Hassle at Harrogate 2004!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Andy_Euph, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Yesterday my band arrived at the conference centre just in time to be told we had drawn number 1 (yours truly could see the title going already :-( ), but not to worry we had been relazing at harrogate band room and felt we had plenty time to get sorted before we went on stage....

    NOT SO!!!!!!!!

    As we got into the band holding area we were told to hurry up and get changed as they wanted us on stage in 5 minutes! So we got changed but lucky we got a bit of time to warm up, well about 3 minutes :-? Then we were rushed up to the registration area just to be told there was an error with our cards, not a problem you would think just go on and play andd sort it out later, but the women sat at the desk was addiment that she was going to put a spanner in the work and cause more hssle and stress for us (apparently a lot of bands had the same problem with there cards).

    I've got no qualms about the result at the end of the contest or anything like that and I know contests try there best to stay on time, but would it have made any difference at all if we were allowed and extra 10 mins to have a PROPER walm up and go through registration without being rushed. To me this would only have been fair as every other band was going to have a little longer and not be RUSHED!

    I know my view willl be biased but what do people think?
  2. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    So either you didn't have the start time correct or you were late arriving? Is every band not told to be there in case you are drawn number 1?

    Not that I was there, but if they were aiming for the published start time, then every band should be there 30 mins before that start time just in case, unless it's split draw or something.

    As I said I wasn't there, so don't know whether they brought the start forward (in which case I'd complain) or what, but I'd hope a band didn't unsettle theirselves unnecessarily just by not being organised!
  3. jpbray

    jpbray Member

    Alright if you are going catch a train. However, in considering the time and effort a band puts into preparing for a contest the band at least should not be rushed into a poor performance. It is this sort hassle the P****s people off. :shock:
  4. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Well we WERE there on time! Thats the point, an extra 5 or 10 minutes wouldn't have hurt anyone, the point is they weren't even gonna let us have a warm up!
  5. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    Well if you were in good time then you've every right to make a complaint with reference to your unfair treatment.
  6. Heather

    Heather Member

    I agree with what everyone else has said!
    I must admit the problem with your registration cards reminds me of what happened to me a few years ago.
    I was secretary for my previous band and we were registering to go on at Blackpool in the NW areas.
    After everyone had registered I was called over to the table and told that 4 of the cards needed updated photos and the only way we could go on stage was if the 4 players concerned could show proof of ID!
    All this just before we went on stage at the Areas!
    I was in a mad panic, as were the 4 players, especially the one who had to go and find her husband in the Winter Gardens.
    I wouldn't have minded but on such a big occasion it was uncalled for....and the photos weren't that different from how the players looked anyway.
    So, I can sympathise with the problem you had at weekend. When you've spent all that time working on your contest performance you can do without 'jobsworths' getting in the way!
  7. mandy

    mandy New Member

    I was at the finals this weekend and found the venue quite disappointing. The building seemed to be half finished or under construction? Some of the staff were quite rude, which is the last thing you need when you are about to go and play infront of lots of brass band people, all knowing how the piece should be played! It was not clear on where you cound find places within the centre and most of all, the bar served warm bottles of beer! Think its fair to say that at a brass band contest a fair amount of beer is consumed by many!?;)

  8. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    at Pontins few years ago, the people shouted at me n my mate for havin our hair cut. n then accused us of picking our orange stickers off.

    as for asking for ID, what if they were under 17? don't usually have ID on you...
  9. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Andy - the exact same thing happened to us when the finals were at Harrogate last time round. At the time we put it down as a 'one off' - but obviously this wasn't the case.
  10. amgray

    amgray Member

    On Saturday 11th we rehe***** until 13:00 and made sure that we were at the Conference Centre 30 mins before the draw (we were at Harrogate for 14:30.) and congregated as a band at 15:15 to find out our draw.(the swear word filter allows rehearse but cannot be ***** to allow rehearesed [deliberate spelling mistake]:) )

    All our players were together from 15:15 onwards.

    Was the time of the draw brought forward? If not there are no excuses, sorry guys.

    Taking an extra 10 mins for the first band (and subsequently for every other band that felt they needed it) would have put the contest way behind. Not exactly fair to bands drawn at the end of the contest (BTW we were drawn 5 so we played fairly early).

    While I sympathise that you didn't have time to warm up as you felt you needed to, surely the onus for being on time at the draw and ready to play in case you drew first rested on your band not the Contest organisers.
    How likely is it that if a (purely mythical band) Cleckhuddisfax Silver Brass had arrived to play after drawing no 12 they would have been allowed an extra 10 mins to warm up due to their bad time management?

    As for the cards.......I don't pretend to understand what the procedures are , except that several members of our band had their cards stamped "NEW PHOTOGRAPH REQUIRED" in bright red.

    Better glasses for the invigilators? Or alternatively a biometric recognition system, fingerprints and DNA tests together with proof of nationality a letter from your employer and a signed affadavit that Joe Bloggs is really Joe Bloggs and not Jo Blogs from a panel of 15 people who have known you 60 years or more? Makes you wonder how they detected ringers before Photo Cards appeared at contests (c.1982?)......

