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I was disgusted with the police action and the security agency's activity this year. I['ve been going to WOMAD since 1983 and I've never been so disgusted. They were searching people as they arrived and presumably 'confiscating' their drugs - probably the kind that would make them smile a lot and be chilled - really dangerous stuff. How pathetic. I've never been bothered by police presence before, they've always just wandered around/making a presence but not been fearsome the way they were this year. How sad that we've reached this point. It almost makes me want to give up going despite having been a WOMAD devotee for as long as it's been going.
You were at a different festival to me!!
It seems that when a police officer is told to walk around the site with a fellow officer, they are there for the right reasons. When they are assembled in groups at checkpoints ect... they are much more serious. Once again I didn't have any problems but they certainly are much more intrusive in Wiltshire than they are in Reading. As I walked late at night through the gate near the red tent, I walked passed security drinking a can of Fosters and there was no problems at all. However a guy dressed in a 'bunny' suit was stopped and searched.... inside his tobacco pouch too.... That was the only time I felt a little uncomfortable all weekend. The guy had made an effort to get into the spirit of things and for his troubles he was targeted by security.
Having said all that, I had a great weekend and refuse to be negative this year. I got a few things off my chest last year and now I just go along with things. I much prefer to concentrate on the positives.
Is this thread about the future of Womad generally or just the policing issue? I have a few concerns about the future generally.
Womad seemed to be trying to save a lot of money by cutting down on the police presence. They cut back on the urinals, which must have saved money. No pretty decorations in the Siam Tent must have saved money. The line up itself looked 'cheaper' than in previous years. The 30th anniversary spectacular that wasn't. No fireworks. Etc...
The prices of everything seemed to have increased, beer in paticular, which makes me think the traders were being asked to pay more. The program cost more.
Is this austerity coming to Womad and are they in financial trouble again?
I have to think really hard to remember fireworks at WOMAD. I go to many festivals but can't remember WOMAD ever having a firework display. The line up did not look cheaper to me and I don't think that urinals cost that much to put financial strain on the event. We were also made fully aware that the siam tent decor was only reinstated for one year.
It is still a somewhat precarious enterprise. Gabriel admits with a deep sigh that the UK festival has only made a profit three years out of the last 30. ...... quote from Guardian interview with PG
They may need a new festival director (sticks chest out and winks)...
Shellovski did you go to the first Womad at Charlton Park? If so, you must have seen the magnificent firework display - or did the mud get in your eyes?
I would suggest that the fireworks at WOMUD was perhaps a one off.
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