue to support the G.I. in any way I can.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:17 PM

I disagree Morris Dancer... there were programme stewards all over the high street, trying to foist them on us... I was carrying several myself, so needed none. There were piles of them outside the public toilets opposite the Corn Exchange, and on the Counter at The Visitor Centre, amongst other places.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:00 PM

Gastove - Your Sunday afternoon 50 min floor spots at the Good Intent are great, and I for one would be more than unhappy if you stopped doing them. I think you are an integral part of what makes the Good Intent, for my money, the best venue of the whole festival. Long may you continue.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,T D L
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:23 PM

Good on you Gastove. We entirely support you. Your band showcases sit nicely in between the singing/music session, and give the likes of Growler and JB a break. Down in the town, Bob and Kathy are stuck for 8 hours without a break, and the same would happen at the GI if you stopped. We ran the session in their absence last year, though not until we dropped in for a quick sing. Would be happy to help out again.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:37 PM

We need to arrange our dinner on Sunday differently.   I don't want to miss anything that is going on at the GI. In fact, I think I need to be cloned because now that I want to improve my playing, I am drawn to the sessions in the garden. What to do?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:42 PM

Let me be clear, I recognise the excellence of the Gastove band session. I thought it could be bigger and better with more room and a budget provided by the festival.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:25 PM

Is the idea of 2 Gastove concerts over 2 days at different venues too much to wish for?

Damn that would just make it doubly difficult to decide where to be.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Gastove
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:02 PM

Thanks Richard, but in this case Bigger would not be Better. I know that if I was contemplating a possible career in performing Folk Music I would rather "break my duck" in a friendly pub full of supportive Folkies than in a big venue where nobody knows me and many don't want to listen."Better" is certainly achievable with help in finding deserving club singers. Come on, you all know one!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: growler
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:12 PM

Gastove, having taken part in your sessions the previous two years and if things had been different, I would have been here this year,all I can say is A big thanks and keep going


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Chatham_Girl
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:20 PM

I agree – Gastove session and the other stuff at the GI is a great success and shouldn't be messed with. People have voted with their feet and have made it the place to be to escape the high street. Karen & Dal deserve credit for creating the environment for this to happen, not snubbed by suggesting it is moved.

Clearly the high street is not a popular place for to play for many performers – and because of the audience it becomes necessary/sensible to 'dumb down' the set in order to cope with the 'lowest common denominator' audience. So you end up doing 'American Pie' and are considered a success.

The venues get the audience/customers they deserve – if they are selling beer at £1 a pint, have blaring electronic music, give priority to the football rather than the festival events, then they will attract people who want this sort of thing. A business decision I am sure – times are hard.

I think that more could be made of the castle gardens – a separate marquee instead of funfair? This would give extra quality performance space - Put the funfair on the esplanade. It has been suggested to me that the castle could become a ticket only festival area, which would keep all of the plebs out and the folkies in … sort of what the castle was intended for – pull up the drawbridge, so to speak. Craft and other stalls in the corn exchange are quite limited – is this because of the limitations of space or because of a lack of demand from potential stallholders?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 12 May 09 - 12:26 AM

Karen & Dale worked tirelessly this year to create a wonderful place to get away from the high street and the music was great and the behavior among the people that were there was very good. I spent equaL amounts of time both in the GI and the High street

I certainly used the Good Intent has a bolt hole to excape the Drunken mob that assembled on the High street The Sunday evening.
What I can not get my head round is why do people plan change and
Why mess around with something that works and runs and is tested every year to be a sucess. I know why because some dont like to see others make a year after year sucess.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 12 May 09 - 12:47 AM

Oh by the by on the Saturday betwen I guess 11.30 and 1200 oclock who were The gaggle of cloned suits all dressed in gray that paraded up the High Street?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 09 - 12:53 AM

Yeah there must have been about twenty or mor of them.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 May 09 - 02:41 AM

Oh Gawd! I hope it wasn't the PDP Property Developement Posse and attendant gaggle of City Engineers. I've seen them in Stratford u Avon (now unrecognizable) and Chelmsford soon to be tainted by CIL development.


If it was them.....
Be afraid. Be very afraid.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 03:28 AM

The Auditors...


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 12 May 09 - 06:07 AM

Now that's a great name for a new group Richard :-)

Move over 'The Shiney Bum Singers' as 'The Auditors' are coming!!!

John Barden


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: fisheye
Date: 12 May 09 - 07:19 AM

As a cameraman I have been to many festivals and marches and where they sell alcohol
you will attract the modern youth. Hell I think we have all been brought up on beer and perhaps something higher. Today it seems the culture is to be vandalistic and create a gross indecent exposure of one-self.

