After The Maidstone River Festival

The planning started back in April, although it seems at tad longer to be honest and yet yesterday we arrived at the culmination of all that planning and now it’s all done.  The 32nd Maidstone River Festival along the river Medway streaming its way through Kent’s County town arrived at a natural end with a spectacular fireworks display.

It was fun getting the audience to scream and shout in the warm up before the fireworks lit up the Maidstone night skyline.  It seemed to me that all where there to enjoy it as a family event.

It is true to say that there are a few idiots who cause a few problems, like the fellow next to the toilet block who was completely off his trolley and sang incessantly into a loud haler, or the women who got so drunk that she’d lost her mobile phone and decided to sit on the verge of the roundabout just in case it might creep back into her handbag.

In the main though it was a fantastic event enjoyed but almost all who attended.  I enjoyed it tremendously – for my part I was event host – come photographer – come all round mucking in person, and it was great fun, although I was tired an exhausted by the time I got home at one the next morning.

As event host I shared the task of keeping people in the know about what was happening when and where through event animation.

The raft races were particular fun, I was at the finish line on The Maidstone Bridge while my colleague Ian Tucker was sat in the middle of the race on St Peters Bridge.  It was also great to chat with many of the people who had come along to join in with the fun.  I aim to edit up some of the recorded interviews into a digital story of the day at some point soon.

It was a long day starting at 7 in the morning and finishing at around mid-night, the event host part was from 10am until 10.30pm with a few natural pauses along the way.   At twelve and a half hours you can see why we shared the work load.

The Maidstone River Festival is a superb event organised by a group of dedicated volunteers who have given up a great deal of time to bring joy for others and for that they have to be applauded.  It is a shame though that it has to make way next year for the Olympics, and as one twitter poster pointed out @maidstonerf ‘I’m not interested in the Olympics so why should I miss out because of it”.

Event host at The Maidstone River Festival 2011

riverfestival

As an event host I love a challenge.

It’s that time again for messing about down by the river, actually for me it will be messing about on the PA down by the river.  This Saturday I’ll be providing ‘event animation’ across the PA at The Maidstone River Festival.   I’ll be working alongside Ian Tucker, who is a veteran at this river festival lark.

Event animation does what it says on the tin, it informs the visitor to your event of what’s happening where and when and also provides a flavour of the event atmosphere and keeps you in the know about safety and public amenities.

This year we are challenged with encouraging the visitors to move around the River Festival site and its spread over a fair distance, all easily walkable.  This is more down to the ergonomics of Maidstone and a testament to many different groups getting actively involved with the event; it also gives the visitor lots of variety.

Have a look at the community walk site we have set up or download the River Festival Map.

Community Walk Website

Maidstone River Festival Event Map 2011

We’ll also be looking to interview people at the event, so don’t be surprised if you find me popping along with a microphone for a quick chat.

What’s also good is the weather looks like it’s going to be behaving with some sunshine and no rain on the cards, one of the vital ingredients for a great event.  I hope to see you there, listen out for me and Ian the PA.

The Queens Garden Party

Working at radio stations has given some very interesting moments and taken me to some intriguing places and situations over the years, some I would be happy to share with you, and others perhaps I can not.

More recently I have been managing a unique radio project which has challenged my thoughts but has also given me a great deal of life changing moments.

Today, because of the work I have been involved in recently I was fortunate enough to share a day with my partner as guests of the Queen and Prince Phillip – to stand a few feet away from Her Majesty and Prince Phillip, who by the way looks amazingly well for his years.

We were lucky enough to be at Buckingham Palace for the Queens garden party.  I say lucky because some of the people who were there had wonderful stories that had led to their invite.

Some had been close to loosing their lives while at war for our country, others amazingly generous people had stalled their own ambitions to give their time to help people in need and then the very kind hearted individuals who started charities to help those that need help when at their most vulnerable.

It brought to mind the recent words of a media mogul who eventually realised the preverbial had hit the fan, it was a humbling moment.

I don’t have rose tinted spectacles nor am I naive not to understand that beyond the gates and gardens of Buck House, beyond the gentry and tea cakes and people who attended this event that there is a world of strife and hardship for many. However it was special to meet people who do something for reasons rather than personal gratification, money or fame.  I met some people who were indeed special and I am thankful for the life journey that being involved in radio in whatever form continues to bring me.

 

Working at radio stations has brought me to some very interesting places and intriguing situations over the years, some I could share with you, and others perhaps I can not.

 

More recently I have been managing a unique radio project that has turned my life inside out and hopefully brought change from the inside out.

 

Today, because of the work I have done with the radio project I was fortunate enough to share a day with my partner and to meet the Queen or at least stand a few feet away from Her Majesty and Prince Phillip, who looks amazingly well for his years.

 

We were lucky enough to be at Buckingham Palace for the Queens garden party. I say lucky because some of the people who were there had wonderful stories that had led to their invite.

 

Some had been close their lives at war, other amazingly generous people who stalled their own ambitions to give their time to help those in need and the very kind hearted individuals who started charities to help those that need help when at their most vulnerable.

 

Working at radio stations has brought me to some very interesting places and intriguing situations over the years, some I could share with you, and others perhaps I can not.

More recently I have been managing a unique radio project with Media for Development that has turned my life inside out and hopefully brought change from the inside out.

Today, because of the work I have done with the radio project I was fortunate enough to share a day with my partner and to meet the Queen or at least stand a few feet away from Her Majesty and Prince Phillip, who looks amazingly well for his years.

We were lucky enough to be at Buckingham Palace for the Queens garden party.    I say lucky because some of the people who were there had wonderful stories that had led to their invite.

Some had been close their lives at war, other amazingly generous people who stalled their own ambitions to give their time to help those in need and the very kind hearted individuals who started charities to help those that need help when at their most vulnerable.

I don’t have rose tinted spectacles nor am I naive not to understand that beyond the gates and gardens of Buck House and the gentry and ‘normal’ people who attended this event that there is not a world of strife and hardship for many.

However it was special to meet people who did something for reasons other than personal gratification, money or fame.  I met some people who were indeed special and I am thankful for the life changing journey that I have been involved with in recent times.

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