Sometimes this week I’ve thought ‘Let’s not!’. It’s been a roller-coaster of a week, with maximum stress for all concerned. The irony is that none of the stress-inducing stuff has been to do with the Arts Festival we’re organising, but to do with the two independently-organised events which were to share the weekend, and on which we had pinned hopes of bringing people to the streets and to our events. They both fell through this week, but not without teetering on the brink for rather too long. It’s been an education in small-town politics and has even led to the ridiculous prospect of my mugshot on the front of the local paper. Fortunately the paper was exonerating me and my committee from the blame for the debacle, rather than fingering us.
Sometimes (many times!) during the week I’ve reflected on how I came to
this position. In 2005 I expressed to the guy who pretty much ran the
arts festival single-handed that I’d like to play ambient guitar at the
art exhibition. That led to my helping out with the 2005 festival, and
us running the 2006 almost as a duet. The main success of 2006 was that
it generated a lot of interest from local people in being involved in
the 2007 one, but at the first meeting my erstwhile colleague
unexpectedly stood down and nominated me as chairman. I have seen the
subsequent eight months as the playing out of the karmic consequences
of not raising my voice to say a firm ‘No!’ at that meeting. I did not
refuse, and therefore I must honour the role as long as is necessary.
Fortunately the volunteers who have come forward to make up the team
have been madly enthusiastic and astonishingly capable. We’ve secured
more funding, got more events and venues and far better marketing than
ever, which we were only able to do because of the skill and energy of
the individuals involved. Where things have gone wrong has been where
we’ve relied on others, in particular a market company based in
England. But it’s helped me sometimes this week, when I’ve woken in a
cold sweat, to remember I’m just carrying out a role that is serving
the excellent group that’s come forward, because, as the saying goes,
‘Someone has to do it’ and if that someone didn’t extricate himself at
the appropriate point, he must fulfil the role to the very best of his
Free to download - Stories My Killer Told Me: Five surreal story-songs from my Edinburgh Fringe show.
- I Am Not The One For You
- The Ever Open Door
- New Eyes
- A Forest Trail in Autumn
- The Portobello Slam
Just let me send you an occasional email!