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Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Festival fever

PUBLISHED: 17:07 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 15 October 2010

Ah, festival season. A time to get your tent, plonk it in a field, get drunk for three days and return home having not showered.

Ah, festival season. A time to get your tent, plonk it in a field, get drunk for three days and return home having not showered.

I don’t know why parents worry about their kids getting into sexual mishaps at festivals. Surely being stinky is contraceptive enough?

News of two festivals reaches Side Lines this week.

First on the menu, UpRise, which took place in Finsbury Park last weekend.

Regular readers of this column (hello Leon!) will remember the story of UpRise: Rise, the original mayor-sponsored festival, was pulled by Boris and I got on my hoity-toity high horse about it. Remember – racism bad, music good.

Two inspiring local activists, Mike and Freya, took it upon themselves to organise a successor festival and have managed to pull it off thanks to a plucky team of volunteers and a host of performers including Ty, who is a respected rapper. I listened to his music and he doesn’t swear that much. Well done, the Ty!

This column is being written before the festival takes place so I hope the following statement proves true: “Loads of people attended UpRise and everybody had a lovely time. There was no violence, just lots of hugging and music and shandy, and everybody agreed at the end of the day that racism was still a very bad thing. Hurrah!”

We do have another festival coming up in Islington and this one doesn’t make me quite so happy.

There’s going to be a five-week long winter festival in Islington Green, starting November 25.

There will be market stalls (yay), a Santa’s grotto (ask him for world peace and yank his beard) and a bar selling mulled wine and hot toddies (massive yay).

Unfortunately, the festival is also going to comprise a 300 square metre ice rink. I for one absolutely and unequivocally hate ice skating, even if it does give me the chance to use the word “unequivocally”. There is nothing I want to do less than stick two metal blades under my feet, fall over, crack my head open and have someone skate over my fingers.

The ice rink has elicited “a resounding bah humbug” from locals (love that phrase – nice work, Gazette news team!).

Allow me to throw my own bah humbug into the mix. I love the idea of the festival but could we have something else instead of the ice rink?


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