Planning begins for Brockley MAX 2011

Planning for next year's Brockley MAX has already begun, with the first meeting about 2011 scheduled this weekend. This year, buoyed by the decent weather, the MAX upped its game, staging more events and pulling in more people than ever before.

The aim now must surely be to build on this momentum and create a festival that attracts people from across the city, without sacrificing its home-made charm. To do that will take more money, meaning that each of the participating electoral wards should contribute via their locality funds.

This year, the MAX organisers' application for funding from Crofton Park Ward Assembly was turned down on the basis that the Councillors didn't believe it did a lot for their area but Cllr Addison promised to attend this year's festivities to see for herself whether the MAX deserved support in future. We hope she will have been convinced, especially with Crofton Park venues like Jam Circus, Mr Lawrence and the cemetery playing such an important role this year.

If individual wards want to ask for a greater number of events in their area in return for funding that should be achievable - the organisers have consistently shown themselves willing to expand the MAX's roster and design an inclusive programme.

The invitation to the Mayor to officially open Hilly Fields playground on the same day as the festival finale was a smart move, ensuring that he too was on hand to see how much is achieved with relatively little public funding.

Lewisham's local papers also deserve credit for supporting the festival so well this year, with the SLP publishing a full page of photos from the festival.

Brockley Central has always espoused a 'greater Brockley' vision of the area, with Ladywell, Telegraph Hill, Brockley and Crofton Park wards effectively forming one cohesive community. The Brockley MAX, which straddles three of these and employs talent and attracts visitors from all four is the best expression of 'greater Brockley'. The MAX should grow and the wards should work together to help it - even if one day we have to drop the 'Brockley' from 'Brockley MAX'.


Name said...

It would be interesting to hear what Moira and Gill think of the plans to expand the festival.

Anonymous said...

It's a balancing act but I think it could handle an expansion without loosing it's charm.

LocalFestivalsForLocalPeople said...

Mmmm good Idea,but will it become a monster taken out of local peoples hands.

Tamsin said...

It's an interesting conundrum. The Telegraph Hill Festival at one time was actually approached by the NDC with offers of funding and invited to expand northwards, but we declined because it would have meant a beginning to a change of fundamental principles.

It is arguable that if you start down the line of paid administrators, even only part time, and buying in acts it would then be virtually impossible, when/if funding dries up, to go back to the "good old days" of people giving their skills, time and talent for free.

On the other hand a little bit of ward money for the up-front costs of programme printing and delivery shouldn't do any harm as the localities fund has very few strings attached.

There's also a question of space. Now that north London knows we exist how many extra people can the venues take? There are events in the Telegraph Hill Festival that have no advertising other than the listing in the programme because we know they will be up to capacity anyway. Although here you are better off than us with the huge space (although limited loos) of Hilly Fields. The only regular outside event we have in March is the History Walk and that is unmanageable with more than 50.

But it's not for me to pontificate - apologies!

Anonymous said...

Cllr Addison should know that Crofton Park has always been part of the Brockley Max and it is also the site of the original Brockley village.

Moira said...

aargh! the meeting is just a picnic during the Midsummer Fayre on Saturday to reconnect with the volunteers and not to discuss next year. We haven't wrapped this one up yet!
BTW we invited all nine councillors to the festival. I cannot guarantee they received the invite as the new councillors' emails were not set up but I was assured invites would be sent to their homes with the regular Friday evening paperwork drop off by Lewisham Council. I saw Darren and Jimi (Brockley) at events. I've subsequently met all three new Ladywell councillors, none of whom attended any events although Helen Gibson did walk over Hilly Fields on 5 June on her way to the Foxborough Gardens event. I had a response from Cllr Addision (Crofton Park) saying she was away for half term and so couldn't attend but would let her colleague Cllr Morrison know. I don't know if she or the Lib Dem councillor came to any events. For the record, out of over 60 events, 25 were in Crofton Park ward.

Tamsin - your points are very pertinent issues and ones which Gill and I will be thinking about.
In the meantime, back to the accounts and evaluations!

John Moonbow said...

Thanks to Rupert Hitchcox for these great photos from Fri and Sat on HF:

Thanks for this youtube post, Saner the soundman’s fav moment of the Saturday, the band is called Carl White:

Thanks to Ladywell SNT for all their amazing support, despite being exceptionally busy at the moment, LBL bin men who are a great bunch and very helpful every year as are the Park Keepers and people at Glendales. Goldsmiths, for all their annual help, especially Jon Polkest and the amazing Lurca for designing and building the stages (there was an inside one as well) and Saner and Matt on the sound. Andy Blue from Blue Motors, Don and Jenny Fletcher, Karl, Declan of Brockleywood Nights, Thabo, Pat, Newcs, Richard Swan, all the crowd from my MA who volunteered, ex Moonbowers, Roanna and Don for ensuring a smooth running schedule and Heike for organizing the stalls. Gill, who is just great, and very supportive, pushed very hard to get one act on the line-up (they were even better than she said), the Wickham Road crowd and Tea Leaf Arts for so much and Ace Van Hire (new to Brockley) for being so accommodating. A huge thanks to everyone who performed, helped, supported and to the warm and appreciative audience that appeared to have come from far and wide. SLP for the front-page coverage as well as the council and Mayor who always support this event but remain in the background. AND OF COURSE Moira, who pushes us all each year to do it again and again, as well as doing the marketing (with the wonderful Kath and Brendan), the funding, the risk assessments, the phone calls, the meetings, basically all those unheralded background tasks that people do not see but must be done to create any event. No Moira – No festival. It was a great year! Sorry if anyone has been missed.

Moira said...

Lewis Henry will be repairing his mural by Brockley station at 2pm today as part of a very late Brockley Max event!

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