Suppose they gave a festival and no-one came

This is why Brockley Central has a pathological fear of hosting parties.

The bizarre Deptford Heritage Festival-cum-pre-election-stunt turned out to be as entertaining as one of the organiser's interminable political videos. The "festival" was put on by Ray Woolford of local political party People Before Profit and "took place" over the May Day weekend.

Like our very own version of one of those muddy fields pretending to be a winter wonderland that make the news each year, few people turned up to the £25-a-ticket event and there were even fewer things for them to do.

The News Shopper has had some fun curating the tweets from those piteous few who did go. This is our favourite:

People Before Profit, whose banners were one of the few things to see during the festival, may be shameless bandwagon jumpers, but their stunts often help to highlight important issues. To merk local people in this way, however, is a curious form of politics.

34 comments:

sotty said...

Wow you gave the festival zero support. And now you're jumping on the bandwagon to slag it off.\
This was the Deptford Heritage Festival, yes was initiated by someone that some pay fanatical negative attention to but it was not the People Before Profit festival. They dominated proceedings because no one else got involved. People Before Profit are relentless activists they work so hard locally on almost anything and everything, yes in part to raise the parties profile but also because they live here and care about the area. It was only LPBP as a party who got fulsomely behind the festival.


Repeat this was about Deptford Heritage and if, the festival failed, then this does reflect well on Deptford. Remember volunteers were asked for, where were the councillors, and local MP, where was the community spirit? Why didn't the love for Depftord, triumph over the politics?Where were you when you were needed, wanted?
Why are you are here now crowing, gloating.


I hope that there is a second Deptford Heritage Festival next year, when there isn't an election on. That all lessons on marketing, organisation are learnt and that the good people come together to have fun, learn about the community history and the make this place stronger.

AliAfro said...

I hope they lower the cost of hay next year.

Brockley Nick said...

"They dominated proceedings" you mean "We"

"the festival failed, then this does reflect well on Deptford" Yes, well put.

"It was only LPBP as a party who got fulsomely behind the festival." Ask yourselves why.

sotty said...

I'm not part of LBP, but I've seen the bullying that Ray receives on twitter and its not good to see.

Aspects of the festival were better than others - Handels Messiah;
I don't it's think good how you chopped my quote to say the festival failed.

My posts tone, is to get people to think about Deptford and get some perspective, this festival appeared to be one person doing the lionshare of the work.
If was me, i would have cancelled it out of fear of failure, but Ray kept on. And that in itself is commendable to say 'screw it let do it.'
I reckon he expected more to get involved as time went on but they didn't. Hopefully people do for the good of Deptford.

Big Dave said...

The whole thing was baffling - I followed it on Twitter and couldn't get any idea of what on earth was going on. Shame that it seems to have been hijacked by People Before Profit and then by all accounts a bit of a shambles

Big Dave said...

Last comment because I wasn't there (like everyone else I guess) but its bit ironic being "People Before Profit" and then charging 25 quid to look at a bale of hay. I reckon there's a bit of "profit" in doing that!

Cosmic said...

Maybe the MP and the councillors were campaigning? Not an unusal thing to do the weekend before the General Election

JammyJim said...

What was the £25 admission fee for? I couldn't see any stages or acts from photos? I'm guessing the posh street food wasn't subsidised.

Anon said...

"Repeat this was about Deptford Heritage..."
Such as social housing, which a certain estate agent has been eager to flog for a profit?

If the organisers had put people before profit tickets would not have been £25?

Usually News Shopper is supportive of this organisation, not apparently this time?

Headhunter said...

I was going to wander down to this but hadn't heard anything about it until I was handed a flyer at the station on Thu or Fri. It wasn't £25 entry was it? As far as I could tell most of it was free with additional charged events....


It does seem that people, including Nick, are being very hard on the organisers of this. I don't know the politics behind all this but it sounds like 1 person tried to organise an event in Deptford, it failed and now everyone is gloating... Is this not correct?

surge said...

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/ray-woolford-election-candidate-ray-woolford

sotty said...

For some balance, some things went better than others at the festival.
https://twitter.com/ZionChapelNX/status/595204023080353792

Matt-Z said...

We went to the pirate-themed kids event on the Foreshore where there were visiting animals from Surry Docks Farm, free face painting, free snacks and drinks and a few activites to join in. It was fairly well attended and all the kids seemed to be having a great time.

Monkeyboy said...

someone sold tickets in advance for a list of events that never happened and enticed food traders to atend based on promised numbers and events. Both manifestly never happened, he has an obligation, he failed. No acceptance of blame, no appology. If it was free and nobody lost money it would mearly be laughable.

sotty said...

Pictures of the events are starting to come through on twitter now.

It really isn't fair, to say "no one came" and then represent that with a picture during the set up of an event at the festival - the bale of hay.

Here is the festival's programme for what was on http://www.deptfordheritagefestival.org.uk/festival-programme/

Just to show you how political *some* of this is, here is Cllr Joe Dromey, putting the boot in online, https://twitter.com/Joe_Dromey/status/595706403030982656

He's too busy with election to he could have helped with stuff like this ->
https://twitter.com/Raywoolford/status/594745385173852160 this litter.



