Projectraisetheroof's Blog



Post-raisetheroof ramblings

Well, this one felt a little tougher than usual. I spent a fair amount of raisetheroof and the week(s) leading up to it uptight and tired, a nasty combination and one that can be endured for only so long!

But the speakers from Love Music Hate Racism and the crowd’s reaction to it lifted the whole experience of the night. That was amazing. There was a funny moment when I was trying to absorb a beautifully revolutionary feeling generated by the speaker shouting about shutting down the English Defense League. The whole crowd was screaming and cheering in support, but my good friend Cordelia kept bugging me to look at her phone. Eventually I looked and she was proudly showing me a picture of a little black rabbit and a little white rabbit snuggling up together at the Meanwood Urban Farm.

These were the high points, I’ve wanted to get the campaign involved for so long, and the repeated emails and nagging phone calls to their London office had finally paid off; here were local activists riling up the crowd. Instead of reacting to the mixture of politics and entertainment with disdain (something I was so worried about I nearly hid in the toilets when the speakers went on stage) they seemed to hit a nerve with the audience. This made me extremely happy, still now, Im so so happy when I remember how dedicated these people were and how well it seemed to combine with raisetheroof. Ive wanted to ‘politicise’ raisetheroof for five years, with not a lot of confidence it would work, and seemingly it did. Hooray!!

But it would be an inaccurate post-raisetheroof rambling if I did not mention the low points. Admittedly, raisetheroof this time was not quite as busy as usual. We sold out of advance tickets, but the sales on the door weren’t as good as usual.  Raisetheroof is not about reaching capacity, this is not our aim of the night, it was only mildly disappointing to break our track record of fully selling out every time but it was bound to happen sooner or later. But the top three annoying things were surely these:

1) Magic Lantern visuals – i.e the ones that didn’t happen. These had been agreed for some time, and the VJ arrived with all his gear, hung around for a bit scratching his head and then told me he felt a bit ill so was going to go home. I was speechless with disappointment. “Ill?”, I felt like saying, “Fucking ill? So do I mate. Don’t we all, in fact. But its an hour before doors, get the stuff set up now and stop being such a whining little pussy”.  But of course my eyes filled up with tears, I shook my head and I said pretty much nothing. Felt like a proper pathetic little girl. Upon remembering that the VJ had also agreed to supervise the lights, five minutes before we opened the door to the public, I ran to the stage and tried switching them on. They wouldn’t work of course, and through teary eyes and a massive lump in my throat I begged the stage managers to help me.  These two were amazing, and they did figure it out in time for the first band.

Nevertheless, for next two and a half hours, whenever a friend came up to me all smiles and asking me how I was, I would regale the saga for a full ten minutes: “I can’t believe how he could do that”, “it just doesn’t look the same without the visuals”, “I feel so let down”. I’m certain that this self-pitying tripe left each person a little less excited about raisetheroof than they had been ten minutes before.  I just couldn’t put on a front and pretend to be happy but my upset, victim attitude was infecting other people. I couldn’t help it though. Those plain and exposed blue walls either side of the stage were taunting me, and all I could do was draw further attention to them. IM DOING IT AGAIN NOW! My reaction to being let down is now more regrettable to me than the letting-down itself.

2) complaints on the door about the 12 pounds door price. This was totally necessary to cover the costs of the best possible soundsystem, performer payment and expenses, beautiful decor, promotion costs, etc etc… all the things that make raisetheroof what it is and yet there is no convincing the minority of people that would rather believe in the greed of organisers over the reality of what an event costs.

3) let-downs from the venue staff – I have repeatedly asked the staff to open the bar at nine and for the security to arrive at nine and this never, ever happens and makes us look rather stupid when people arrive which it did, once again. Im always assured beforehand that it will, and the bar staff and the security are ALWAYS half an hour late. Not sure what can be done about this – a later start maybe.

AND NOW FOR THE TOP BEST MOMENTS!!!!!

1) LMHR activists – as mentioned above

2) Paper Tiger’s set. In all honesty their recorded stuff on myspace doesn’t do them justice. It was amazing watching them live. I took a risk booking them because I had never heard them before. A few trusted sources said they would be good for RTR and I took their word for it – so glad I did – there was a full crowd of happy people – properly loving the music. I’m not sure people really ‘got’ Black Diamond Bay, or maybe it just wasn’t well-suited, and there weren’t many people there for the Biscuits which was a shame. Whisky Cats were also wicked live – I hope the gig will put them off splitting up the band.

3) the Wonka arch – okay this was my idea, so I’m kind of blowing my own trumpet here. But the sight of that arch covered in flowers, sweets and ribbons courtesy of Krafty Sluts made me stupidly happy. So did walking under it. I hope the photos have come out well.

If anyone reads this, and went to RTR, maybe leave your best and worst three raisetheroof moments too. Ive expanded more on the bad stuff, tsk! But I definitely have to leave it there.

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