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Rochester Sweeps problem?

Richard Bridge 05 May 14 - 11:07 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 May 14 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,FloraG 06 May 14 - 03:20 AM
Leadfingers 06 May 14 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,banjoman 06 May 14 - 05:49 AM
Richard Bridge 06 May 14 - 06:04 AM
Noreen 06 May 14 - 06:51 AM
Richard Bridge 06 May 14 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 06 May 14 - 08:22 AM
GUEST 06 May 14 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,fox46 06 May 14 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,ant 06 May 14 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,FloraG 07 May 14 - 03:26 AM
Manitas_at_home 07 May 14 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 07 May 14 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 07 May 14 - 04:54 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 14 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,fox46 07 May 14 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 07 May 14 - 05:29 AM
Richard Bridge 07 May 14 - 06:35 AM
banjoman 07 May 14 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,FloraG 08 May 14 - 03:38 AM
GUEST 09 May 14 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 10 May 14 - 05:03 AM
banjoman 10 May 14 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Guest 10 May 14 - 07:39 PM
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Subject: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 May 14 - 11:07 AM

Once upon a time there used to be up to 120 dance sides at Rochester Sweeps. I had noticed that that had become fewer, but today I was told something that may be the reason. If it be true then it does really highlight the jobsworth mentality.

What I was told was that about three or four years ago a council jobsworth stopped ALL morris sides from selling CDs - typically of their music. My informant said that the sides with the musical ability were making about £150 per side over the weekend from CD sales, which subsidised their attendance.

Jobsworth decided that they were not licensed street traders, so were allowed to sell nothing.   So many sides went away and stayed away.

If this be right it seems to demonstrate total stupidity: the festival, and every person attending, are nice little money-spinners for the town. Goose, golden egg?


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 May 14 - 04:34 PM

Sounds like the jobsworth needs a biffing!


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 06 May 14 - 03:20 AM

I think the answer may be more complex why fewer sides turn up. From my thoughts
- some local sides no longer exist
- with more open stages there is less space to dance
- there is nowhere central to have a lunchtime session
- the cost of petrol
- there are more May Day events.
I don't know of any morris sides selling CDs. I know that BG used to get paid for doing one of the prime spots on the programme on the Saturday evening - always a good start to their charity fund.

I think it might be worthwhile for the organisers to actually ask the sides that no longer attend why this is the case.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 May 14 - 05:13 AM

We used to 'do' The Dickens Festival as Street Entertainment - over the years , the budget was cut and every year there were fewer and fewer acts . we were not invited at all last year and in 2012 there were only two other musical acts


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 06 May 14 - 05:49 AM

Hi Richard - it was nice to meet and have a chat at the GI on Monday afternoon. I think you may have got this one wrong about the lack of sides at Sweeps. In my experience, its usually , as you say, down to jobsworths in local councils, but that's usually about health &safety rather than sales. We had a demand for a Risk Assessment for Basingclog by one council a few years ago. Its also worth remembering that most sides plan their years calendar early so if sweeps don't get in first then they will lose out.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 14 - 06:04 AM

Hello Banjoman

My informant actually observed a confrontation between a jobsworth and a side, and it was not about the safe tea elf. I suppose I ought not to identify the side. But you are right in that most sides do plan a considerable distance ahead. IMHO (I have been loosely attached to several sides as musician) one of the factors taken into account is cost and beer subsidy.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Noreen
Date: 06 May 14 - 06:51 AM

Hi Richard, your scenario doesn't sound like anything I've ever come across. I've only ever seen one side selling CDs in all the festivals I've been to around the country, and the idea that we perform for financial considerations is quite amusing!

I'm just back from the wonderful Upton festival, where over 50 dance sides take part every year. The only inducement on offer to us is that we are allowed to pay for camping without buying the full weekend ticket :)
Oh- and that a jolly good time is had by all!

I would agree with Flora- why not ask the sides why they no longer go? It could be that the 'jobsworth' mentality spills over into other things and stops it being fun to go there.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 14 - 07:36 AM

Noreen, I did not say that people danced for gain. But a substantial subsidy to the beer fund/camping cost is not to be sneezed at. While they were not the side in question, the Wolfshead and Vixen CD got favourable reviews in the music press, I have seen at least three other sides selling CDs of the music - and surely Hartley Singers (part of Hartley Morris) also sell CDs. And I'm not really an avid dance festival attender.

The morris ring website http://www.themorrisring.org/music

says

"A wide selection of morris tunes, with past and present musicians, can now be found on the compilation CDs "The Magic of Morris". In addition many morris sides have produced CDs of their music and are even known to sing. See the Morris Shop again."


