Yesterday was the United Nations International Day for Older People. We celebrated in Sandwell by holding an event called Full of Life Festival at our new arts centre THE PUBLIC. This was a very successful even. Sponsored by Sandwell Council and our Primary Care Trust. Two levels of the building were used and it was packed all day. The organisation I am heavily engaged with U3A had a stall there which was overwhelmed with enquiries all day. We gave out more info and talked to more potential members than any other event we have ever attended. We also had the theatre for an hour to do a virtual antiques auction and to run some short films our interest groups had put together. We were second act on. I had rehearsed with the technician before hand how this was going to work with timings. We should have had a ten min break following the first act to hand out all that was needed and be ready to start on time. I had been asked by the organisers to stick strictly to time. The first act was a dozy gospel quire who arrived 15mins late. They were totally engrossed with there singing and blissfully unaware that their actions were in fact messing up a carefully choreographed following act. I hate being late and this failure of the organisers stressed me out. Eventually they got them off but our preparations then seemed confused and rushed we started about 20mins late. The quire then stayed for our act, they talked amongst themselves had sandwiches etc. I did manage to get them involved with the program but a major failure on behalf of the organisers and very bad manners on quires part.
It’s a well done to Sandwell for having the foresight to do this and a well done to the PCT for organising it and to THE PUBLIC for the venue but a big thumbs down to the theatre organisers on the day, these sorts of cock ups should not be allowed to happen. If we had been consulted before the first act started or they were made to keep to time then our performance would not have been affected.