And as the world’s eyes turn to London, it’s with great excitement that I pack my bags and head from Olympicsville to Lulworth Castle, Dorset.
To get there we’re going to have to negotiate Olympic Lanes, now in full force and total confusion since Wednesday and anticipate the traffic to Weymouth. I’ve been warned that everyone trying to get to the route for Olympic sailing events will be using this road. Will they? I say. I’ve found it very difficult to keep up. The free booklet on all things Olympics has disappeared. And I’m still not entirely sure where the horse event I got tickets for is going to be. In the UK we had a lottery style scramble of getting tickets. Approach: apply for anything you thought no one else wanted, in the hope of getting something. So we ‘re doing horses.
Transport for London has been advising us to ‘get ahead of the games’ for quite some time. I see that Marble Arch and Oxford Circus could be ‘busier than normal’ at certain times. But we’ve not had an Olympic Games for a while here and nobody really knows what it’s going to be like. When South West trains announced they’d be working to rule, I did wonder how useful that really was. Their reputation in tatters on a daily basis as my colleagues come in repeatedly swearing about their fully operational train service.
ANYWAY! We’ve had four days of glorious sunshine in London you know. Four whole days. And whilst we hear of deaths in the US due to a heat wave we can’t imagine what that must be like. It’s been grey for so long – about 5 months.
This morning the grey is back. But I am still excited. For we are going to Camp Bestival 2012.
After watching BBC television’s Twenty Twelve – the best thing about the Olympics so far and the thing as a nation we are good at – comedy. I am reminded that we, as a nation, are ringing bells in about an hour @ 08.12? To unite us and bring us together and welcome in the Olympics. Bell ringing?? I go outside to record the silence at 8.12 but to my surprise there is an olympic gathering making a cheerful racket.
Having failed to see anything at Oxford Street yesterday (the streets were lined to see the latest – unknown – torch bearer).
A woman with 3 bags of shopping asked ‘is it for the torch? I have, like, zero interest. All the people have come out to watch it? oh god!’ She proceeded to climb on the railings and block the view for others with her 3 shopping bags and no interest. I ran to the tube and made mental note to head down to the river in the morning to see less congested view of the torch at 10.15am. Since the torches have been appearing on regular intervals on ebay I have had to confront the reality – there’s more than one Olympic torch. Another burst bubble.
The 10.15 am event is great. In marked contrast to the subdued bitter cold Jubilee flotilla, the Gloriana is a) viewable and b) the torch is magnificent. That won’t be going on ebay.
And with that we escape London and head to Rob Da Bank‘s creation. Radio 1 DJ who on the side developed a series of Sunday Best nights which have become the Isle of Wight Bestival and Camp Bestival with children’s events. Now that has to be a dream job. And that’s what I admire most about people who develop and grow livelihoods which carves out a career that suits and interests them. The thing that we like in life, how can we develop that so it becomes a bit bigger, more important and more lucrative?
Event management has been a challenge in the UK this year. Festivals have been cancelled due to poor ticket sales not only due to appalling weather but also competition from free Olympiad events. So it’s not a job without enormous challenges and gambles.
As the world’s eyes turn to London, Sebastian Coe must be quaking in his shoes too. That dream job he got several years ago – can he deliver? We’ll wait and see.
I’m off to see Mr Tumble and Adam Ant for real and I’ll catch up with Danny Boyle’s extravaganza later. Festivals v Olympics. I’m lucky, I’m doing a bit of both.