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 06 May 14 - 08:22 AM

I went on Saturday and also noticed fewer dance sides than when I last went about 6 years ago. The H&S jobsworths should note that this actually causes more problems/congestion because ALL the passing public/observers seem to converge on the one or two teams dancing at a given time - when previously there were maybe about 20 teams dancing and the crowd would be evenly spread throughout the high street! At one time it was impossible to move along the street because there was only ONE team dancing and a HUGE immobile crowd surrounding.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 14 - 01:20 PM

I doubt if Rochester councillors or local government offices have much interest in an obscure US based discussion forum. If you have an issue with them then write to the local paper.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,fox46
Date: 06 May 14 - 09:38 PM

The main issue arising from Sweeps was the "jobsworth" attitude of the events manager and stewards.Morris sides over the weekend were moved on from their regular dance spots for either health and safety reasons ie food vendors outside pubs(obviously food is more important than the performers) and the major dance spots,were given over to buskers.Morris arrived at the dance spots only to be told to "go and dance down there"by events team members, some of which were quite rude and made alot of morris sides feel totally unwelcome at the festival.One side was moved on from their regular dance spots 3 times on Saturday.
As for the Monday,there were 8 sides all from kent,but even then they were obviously causing an obstruction and an inconvienience!(NOT).Again all sides had to move from their regular spots that they have danced in for over 30 years.Sides joined together to dance in 2/3 places as they kept being moved on by stewards.
I know for a fact that one side team member was told that"This is not a morris dancing or folk festival,its a sweeps festival"...errr..I thought it was the dancing and folk music that made the festival

As regards to the selling of cds and other merchandise.A few sides have been jumped upon by stewards for selling these,So they are not allowed to.If you are a busker or a band then you can get away with it!


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,ant
Date: 06 May 14 - 09:46 PM

Another issue that arose was that not all of the amplified music on the stages was folk music.Some of it was extremely loud and this prevented many dancers from performing as they couldn't hear their own music.If we are not careful then sweeps will end up like Faversham did a couple of years ago


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 07 May 14 - 03:26 AM

If you are not allowed to sell things on the street then does the same rule not apply to the food vendors? I'm really not sure of the law on this?

I think the morris sides are too nice. Ignoring the officials would make more sense.

I worry that more morris sides might decide to go electric to combat the stages. Yuk.

I remeber in the processions the officials always wanted the sides to close up the gaps. It made more sense to have a gap - so the sounds of the bands didn't clash - so we always hung back a bit.

Faversham - have we seen the future. A giant boot fair with pop music in the pubs?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 07 May 14 - 04:07 AM

The food vendors have licenses and have probably paid a fee to be there.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 07 May 14 - 04:44 AM

"This is not a morris dancing or folk festival,its a sweeps festival"

If that is the case then why does the FRONT picture of the official programme feature a huge picture of - morris dancers and then FIRST on the list of featured highlights - "morris dancing throughout the festival"

So you take away the morris and folk - what have you left? A cheesey rip-off funfair in the castle grounds and a few junk food retailers!


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 07 May 14 - 04:54 AM

Oh, and here's a link to the programme: Official programme


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 14 - 05:04 AM

I have taken the liberty of drawing the attention of Doug Hudson to the problems.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,fox46
Date: 07 May 14 - 05:25 AM

The food vendors in this particular place,were not really part of the business that they were situated outside of.It states in the terms that"frontage of businesses are only permitted to be used by the owner,and not hired out."I know this as I work in Rochester high st.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 07 May 14 - 05:29 AM

I `ad one of them Morris Dancers in my cab the other day. All done up with `is bells and `andkerchiefs, `e looked well flush, paying for the fare with a fifty pound note.
I said, "You look like you done alright. You been dancing at some posh do or whatever?"
`e said , " Nah, Jim. I just get done up like this for effect. I`ve been at the Rochester Sweeps Festival selling BROOMS. Nice little earner!!"


Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 14 - 06:35 AM

I have had a very constructive reply from Doug. It seems that he and Gordon Newton are on top of this - but I'm not sure what he can do about the vending issue.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: banjoman
Date: 07 May 14 - 07:01 AM

I think you took the right line in approaching Doug Hudson. It may be worth keeping an eye on this one and raise the matter again before next years programme goes out.
Anyway, We enjoyed the weekend so it was worth the trip from deepest Hampshire


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 08 May 14 - 03:38 AM

Apart from Faversham, have other festivals seen a decline in the number of sides? Is it a trend or something specific to Rochester?
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 14 - 08:58 PM

Some years back I commented on the prevalence of electrified Peruvians at Sidmouth with the thought that a pair of scissors might do a power of good when applied to their speaker leads.
The same impliment might well be used with these jobsworths, cutting their braces. Perhaps the Sides should get together and dress their Fools as Elven Safety experts, replacing the slapstick with a furled umbrella and wearing appropriately decorated bowler hats and safety tabards.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 10 May 14 - 05:03 AM

Looking at a different aspect of the Sidmouth experience, it has been said in the past that it was impossible to stop traders on the sea front because they had pedlars' licences. Apparently they are easy to obtain. Could the morris teams obtain these?
Derek


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: banjoman
Date: 10 May 14 - 05:55 AM

To add fuel to the argument about stalls on pavements - As a mobility scooter user, I had real problems in Rochester trying to negotiate the High Street. I overheard one vendor comment that scooters should be banned from the High Street during sweeps. Rochester is not the only town that ignores the disabled when allowing vending licences on pavements.


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Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps problem?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 10 May 14 - 07:39 PM

Hey Ho Derek

Pedlars licences will not be free so even if the Morris teams did obtain them it would probably be self defeating vis a vis income from CDs.

But of course they don't need collecting licences because they are not collecting but busking. In other words providing an entertainment, for which the people being entertained can show their appreciation if they wish, and not just rattling a tin which to my mind has always been an upmarket way of begging.


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