18-May-2014 Plus Ca Change

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” is an epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal “The Wasps”. It literally means ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane – Clennell Hall 2013… quote:
Due to a road closure and ensuing diversion it took us about an hour and a quarter to drive there – but, being the well organised types that we are, we still got there well in advance of our first slot which opened proceedings in the Reception area. We were set up in good time and kicked off our set at precisely the programmed time and finished five minutes early to allow time to move our instruments out of the way so that the next act could start on time for their set.

Move on to 2014:
Again we arrived in good time, and this time we found the furniture in Reception not set out at all for performing – armchairs, sofas and coffee tables taking up the whole of the performing space… and a blow-up camp bed (still inflated) in the middle of the floor. So, in our usual organised manner we set about re-arranging things to a semblance of order with a defined performance space and seating arranged as best we could… and the camp bed? We stood it up against a wall.

In spite of all this, we still managed to start on time and finish our first slot 5 minutes ahead of schedule – but then, you’d expect nothing less of us.

In an effort to keep things moving and keep to the tight schedule we took charge (as agreed beforehand with festival organiser, Dave Forshaw) of hosting, MC-ing and generally trying to keep people within their allocated timeslots. We even resorted to a fullscreen countdown timer display on Jimmy’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet (and no, not every tablet is an iPad, but we won’t get into that discussion here).

Back to 2013… quote:
Some play the game while others overstay, thus making it difficult for performers who have slots elsewhere on site to get to where they’re supposed to be in good time, or come from where they’ve been and find that their slot is now running late through no fault of their own. And it must be doubly frustrating for festival goers who plan according to the programme where to go at what time to ensure they can maximise their pleasure by getting to see who they want to see where and when they expect to see them.

Move on again to 2014:

Does this look like just under 5 minutes to go?

  • Or (if you’re being really good) “Hmmm, just time for that 4 minute song and a very quick thank you and finish with 15 seconds to spare”?
  • Or maybe it might be misinterpreted as “4 and a half minutes before I start my last song which will take me up to 3 minutes over-run by the time it finishes… and I’ll draw out the thank you etc even longer, but no one will mind… it’s not important that other people’s schedules are impacted, and they’ll all just have to adjust”.

Well, we would have thought it pretty obvious – Maybe if we do the same next year we might invest in a shepherd’s crook on a very long pole!

And, like last year, we cut our second spot short to make up the over-run/lost time and ensure that the next act would get on at exactly their scheduled time. After we’d packed our gear, freeing up space, Val went in search of the next act only to be told that one of the later acts hadn’t turned up (not the next act) so nothing would be happening in Reception for the next hour, and the act that should be on now would go on later!

So, we cut our set short for what? The band who were on last got to set up their gear at a more leisurely pace while would-be audience for the act which should have followed us sat and waited and waited…  but at least we got home slightly earlier than planned.




75,000 files… 345 GB… but who’s counting?

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”
Well said Jean-Baptiste

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