As for Sweeps unless you move it to Broadmarsh I believe you will always attract trouble from the few.

fisheye


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:50 AM

Oh, I'm not sure I mind the women flashing at me...

It did happen in Maidstone once, outside the last embodiment of the Hazitt folk club there, as a hen party went by


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Guest: folkandroots
Date: 12 May 09 - 10:01 AM

Probably wouldnt be too appreciated by some of the car driving fraternity but I did wonder whether an extra outdoor stage could be located on the car park (they can park elsewhere for a day or two) at the top end of the high street, perhaps it was just me but I didnt think the stage at Boley Hill seemed to be very highly utilised over the weekend?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 10:06 AM

You mean Almon Place?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 12 May 09 - 11:16 AM

No, please do not encourage Sweeps to go down the same road as Leigh. They are stupid enough to put a stage in every car park in Old Leigh, and still invoke parking restrictions


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 09 - 11:31 AM

Richard

I think (you'll have to excuse my poor geography and memory) that its the area between the High Street and Blue Boar Lane I was thinking of, it just struck walking along the high street that it might not be a bad location for a stage or to ease some of the pedestrian congestion on the high street iteself..


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 11:38 AM

Ay, no, I think that would be a disaster, being too close to the City Wall stage and creating sound penetration, removing a huge chunk of the very restricted parking, adding to the congestion in that area with a static audience - and being to hand for demolition by the users of Aaron' Stone's casino nightclub, as featured in this and every week's Death Street Cops TV programme, assuming it has not burned down completely (now there's an idea) in the meantime.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,guest morrs dancer
Date: 12 May 09 - 06:48 PM

If you actually read my post properly girl friday, you will notice that i said it was impossible to get any information leading up to the sweeps festival, not during it, therefore it made it difficult for people with other priorities to plan their weekend.infact the tourist information centre in rochester only handed out single programmes if you asked.Last year as i previously said these were freely available in all of the shops in the high st,tourist info center and other public places. its all very well if you dont have anything else to do all weekend, but some people have other priorities and like to know whats going on before hand,Also no leaflets could be handed out by any of the businesses in rochester to publicise the festival, as the tourist information centre didnt give us any.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 13 May 09 - 11:05 AM

Sorry Morris Dancer... but that wasn't how I read it. I agree with you entirely now. The Medway council website was very hard to get around this year, and I eventually found a downloadable programme which took up more than one A4 sheet. It would have been simple to print some for early distribution in Rochester. I live in Orpington. Luckily I run a Folk Club, so Kathy Drage sent me a bundle.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 May 09 - 06:46 PM

I have, by nagging the council every year, got onto some sort of distribution list and the programmes came by post to me in dribs and drabs fom first availability. I think I finished up with a dozen this year, but I had 6 people to spread them around...


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Magrat
Date: 14 May 09 - 07:17 AM

I think it would be a very good idea to have a procession in the middle of the weekend - after all Broadstairs have a couple during their folk week and once the workshop performances have taken place people do start to make a move back home.

I also do not think the Gastove sessions would work as well away from the Good Intent - after all, it's the local resident youths who cause the trouble, and the Good Intent provide everything essential to the success of this festival - good beer, good company and a great atmosphere.

I strongly agree with the need for a larger police presence in the evening, but maybe a start should be made now, and unruly behaviour should be discouraged all year round, not just during festival time.

Let's keep the festival where it should be - in Rochester (and the PoW in Strood), with good live music, whether it's traditional or Americana, lots of Morris sides and good friendly people.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 14 May 09 - 07:17 AM

Richard, I always get more than I need, shall I divert them to you next year? (You'd have to remember to remind me.)


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 May 09 - 12:50 PM

No, I had sufficient thanks Sue.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,Pigstrings
Date: 16 May 09 - 03:58 AM

Sue,

I never have a Sweeps programme in advance! It's the best kept secret in Medway council! I usually end up without a programme at all, I nick my daughter's one because I never have time to go and get one. If you have spare in advance, please send them Pig-wards, we can find good homes for them.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 May 09 - 05:36 AM

All you have to do is write to (email will do) the visitor centre and ask (and give your name and address of course). I've never even been asked for an SAE.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 16 May 09 - 05:52 AM

