Brockley MAX 2009 Preview

Opening night at Brockley MAX 2009, courtesy of Drakefell Debaser

On Thursday night, Brockley Jon ran in to Brockley MAX organiser Moira Tait, dutifully handing out leaflets at Ladywell Station - working her way through the pile of 20,000 she had printed. Last night, we picked her out of the crowd at the Opening Night concert, looking exhausted but happy. Looking forward to this year's festival, she said:

"In terms of the number of events being stage, this is the biggest MAX ever, even bigger than 2007. It's a perfect antidote to recession. Even though the area has lost some important venues this year, with the closure of Aquarium and Moonbow Jakes, others have stepped up and really embraced the festival, including Jam Circus, Tea Leaf Arts, the Wickham Arms and the Ladywell Tavern. It's so big, this will be the first year that I will struggle to see everything.

"The return to Hilly Fields was really important. The outdoor events take the festival to the people and create a real sense of a community coming together. John, who ran Moonbow Jakes, is staging three nights of music from a 'Marquee of Moonbow' next weekend. His venue's been greatly missed since it closed, so it's great to have him back. I'm really looking forward to the classical concert on Sunday night, which will feature some outstanding talent.

"Hilly Fields will also be the setting for Art in the Park workshops for children on Saturday, June 6th, 12-4pm. Kids will be able to try a range of activities from camera obscura to cheerleading and superhero modelling.

"Personally, I'm really looking forward to two Jam Circus events; the Eastern European Night and the Paraphernalia Workshop [we're sure that she meant to add the Brockley Central Music Night at the Ladywell Tavern, June 4th, but she was probably overwhelmed by the occasion]. It'll also be great to see the defaced Hendrix mural replaced by a new creation by Chris Getliffe. Brockley Central readers will be able to watch the theme they voted for come to life on the 3rd and 4th of June, between 11am and 7.30pm. We'll be taking time lapse photography of his work too.

"Because the fund-raising process started late this year, money has been very, very tight. So it's really important that people buy raffle tickets to help raise funds. But they don't have to do it out of the goodness of their hearts, there are some brilliant prizes that have been donated by the likes of Babur, the Sunflower Centre and Geddes.

"In fact, there are hundreds of people donating their time this year, as organisers and performers. Everyone has pulled together and I really want to thank them all, particularly Gill Fraser, who has organised the MAX with me. I hope the people of Brockley give the festival their full support - it could be the best one yet."