Contest Stewards, who are these clowns??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by RedOctober, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    Having recently watched a video from the Whit Friday Marches two years ago, I have been thinking back to my own experiences of these funny clowns we see each year at every contest across the country. Is it just me or are many of them just a complete nuisance who actually just spoil the occasion for everyone concerned?

    If you want to see a perfect example of this, get yourself onto YouTube and type in the following: Black Dyke Band - Whit Friday - Winning Performance at Denshaw 2012

    in the video you will notice a rather obese man in a blue jumper being very important with his plastic whistle. Before the band play their performance, he feels a need to scream at the crowd 'Quiet' as though they were soldiers on parade. Really what is the need for this? Granted Whit Friday sees local yobs being irritating and there are lots of crowds, but I think the Black Dyke Band belting out Knight Templar would easily overpower the yobs and crowds of people. What was the need for him to behave like this?! Later on in the video our obese friend and highly important contest steward waddles back onto the scene. At first he sticks to the side of the camera, a little irritating but he probably didn't realise he was in the picture. And so you could forgive him, but then sadly he takes a sidewards glance notices the band enthusiast armed with a video camera and he then decides to waddle right infront of it, blocking the view. You'd think that would be it, but oh no. The band finish and he is the only one not to applaud, but then to make even more of a fool of himself, he waddles into the middle of the band whilst they are acknowledging their applause, shoving his way into the middle of them. What a complete moron.

    Thinking back to my own experiences, I remember at the West of England area this year, a female steward determined that no one was to warm up. Warming up can often be impossible at many contests, but not at WoE, here we have always been able to warm up, as you can't be heard on stage. But yet this year an unpleasant (and rather ugly) woman made it her mission to scream at bandsmen and bandswomen to cease warming up, threatening them with disqualification and threatening to confiscate their instruments and mouthpieces. Ruining the whole day for everyone.
    I remember at Pontins years ago not being able to stand in a doorway that looked outside onto the camp. What possible harm this could have caused I will never know as it wasn't connected to the contest hall in any way.

    Am am I the only one who is sick and tired of these people? It's quite well known that when you give someone a clip board or walkie talkie they can get very self important and it would seem the contest stewards are amongst the very worst. I appreciate they do one hell of a lot to keep the contests running smoothly and I appreciate it must be stressful. But is there any need for them to be so rude and so officious? Could they not realise that we (the players) also want the day to run smoothly?

    If you are one of these harpies I have mentioned and are reading this, I would love to read your thoughts on this. Contest controllers et al, please take note, we have had enough of it!
  2. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Ooo this ones gonna run n run !
  3. DRW

    DRW New Member

    I can hear the bomb ticking...
  4. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    I think you could have put your argument about these folk without demeaning their looks. The man was "Obese" and "Waddled" and the woman was "Rather ugly" I don't see how their physical appearance had any bearing on their behaviour. You were intimating that arrogance and ignorant behaviour is to be expected of obese and plain faced people which is a very sweeping and inaccurate assumption.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  5. markh

    markh Member

    A different perspective; My band played the Spring Festival this year for the first time and were taken aback at how friendly and helpful the stewards were - completely at odds with the unfriendly jobsworths we have experienced at other venues. All credit to the SF stewards!
  6. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    No Mr Wilx, I described there looks to describe who I meant. I have no idea what their names are and in any case had I known their names and named them, no doubt moomindave would be on here bleating about defamation. Far better to just describe who I meant. But I see this has offended you, so perhaps nicknames are needed in order to establish them. I'll call the YouTube video steward The Waddler and the WoE lady as The Harpy. Everyone should know who I'm talking about. In any case though Mr Wilx, these two stewards (and many others) have shown all of us much disrespect with their appalling behaviour towards us, so why should I (or anyone else for that matter) show them any sort of respect back? It's a two way system and until now good bandsman like ourselves have been the only ones giving, whilst the stewards like Waddler and Harpy get away with disgusting behaviour and total disrespect towards players.
  7. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    This is excellent to hear Mark. A suggestion if I may? Perhaps you (and your band, or band secretary/manager) should write in to whoever books these people to compliment these stewards you mention. It would be great if they were able to give lessons to other stewards in etiquette and acceptable behaviour, in effect a customer service type training.
  8. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Let us also remember that these people volunteer their services, and would be regulated by the organising bodies re: their own behaviour.
    There is nothing worse than a 'jobs worth' I agree, though sometimes they do have to put up with rather rude behaviour from some of our community.
    The terminology used to describe these individuals is indeed unacceptable, and may I say, suggestive of the sort of individual whose personal feelings go beyond observations of stewarding technique?
    As players, we have a responsibility to co-operate with the expectations of contest organisers, but visit any contest in the land, and you will find individuals who either refuse to comply, or simply treat the whole day as a drinking session, making communication with said players somewhat challenging.
    There may be genuine reasons for the need for strong stewardship, ridiculing them at a personal level is not the way to question it.
    Take these videos and watch some player behaviour, it may disappoint you to see that it is no better, no prettier and certainly no slimmer!
    Appreciate the good work of these volunteers, or contests simply won't happen.
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    It's interesting to hear RO's experiences of Contest Stewards, no doubt they have their own experiences of difficult situations in terms of dealing with the public and 'Bandsmen'. That aside the thread has shown examples of good and bad Stewarding, the good should rightly be praised and the bad should be appropriately challenged. I'd be interested to hear both how others found the Stewards' behavior at this year’s West of England area and what action RO (and his band) have taken (or will take) so that next years' event might not be similarly upset.
  10. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    Mark, I'm sure that there are many players that can be extremely rude. That's the human race I'm afraid, many are extremely rude especially if they don't get their way. And yes these people have volunteered their services and given up there time for no pay I'm sure. But at the end of the day they are there to provide a service, ensuring the contest runs smoothly and ensuring that player know where they are going etc. In effect we are the customers and without our participation there would be nothing for these people to volunteer for. Let's take an example, a bar. In a bar (I would imagine Friday and Saturday nights especially) the workers at the bar probably get spoken to dreadfully too, but yet they can't bite back. Why? It's called customer service and your customers might not come back. Of course they are being paid and our contest stewards aren't. But there's the risk it's puts people off. I see people on here on previous threads saying how young players are often put off being involved in the brass band scene. One user (I forget his name) told me the shame of how his youngsters no longer played in bands and now played orchestral instruments. A real shame we lost them to our movement, but do you not think that possibly one of the things that might have put them off would have been contest stewards like our good friends Waddler and Harpy? I know if I was a youngster and someone spoke to me like that, I would be put off.
    Perhaps another example of customer services would be volunteers at concert halls. I'm sure none of the stewards at these are paid, infact I heard that St Davids Hall in Cardiff only uses volunteers now. I very much doubt any of them are rude to customers are they?!