The Auditors.
I agree with John Barden thats a great name for a Band


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 16 May 09 - 12:28 PM

Sue. I get heaps sent to me by the Drages. I figure it's connected to having ad(s) in AKF, but you're welcome to my surplus next year.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: romany man
Date: 16 May 09 - 03:27 PM

having finally got this devils spawn machine working again, i thought id put my ha'pth in for what its worth, i went to sweeps fully intending to go to the good intent to see and hear me cuz the bard, sadly events prevented me from going, so i thought id wander up once the side finished dancing, oh how sadly wrong i was, as the other half was summond to appear at a family council, so not knowing when the good lady would return i waited in the motor, by the time we were able to get moving again, all thoughts of walking up that bloody hill to get to the intent disapeared,so although i applaud the G.I. for all they do, as most of the activity on the weekend is down the high st why not spread around and some of the artistes come down ad hoc so that everyone gets a chance to see and hear what is mainly in the G.I, i agree about the plastic cops, more work needed as many witnessed a bag thief was followed around for ages before a real copper arrived to deal with the poor misunderstood yob,Oh and the cloned suits were from the international rotary club on a junket from brussels did you see the bloody great log some poor sod had to carry around, it appears this same log goes from country to country every year, whenever the local rotarys go on such binges it goes with them, and i thought the masons were potty!! still the gongscourers to the piss unmercifully even being photographed with the wierdos, cant think who were wierder them or the gongs, still a good time was had by all.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: growler
Date: 16 May 09 - 04:10 PM

I spoke to Karen and Del,them of the GI today and they are more than happy to keep their status as 'the singaround to be at' and leave the named acts to other venues. They sold over 40 barrels uf ale over the weekend, which Dal has said, is the capacity for the Pub. They have also said that they want to keep, The Barden, Gastove and Ruff n Reddy as the hosts


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 16 May 09 - 04:24 PM

I have sympathy with the view of Romany Man - as far as the mudcat community is concerned it appeared to be the GI festival with a separate festival for the public in another part of town

How could the enthusiasm and support for the GI be integrated with the rest of the festival - or are you all happy to be on the outskirts and not have to rub shoulders with the undesirables? (as suggested by Chatham Girl earlier)

With all the venues in Rochester it seems a shame that reading Mudcat you would get the impression that there was only one


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,guest morris dancer
Date: 16 May 09 - 08:28 PM

Hi all,thanks for the post girl friday, its interesting to note that although it was made very difficult for people to get sweeps programmes this year, the Dickens festuval programmes were duly brought into the shop where i work by the tourist information centre, infact you cant move for them! any were in the high st! why the advance publicity for one and not for the other! three weeks in advance, what is goin on here? has anyone asked why there was lack of pre publicity for sweeps, and yes you are right Girl Friday it is difficult to negociate the councils web page to find the sweeps programme.One festival being favoured over the other perhaps!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 17 May 09 - 03:54 AM

I go to the Good Intent 3 or 4 times a year for the Singarounds that JB hosts. I think these are the best singarounds in the country - and I've been to a few! At the Sweeps this year I didn't bother with the High Street at all! I didn't like any of the other pubs that I had tried on previous occasions and am not a morris dancing fan, so why go anywhere else? Perhaps if there were more diversity of arts, crafts, workshops and street musicians I would be more interested


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 May 09 - 04:11 AM

I've not been, but intend to next year.

Do you get anything like an exhibition with information and displays about the history and traditions of Morris and trad Folk in the town hall or somewhere? Or another central public building location. Church or library or something.

Ditto craft stalls, and workshops. It's the sort of stuff I like to see.

What about face painting for silly adults and kids, creative borrowing from 'blacking' traditions. And other similar stuff.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 May 09 - 04:17 AM

1. Good
2. No. Good idea.
3. No, alas. Tut stalls have been on a lot of people's lists this year but there are just a few stalls selling mostly music stuff in the Guild Hall, and indeed not all of the usuals were there this year.
4. Yes.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 May 09 - 04:38 AM

Open air theatrical productions of seasonal Mummers Plays?


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 May 09 - 04:52 AM

No


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 17 May 09 - 06:14 AM

If the Craft usual,s were not there this year that is a bad sign that they made no worth while profit re money or worse did not even take there stall price..

both myself and my ex wife are qualified florists we used to do craft fairs all over the country
and if one is paying the going price of £100 or £200 or more in advance for a pitch over a Bank Holiday we would expect to take £2000 or more and we often then not did. But we would work through the day and night to replace sold stock with new.

Clearly if we did not take our pitch price the first day we got concerned and if we did not take what I called profit over all other expenses then clearly we would not return next year.

