Did you get to play a few tunes, you might well ask?
Anyone got a van or donate use of their car and themselves as drivers that we could use to move the kit around? No? Don’t worry then. The woes of a disgruntled free party organiser.
You know, when you’re used to organising thousands of parties; all sorts of parties, free ones, pub ones, club ones, London ones, and have done for 25 years, you get kinda used to doing them your way and I always get into ever such a flustered, threatened, neurotic state of mind when feeling that things are not being done properly. Know what I mean? No?
Let me explain.
The bottom line is it goes something like this.
People go “when’s the next party then?” I go “when it’s sorted. "Any ideas for sites or venues?” they go, “no”, and despite waiting around for people to offer venues or fields, which never happens, or very rarely, one has to decide and make a decision about something.
Normally we have someone’s birthday coming up, or it’s solstice, or a Saturday or we haven’t had one for a while; either way, the pressure builds, I pick a place – the beach, a wood, a venue, a field we’d been checking out, for example, which has just had the hay cut – and decide on the date.
Now, the rig? Anyone got a rig we can have for free? Or borrow? No? Ok, I’ll use your rig and pay you until I get sick of paying you and buy my own rig for thousands of pounds. Now I know no DJ will respect the fact that this equipment has been paid for and needs looking after and will, given the chance, turn everything up full blast until a speaker or amp is blown. It’s nothing against the DJ; it’s just they like to hear things loud, then louder. They’re all a bit deaf you see?
Hey, don't worry, we'll pass a bucket round and people can contribute and that'll surely cover all the cost? Now all money collected from the bucket can go to filling the generator up – anyone lend us a generator? No? Well I’ll hire my own, go and pick it up, look after it all through the party, making sure it’s filled up with the fuel I bought and which I won’t get the money back because there is not enough ‘contributions’ in the bucket. Again. Then I’ll take it back to the hire place on Monday before work. Oh, fuck it, I’ll just buy a generator or acquire one from a friend of C, who kindly lent us one and now doesn’t want it back. Yet. Phew, saving money there maybe.
Ok so that’s the rig, the field, the generator sorted out. Anyone got a van or donate use of their car and themselves as drivers that we could use to move the kit around? No? Don’t worry, I’ll hire a van for the weekend, pay the deposit, buy the fuel and drive it there and back. What about a marquee? No? Don’t worry I’ll just buy an ex army one with a few chums; that’d sort it out nicely. Nah, don’t worry, it’s a free party, everyone does everything for free don’t you know?
Anyone want to design some flyers for the party? No? Don’t worry, I’ll do that, I love Photoshop, and have, actually designed flyers for over 500 parties. Ooh, get me. What about distributing them? No? Don’t worry, I’ll do that. I go out a lot and can generate interest just by giving everyone I meet and know a flyer. I’ll put my number on and everyone can ring me and I can deal with the calls and make sure everyone gets directions on the night. I can also advertise in Tangentopoli, the tvc newsletter that I write with my girlfriend; or online. I can tramp around to other parties and hand out flyers there too.
At the party, after putting up the marquee, the rig, sorting out the generator I can then go to the car park and hang out there for 3 to 4 hours directing all the cars to park properly as we don’t have much room and no one else will do it anyway. I can also answer my phone every 10 seconds helping people who have lost their way or can’t find the party to get here safely.
DJ’s? Yeah, I’ll sort the DJ’s out; the running order, making sure they all get on and off on time; sort out any niggles, change the running order if necessary; such a crucial part of the party don't you know?
The police you say? Don’t worry, Oz will always talk to the police and get us an extension till at least the morning because he's fully knowledgable about the laws they use against us.
Clearing up? I’ll do that. Taking marquee down? Leave it, you go home, no problems, yeah, you got to feed the dog, sleep, I understand. Rubbish, litter, shit? Leave that to the last few, we’ll put in all our cars and van after we’ve packed the rig up and loaded it back, driven it home, and unpacked it into the garage or shed. then we'll get rid of the rubbish. it's fine...
Hey, let’s go to the pub to finish the weekend off? Yeah, don’t worry; I’ll get the drinks in; as a thank you for all you did for the party. My poor put upon girlfriend at the time, Nick, was by my side throughout every tiny little episode and upset for 17 years. Christ, I miss her.
Did you get to play a few tunes you might well ask? That is, after all, the purpose of organising a free deep house music party in the woods is it not?
No, of course I fucking didn’t. I was far too busy for all that pop star shit.
Besides, most of the time it is a joyous, collaborative effort with a lot of people contributing their time, energy and skill and I do get to play the odd set now and then which, of course I thoroughly enjoy. But, it is nice to have a whinge now and then and to exaggerate your woes for comic effect?