Grateful thanks and all good wishes to the new Arundel Festival committee. I understand they are looking for a ‘fresh start and new initiatives’ (Gazette, February 26).
So, with this in mind, I am putting forward the following suggestions and ideas which might be worth considering.
My first proposal is that, for the length of the festival, and as a one-year experiment, there will be no amplification in Jubilee Gardens, Town Square and Tarrant Street. Before shock-horror and indignation result from these suggestions, may I explain my reasoning?
Why should we try to ape a rock festival, when we have our own unique talent and background in a beautiful, historic town with the Gallery Trail, Drip Action theatre group, Arundel Players, the castle and museum events, as well as concerts at our church and cathedral. In addition, tradition is represented by events such as the Lions’ duck race and Rotary Fair, all lovingly nurtured and developed over many years.
Why not give the Jubilee Gardens four family days, where they can come, have their picnics, see a Punch and Judy show, listen to a storyteller and participate in some of the museum’s excellent children’s programmes?
The festival does not need an amplified concert on the hour, every hour – just one non-amplified concert every evening, allowing everyone to relax and talk to each other without having to shout. There is no reason why Screamin’ Lez cannot have a performance, but he will have to scream without amplification. His performance, after all, is for his audience and not for the whole of Arundel. The local brass bands manage very well with large audiences in Jubilee Gardens, without amplification.
Shops, businesses, hotels and residents would appreciate the absence of amplification encroaching on their everyday lives. Visitors can drive home after a day at the festival – local residents do not have that luxury.
On a personal note, I would like to see more respect paid to the Blackfriars ruins during the festival, by perhaps a service or presentation of its history, without its inner sanctum being filled with beer crates.
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