    Bottom line Mark, it's completely unacceptable for our contest stewards to be rude and aggressive towards players at these contests. Without us there are no contests. Banding is in decline and has been for a long time. More bands are folding and more and more youngsters feel driven away. People like Waddler are a big cause of this.

    Also Mark, have you actually watched the video I mentioned in my first post? I think you'll find the only silly behaviour comes from the clown on soprano cornet. But that's much less offensive than the steward. Appreciate the players and our participation, or contests simply won't happen. It's a two way thing Mark and until now it's being treated as a one way by the very rude and aggressive stewards.
  11. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    It's down to every band, not just me. We all have to stand together to get the issue addressed
  12. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    The sooner they ban ugly & obese people from banding the better !

    oh, hang on a minute, thats all bass players and drummers. just ban the ugly ones we can always tap our feet instead !

  13. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Well I'd better pack in now then Ha ! Ha ! ~ I know Red October is in rant mode, and he is quite within his rights to lambast rude and arrogant jobsworths, but he is out of order using terms of personal abuse. He should "Man up" and admit he was wrong in that aspect of his rant and apologise to all the happy, friendly and helpful folk who could be deemed overweight, lacking in beauty, or both.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  14. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Which band were you playing with/conducting?
  15. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    he / she wont fall for that one
  16. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    No I won't
  17. DRW

    DRW New Member

  18. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    At no point were Waddler or Harpy 'happy', 'friendly' or 'helpful'. So I have nothing to apologise for. It's the rude and aggressive stewards who need to apologise to banding as a whole.
  19. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    I reckon RO quite likes being ordered around by "Beautiful People" but not your average contest steward. Maybe its a masochistic thing.....

    Yes there are jobsworths out there but I think its a disregard for rules that makes them that way. We all know its illegal to make illicit recordings - most contest programmes are full of them - but people still do it anyway. You cant expect any steward noticing an illegal recording going on to just smile, wave and get out of your way. Likewise the contest organisers have a responsibility for the safety of those attending as well as looking after the building - damage has to be paid for - so hanging round in doorways in a suspicious manner is likely to end up with a grumpy response

    I also find treating contest stewards as humans also usually brings a positive response....theyre not servants or even employees in the majority of cases. Having said that there are the odd few that need a personality boost.......
  20. RedOctober

    RedOctober New Member

    To my knowledge the illegal recording is more about copyright. I don't know who wrote Knight Templar, but I do know it's a very old march and the composer is long dead. I'm pretty sure the copy right doesn't really apply to this one, but then perhaps I'm wrong. In any case I'm not sure the contest stewards have any obligation towards copyright, though if they do then why just be pompous about it. Why just deliberately stand infront of the camera like that? Why let the cornet player walk around the band videoing the whole thing on his phone? Surely if it's not allowed, then it's not allowed at all. All recording has to be stopped the second it is seen. It's either a rule or it isn't. This steward was just being deliberately difficult enjoying what little power he had at the time. I suspect he will do the same this year too.

    Now for the doorway. It was open, I was hot and was getting some air whilst buzzing my David Childs mouthpiece. What was wrong with that? I was hardly doing anything suspicious and I wasn't vandalising or applying any graffiti to the door, so I don't see how I could have damaged it. I suppose had I or another bandsman had a heart attack or something similar, we would still be denied access to the doorway as it's very naughty to be using it. And god forbid a paramedic to try and come through the doorway, that would cause the stewards much distress!

    Perhaps if the stewards treated us as humans, those of is who dislike them (like myself) would treat them like humans too. Watch the video (I suspect you haven't), tell me what do Black Dyke and/or the crowd do that is wrong and justifies Waddlers aggressive behaviour? What did my band (and I suspect many other bands) do wrong at the WoE area? What justified threats from Harpy? If they are going to work at these contests, then they have to accept they are there to provide a service. That doesn't mean national service.