Too busy to help, but not to busy to sneer.


Nick you really have been unfair here, that phrase "took place" in speech marks as if nothing happened at all.


About the £25 ticket, some events were free, some not, there was one event with a meal.
Also some of the traders didn't do as much as trade as t

Cosmic said...

At the end of the day it's a shame it wasn't more of a success, it could have bought the committee together, instead of make it partisan.

Cosmic said...

Apologies, community not committee

Monkeyboy said...

That's the revised one put up just before the event, not the one published before and plugged heavily by Ray promising all sorts of things that never happened. That's mysteriously disappeared. Are you really saying that the organisers are blameless? It was a paying event.

teddy said...

you didn't go to any of it did you monkeyboy - you don't actually know what happened do you, or anything more about it, apart from what you might have seen here or on twitter?

Dee said...

There WERE several Deptford residents with skills and enthusiasm who signed up to help in the festival in the beginning. However - the total lack of know how on the part of Ray Woolford, lack of accountability and then down right lies and delusional claims we were expected to believe had us running away and for cover. Why the council closed the roads without checking the credibility of his claims is beyond us...We are very glad that the classic cultural events at St Nics at least went very well as they always have in the past but the damage done to the reputation of the area is hard to take..as are the basic factual historical errors made by the festival organisers. One of whom - the first "logistics manager" could barely string a coherent sentence together....Party politics is not the point here. It is one man's crazed attempt to write our stories to his glory. Long standing Deptford people could see this so stayed away in their droves. We are only very sorry for the disappointment experienced by others who were taken in by the highly polished if inaccurate internet publicity and massive leafletting...We are left wondering how on earth it was all paid for ??? We are humanist and if anything feel Ray needs some psychological help rather than personal attacks but we are left wondering what long term damage this could cause our neighbourhood..

anonymous said...

Why does Lewisham Council get left off scot free here? They are the ones who closed the whole road without checking the credibility of the organisers or what sort of plan(if any) was put in place for the event.

NAT said...

They may have received the request in the correct format. They would probably argue in their defence if it ever came down to that,that they followed procedures and that they havn't got a dedicated team of P.I,s for this purpose, what with cutbacks.

Anon said...

From the blurb for the festival....


"We will not be publishing the celebrity names performing at this festival until all Tickets are sold, ensuring that local people are not priced out by Ticket touts buying up the tickets."

I guess not all the tickets were sold?

Anon said...

If a free sausage roll could be considered as bribery, could this festival and connections with a political party standing for election be considered in breach of electoral rules?

Monkeyboy said...

Must admit I did not. How similar was it to the description attached? http://www.deptfordheritagefestival.org.uk/press-release/

anonymous said...

oh yeah - the good old "cutbacks" excuse. I wish I could cutbacks as an excuse when I'm being asked to pay my council tax, gas bill, electricity and mortgage bills.

teddy said...

I didn't go either, but I haven't been criticising it on unverifiable evidence - however, the evidence I did receive, first hand, was positive.

Brockley Nick said...

You often comment on this site defending LBPB, so I'm not sure you are an independent witness.

teddy said...

no, you can't be sure of that, but you have to take my word for it that I received the evidence - would you like me to send you the emails as proof?

teddy said...

get in touch with him monkeyboy, you seem to have a fascination for him, and he's pretty easy to get hold of - then you can put your concerns to him face to face and give him the benefit of your advice to 'recognise his own ineptitude'.

sotty said...

My comments here have been about trying and add some balance to the negativity. I get it, some people don't like the organiser of the Heritage Festival and question his motives, but in trying to hurt him, you are hurting Deptford.

If more people had jumped on board and kept on board the festival wouldn't have been dominated by one political group as it appears to have been. There were lots of events.

What shocked me was how fast this site jumped on the negative. Those "piteous few" so that people even if they did attend would feel a bit a bad for attending. There's lots of nice images on twitter accounts of the events that happened. Some of this festival was great, they are are happy people. Was it perfect? No probably not.


The deletion of my reply comment in response to a lengthy posting, by the moderator, reminds us that this is a not neutral site. It is the personal blog of one man.

Brockley Nick said...

it is to Deptford's great credit that everyone had something better to do than sit on hay bales listening to agit prop. I deleted your comment because it was in the wrong place.

Anon said...

"...in trying to hurt him, you are hurting Deptford"
Does the same apply PBP when they very publicly try to hurt the elected Mayor, councillors and council officials that PBP hurting Lewisham?

How is pointing out what was on the blub and asking who the unnamed celeb performers were "trying to hurt him" ?
If it was a commercial company PBP took a dislike to they'd be demanding answers declaring it an outrage, that the poor hard working folk of Deptford were being asking to fork out £25 of their limited funds for a pig in a poke.

And even after the event no one seems to know who the celebrity performers were that appeared, did the audience sign a confidentiality agreement or something?

If you don't know just say so.

Brockley Nick said...

Emails as proof of what? That a good time was had by all?

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