Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Festival That Wasn't

Today my husband took me to the Kidwell-e Festival - advertised as the first ebook festival in the UK. I was booked to speak tomorrow, so I wanted to find my way around and enjoy some of the speakers today. I came home and looked up the word festival on

Festival: a period or programme of festive activities, cultural events or entertainment; gaiety; revelry; merrymaking.

On that basis, it definitely wasn't a festival.

The expected 20,000 people didn't turn up.

In the afternoon, even the author didn't turn up.

As you can see, the audience didn't turn up either. Actually, there were four of us. The other two, who had come 200 miles for the day, gave up and went home. We went looking for the missing author, and found the organiser, who didn't know the author was missing. He told us he had signed in on arrival and been left to get on with it.

It had apparently not occurred to him that, having organised the thing, he should have people at both the speaking venues to ensure things went smoothly.

Oh, and to top everything, the festival was open today from 11am to 10pm and the only food available was a burger van.

There was a concert tonight, so I don't know how many turned up for that. The traders complained about the lack of customers and were told to wait for this evening, but I doubt if the concert-goers will want to buy craftwork. And the traders didn't expect to stay open until 10pm either.

So we left early, and I'm not going to speak tomorrow. They weren't paying me, and it's not worth the effort to talk to an empty room.