[diggers350] The gentrification of free festivals

mark fefifofun mark at fefifofun.co.uk
Wed May 2 19:27:32 BST 2007

Hi Peeps


Not exactly new. Festivals have been commercialized and gentrified for some
time now.  I decided to boycott Glastonbury in the 1980s as I felt it too
commercial and people were trying to get alternatives together ( withy the
heavy repression ) – despite offers of free entry. Other problems of course
were drink and bad drug related that helped wreck the festie scene. I recall
the last Stonehenge ( 84) as getting a pretty dark atmosphere with burning
chip vans, cynical coke dealers, and the other shit
.Drinks companies
started to do free music gigs in public places e.g Finsbury park ( London ),
Wollaton Park Heineken Festival ( Nottingham ) etc. That then gave them the
in to put on heavily commercial paid events on in ‘public’ spaces. Other
good DIY community events  such as Nottingham’s Rock and Reggae got bigger
and bigger then destroyed by council interference.  But yeah it upsets me
when you have these things on in Finsbury Park )( free tickets though for
council and party apparatchiks quite often I have discovered e.g The Fledh
). The Castle Morton bash in 94 probably wouldn’t have happened if they (
cops ) didn’t kick everyone off Ingleston Common. All to sanitise our
existence? State control and rock and rule


Anyway ti,me  to cheer up - here’s a free weekend festie in the spirit of
free spaces and DIY culture ( BTW anyone no a vegan café that may want to do
this bash ) , free music and chilled vibe, food and I imagine that it is not
too far from some of you that I know ; ) Okupational Hazard do the yearly
squatter fest in London.  


hour from London.( I assume that’s the outskirts of London or by car or
train - better check )

Weekend 19th / 20th MAY 2007 starting around 6pm on Saturday.

Escape London and come and dance ya socks of in the woods for the weekend in
our first OH Outta London Free Festie!

Siren and Reknaw (you know you love us) link up to bring ya bands, breaks,
d'n'b and dubstep. 
Second rig also playing mash-up d'n'b chooooons and other stuff.

Bands include : Inner Terrestrials, 12Volt Vandals, Zora, Radical Dance
Faction Faction (RDF) (TBC) - more to be confirmed. 

For directions please phone: 07960 626 076 or 07906 626 156 - ON THE DAY -
it's a secret innit!

Please note the site is a 5 mile walk from the nearest station so please
plan your journey before you leave, we will have dedicated bike chain points
if ya fancy riding from the station. 

This is DIY culture so lets work together and keep and eye out for each
other. Bring binliners, keep the site clean, put ya empties in the bins



From: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com [mailto:diggers350 at yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Massimo.A. Allamandola
Sent: 02 May 2007 00:49
To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [diggers350] The gentrification of free festivals


http://www.indymedi <http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/04/369145.html>

The gentrification of free festivals

Danny | 30.04.2007 23:17 | Culture | Free Spaces | Scotland
It is spring equinox, the moon is bright. I had sweet-talked some sweet 
foreigners into attending the Beltane festival on Calton Hill in 
Edinburgh tonight. It used to be a great festival, music, fire, dance. 
I've been about 5 times over it's 20 year history, but I've been busy 
with war stuff for the past 3 years. I did go the year it was 'banned' 
( http://www.indymedi <http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/05/66387.html>
a.org.uk/en/2003/05/66387.html ) and I was one of 
the people who ignored the council bouncers and took down the barriers. 
I've done other stuff to help out too, and when they started asking for 
donations, I was happy to donate.

I don't know when this started but tonight Beltane is 'tickets' only - 
£7 or you don't get in. No concessions so there is no way I can afford 
that. 12,000 people attend each year - so gets gets the £84,000 ? Now 
this would be a bit like griping at how extortionate pseudo-alternative 
festivals like Glastonbury are nowadays but for one salient fact. 
Glastonbury is private land - Calton Hill is common land. How dare I be 
charged money to walk up a hill I've walked up many thousands of times. 
It is a hill I can see my birthplace from, as well as where my father 
and grandafther were born. It belongs to me as much as anyone who just 
moved to Edinburgh to capitalise on the house markets, the sons and 
daughter of the filthy rich who can wipe their arse with a tenner while 
swinging their poi.

Whoever commercialised this event, you have sold out the people who 
supported you, but worse, you have privatised a public space. How 
alternative is that ? You have turned the naked dancers into little 
better than the lap-dancers in Tollcross, or the strippers in the 
'pubic-triangle' east of the Grassmarket. Typical though of this new 
century, I'd never have guessed I'd long for the good old days of 
Thatchers Britain. What is really scaring me is how many other 'free 
festivals' are now going to be unaffordable to me now I have the time to 
attend them again ? And worse, festivals used to be free-spaces where 
you were encouraged to participate not just gawk. 'Society of the 
Spectacle' indeed.

I've come back to write this post then I'm heading out at midnight to 
create my own festival on another bit of public land. The tickets are 
£200,000 - plus booking fee - or 2p concessions. It might not be that 
great this year, but it'll be better than that regurgitated hypocritical 
crap that passes itself for Beltane now for the posh kids and rich 
tourists. This year it is just going to be me, four Scottish friends, 
some Spanish girls, a Breton lad, an Irish couple, a Finnish girl, some 
crappy musical instruments and three bottles of whisky. At least two of 
us will be naked - and this year it is invitation only.



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