    BTW, I found the general organisation very good indeed.
    An area for warming up as a band IN THE CONTEST VENUE!!!!! is unprecedented in my experience - which includes National Finals, European Championships, British Opens, Grand Shields, English Masters etc.

    Try playing at the Yorkshire Area. You can't blow your nose in the changing room because it can be heard in the auditorium!!!
  11. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member


    I attended the draw for the 2nd section on behalf of BBSB - they were having a rehearsal just out of town. The draw was done at exactly 3.00 and the first 4 bands were asked to be ready immediately for a 4.00 kick off.

    It did seem somewhat hurried to me as BBSB had the start time as 4.30. The organisers were anticipating 7 bands gong through in about 2 hours but the pace in the hall seemed rushed (or efficient), 8 bands had played by 6.00pm. Perhaps the organisers didn't want a repeat of the Torquay timings.

    Fortunately BBSB drew 9 and the pressure to get to the hall was off for them.
  12. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    When I played with Ammanford in Preston in 2001 in 2nd Section I recall we had oodles of time and space to warm up. Playing number one we also had oodles of time afterwards to get bladdered as well!! Couldn't celebrate the win....too bladdered!!
  13. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It seems to me that the problem isn't the time allowed for the first band, but the time allowed between the draw and the kick off. Why only an hour?
  14. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Preston has been referred to in this thread and I must say I totally agree with what was said. When I was taking Cwmbran Band we managed to qualify for the finals when they were held in Preston. A great venue, plenty of warm up time and space, well organised and managed. All in all a great venue in my opinion.

    Some good comments here, I am sure the organisers of the finals (was it Philip Morris with Kestrel Promotions?) will be taking a look at your comments here to see what can be improved upon for next year.
  15. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    Why is this a problem? The draw times and kick-off times were communicated to the bands long before the contest, so it should have been no surprise that if you draw no.1, you will be playing in an hour!
  16. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Then again, to go off on a controvertial tangent... why can't we just be predrawn in these contests so we don't have to have 6 different plans for what we do if we're drawn at different times...
  17. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Actually, if you read tubafran's previous post, the bands believed that the kick-off time was a half-hour later - again, just from reading that post, the one hour time frame was announced at the time of the draw. And if you read the original post in this thread, it seems that the registration process had some delays that were not anticipated by the bands at all, leading to even time pressure. What would be the harm in extending the time between the draw and the performance? I'm assuming that the time is kept short so as to make it less likely that the adjudicators will find out the results of the draw. With modern wireless communications, that sort of information could be compromised in much less than an hour. So extending the time really doesn't expand the risk.
  18. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Why not have somebody at the draw with one of those new fangled mobile phone gadgets so they can ring you as soon as the draw is over. Works for us we rehearse get the draw phoned through and decide what time we need to be at venue etc so we can be as releaxed as possibel.

    As for warming up I have to say very few venues I have played at do you get warming up facilities whether drawn 1st or last.

    I cant comment on the organisation at Harrogate, however organisors cant win. If they try to maintain the schedule they are rushing bands. If they are relaxed over timings they get slated for letting run behind and bands playing at ridiculous times!

    We can help organisors and ourselves

    1: Dont see them as an enemy

    2: Make sure you have a contest secretary who knows and understands the registration rules and how they relate to the contest you are competing in. After all the rules normally come with your entry form

    3: Dont leave everything to chance. Book your rehearsal room as near as you can get it to the venue, even if its not the best facility, the ease of getting to the venue makes for a less stressful time in rushing to get there.

    4: Make sure the band are properly briefed about where to be and at what time

    5: If rehearsing during draw, give the person doing the draw a mobile and get them to ring you at rehearsal room.

    Sorry to be a BOC but in my experience spending 7p is worth it.

    7p = Proper Preparation & Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance
  19. AJSOP

    AJSOP Member

    I thought that the venue was fine, staff were very helpful. No problems at all.
  20. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    More likely to keep to schedule, it is a long day for those bands playing last & delaying a contest becuase the first band isn't ready is not fair on the later bands...We drew 16 and were playing after 9 on Saturday - think of Staffordshire at Torquay where they were playing near to midnight...how would they have felt to hear that they were dealyed because the first band wasn't ready and wanted an extra 15 mins to prepare.

    A published kick-off time is the time you should be ready for - irrelevant of any delays that you may have heard of - things can always change on the day for many reasons.

    IMHO - thinking that adjudicators, if they knew the order of play, would change their opinion on any performance is an insult to their them and their professionalism....but dont get me started on the backwards nature of banding and the draw :D

    I agree though that registration problems couldnt have been anticipated and that the staff could have been over zealous, so applying pressure. If I had any criticism of the finals weekend, it would be the location of the registration desk - being next to the bar is torture when you play near the end and see all that beer.... :shock: