Pizza with extra everything please
Funny how the wealthiest operators in football this week decided they wanted an even bigger slice of the pie, meaning less money would trickle down to the grass roots clubs. Not unlike the music industry really.
Festivals are running out of time
The Boomtown Festival cancelled this week. It was an open-air event due to be held on 11th-15th August, which is well after the provisional June 21st date for ending all social distancing restrictions, and also after the July 31st date by which all adults should have received at least one vaccine shot. It sold out of its 66,000 tickets within days of going on sale in February, once the government finally published the "irreversible road map". So what's the problem? The problem is it simply cannot obtain insurance for love nor money. Without insurance, any sort of covid-related cancellation would bankrupt festival organisers.
Boomtown isn't the only festival hitting this problem. The Download Festival held at Donington Park, and Yorkshire's Deershed festival, have both cancelled recently and others might follow. Locally, Cropredy remains hopeful but not confirmed, Cornbury has cancelled until 2022, and our fantastic free music festival, Charlbury Riverside, is also unable to go ahead for insurance reasons. So here instead is a wobbly Riverside video you might not have seen before, of Song and Supper Rooms playing in Glenda's fringe tent in 2018.
Apparently I filmed that one, though I cannot remember it. I think that by that stage of the weekend I was zoned out, glassy eyed, and had eaten far too many doughnuts. Mmmm, doughnuts.
Cowley Road Carnival
Closer to home, the Cowley Road Carnival is still apparenty going ahead on 4th July, but probably not as we know it. The website now says it will feature eco-floats around the city, and virtual livestreams of the day. I'm not sure that counts as a carnival. It is possible though that closer to the time, the covid situation will be clearer and it will revert back to a street festival. Meantime, here is an interesting short video of the 2017 parade.
See anybody you recognise? I liked that video because it is a good reminder of just how multicultural this city is. I didn't manage to film anything myself that day because I was too busy eating samosas. Mmmm, samosas.
This is not a petting zoo
Towards the end of the summer in 2019 I went to a street festival in the south west, mainly so I could see the punkier acts from that corner of the world, including a riot girl band from Bristol called IDestroy that I'd heard good things about. I wasn't disappointed. This is one of their pieces called "Petting Zoo". It's a fun video, but it does have a serious side. They wrote this song "for everyone who's had enough, who is tired of being leered at, sexualised and touched without consent".
Do you ever get the urge to dress up in animal onesies and run around in woodlands? If you do, and can think of a musical reason to justify it, be sure to film it. You never know,....
Go with the (lateral) flow
You may remember a few weeks back, in a belated attempt to convince us that the billions spent on test and trace hasn't been totally wasted, the government made a big show of how everyone is now entitled to two free rapid tests per week. Unfortunately, they never really told anyone how they would get these tests. I tracked down the info which says in the first instance you should ask your employer or university to supply them, but I know some people reading this are self-employed or unemployed and haven't received any info about it at all. If that's you, this is the page you need:
Fill in the form and they post you a pack of seven lateral flow tests, completely free of charge. They are the type where you stick a cotton bud up your nose and get the result after 30 minutes. Just to be clear, it is the testing device which takes that long to develop. Do not sit there with a cotton bud up your left nostril for 30 minutes. These tests pick up infections in people who have no symptoms, and who might be contagious without knowing it, so it gives you additional peace of mind and hopefully detects outbreaks early.
But first I'll have a pizza with extra everything
I've just been counting on fingers and thumbs and think this must be the 50th lockdown letter. When I started I expected to send just six or seven, to keep you in the picture until we were back to gigging again. Now I'm reflecting that fifty letters must mean a hundred or more gigs that I might have gone to but never did, perhaps several hundred individual performances that I never saw, a thousand or more photos never taken. There are places I haven't been to, friends I haven't seen, people I've never met. We've all lost so much more than money over the past year, but all we can really do is live in the moment, and not let it get us down.
Here's a song about living in the moment, by a band you probably never met. The Ninja Dolls came from Sweden and are proof that not everything from Scandinavia is Abba-esque. This song is called "Who am I fooling?" and the lyrics speak of good intentions to go to the gym and one day get beach-body ready,... but not just yet. The video is a bit grainy by today's standards but I love the "crammed into the pub" vibe, and the disorganised dancing and moshing.
Unfortunately, the band split up in 2011, so don't expect to see them play anywhere, anytime soon. But listening to it has got me hankering for a pizza. Mmmm, pizza.