I did craft fair for over 11 years and regarded it has a income that paid a mortgage and kept a family. I would not for instance do Rochester Sweeps festival at £200 a pitch over three days because I would know I would run at a loss.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: dilligafxx
Date: 17 May 09 - 06:19 AM

From a dancers point of view The bands clash with the dancing, if I,m dancing I can't be in a pub listening to a band, so when we finish no bands playing so its nice to go to a good sing around, the only one to be found is in one pub (like Broadstairs). Sunday I did the high street(no dancing) and mixed with the public Enjoyed what I heard Skinners Rats as always excellent.Then went to GI when music ran out. Back to why are all bands on at the same time. Rochester has the same problems as Broadstairs but to a lesser degree {now I begin to sound old} THE YOUTH OF TODAY who unlike us old binge drnkers don,t know how to behave,xx


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 17 May 09 - 06:34 AM

This day and age I would not bother with large flower or dried flower arrangements, They are clearly too expensive a luxury.
I would go to a local flower wholesalers and buy two Kilos of simple potpourri three months before I was due to do the planned event I would buff up the potpourri from the wholesalers with dried lavender and rose buds from my own garden. You do not need fixatives or preservative for lavender and rose buds but you must know the secret for drying then or they will rot.
I would make up a thousand bags with 3 fragrances ie Peach, Rose and Jasmine and sell then at 99p. a a bag . They would sell.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 May 09 - 07:51 AM

I would love for there to be workshops on various instruments, - bring your own bodhran, whistle, fiddle, mandolin, jaw harp, harmonica, nose flute, etc. Leigh offers a workshop on harmony singing. It was standing room only last year. I think dance workshops would be popluar too.

The exhibition is a brilliant idea. Interactive would be better with morris dancers on hand to give demos. Shameless plug for my observer book of morris. Tatters, hats, blacking up workshops could be offered.

Please please please- I cannot be more emphatic - stagger the concerts, sessions, workshops and morris performances, so everyone can get a taste of everything they want.

Mummers plays! What fun. My brother in law still does mumming with what is left of Ramskyte at Christmas to raise money for charity. I imagine most most groups that do mumming are also muso and/or morris so may be a bit of conflict there. Would be good to see mumming during the Dickens fests.

Damn. I cannot wait to retire to Rochester. Gonna jump in both feet volunteering planning and working these events. I used to do conference management. Not that different from event managment. I bet I could suss the scheduling of acts and events to be more inclusive if the council will agree. I will happily chase and write up the descriptive blurbs. Advocate for lower charges on trade stalls etc. Get the extra camping and security in place. Schmooze the offending pub owners into disengaging the tellies and putting on live music in evenings, so schedule can be extended. Get the Casino owner to donate his buidling to Museum of Morris and make Rochester the Morris capital of the universe.

Pant pant gasp.

Deep sigh. Pipe dream over.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Half of No Worries
Date: 17 May 09 - 08:00 AM

Just a quick word of praise to The Man of Kent pub ( less than half a mile off the High Street and the GI) who also supported the festival and provide an excellent venue for Folk/live music throughout the year. Like the GI staff, they work tirelessly to ensure good order is maintained. They well deserve every penny made from our support. The High St landlords could learn a lot from their example.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 17 May 09 - 09:54 AM

My favorite town pub and it was my 1st ever Sweeps was The Two Brewers. The staff were cheerful polite and above said said thankyou. Whereby the pub across
where the Pigs Ear Stage was located where there were seats and tables outside I was not impressed with at all.
The bar staff did not appear old enough to work in a pub and even if they were they had no interest in what they doing work wise they were more interested in the hoards of mates who were just hanging about on the other side of the bar.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 May 09 - 10:46 AM

Aren't there metal biker Morris? I've seen vids of them in the States or something.

You should import a few dozen and dress them up in ritual animal disguises and then send them cruising up and and down the high-street after dark carrying flaming torches, horses heads and rams skulls and such stuff to give the chavs the willies.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 May 09 - 10:51 AM

My first Sweeps I saw a mixed side from San Francisco, that looked very Biker metal. Black leather biker togs and metal studs. They had tattoos and had morris bells on wire pierced through a pinch of skin on upper arms. It was quite gruesome and cool.

The side had been formed by a British expat living in California.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Half of No Worries
Date: 17 May 09 - 11:23 AM

Ah yes Pierre, I should have said " SOME High St landlords. The Two Brewers has long been the cherished home of "The Fezz Heads". Well known in these parts for their moderate drinking and sensible behaviour!


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 May 09 - 11:34 AM

Pierre was just smnitten wif da hats on de Fezz Heads.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: romany man
Date: 19 May 09 - 09:26 AM

Crow sister , im wiv you , im off to slaughter a few anilmals for der eads, love the concept , but then im mad anyway.


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 May 09 - 10:33 AM

Romanyman: "im off to slaughter a few anilmals for der eads"

Goody, got any Rams Skulls going spare?? ;-)

Must get me a nice crow mask sorted too.

Just love the metal Biker jingly bell piercings VTam.
Almost tempted...


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Subject: RE: Improvements to Rochester Sweeps Fest?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 May 09 - 01:06 PM

Doug has had his meeting with the council and some improvements are likely to be in train. He thanks us for our input.


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Mudcat time: 17 August 2:17 PM EDT

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