Event Organisers Update August 2020 ISSUE 189 - an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).
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Event Organisers Update
The newsletter for organisers of events.
Our organisers were told of the research into the psychology of touch between human beings and of the benefits of contriving to touch arriving delegates, in an appropriate way of course. This could take the form of a light touch when putting on a delegate's badge, or pointing the way, but one favoured form for us was a friendly meet and greet handshake as delegates arrived. The writer, who was delivering the seminar would often stand at the entrance to the meeting room and shake hands with each delegate entering, saying an informal "Thanks for coming".
Of course there would be those few who did not want to shake hands, such as some with severe arthritis in the fingers and some oriental delegates who considered it unhygienic, but generally it worked for most.
Definitely not now, of course, in these difficult times where physical contact is avoided to fight the virus we touch covered elbows. Perhaps we also need to adopt the safe oriental way of a slight bow to each other as the meet and greet.
Times have changed, perhaps for ever.
The new punishments came into effect on Friday August 28, in time for the Bank Holiday weekend. The Metropolitan police have responded to more than 1,000 illegal events since the end of June, and police forces in Birmingham, Huddersfield and Blackburn have broken up many illegal gatherings, the West Midlands police closing down 125 raves and parties in one weekend.
The view from the authorities is that it is deeply unfair that while the majority of the population sacrifice their freedom to safeguard the health and perhaps save the lives of others, a small minority who think they are above the law continue to put others at risk. And that those organising the events should be held accountable.
CRIMES AT THE CONNAUGHT?
Graziela Camaco, 29, of Ilford, east London was charged with five counts of stealing diamond jewellery and £15,000 in cash at Southwark Crown Court on Monday August 17, and was also charged with being in possession of criminal property in relation to "Jewellery, money and designer bags" found at her address in April 2019. She was bailed and told to come back to court for a case management hearing on 18 November 2020.
MCL Create turned over £10 million and the closure has caused the permanent loss of 71 jobs.
The current restrictions on large scale live events, that have to be planned many months in advance, are hurting a sector which is said to employ 1 million people.
MORE PANDEMIC PAIN
The group blame the impact of Covid-19, which has left its hotels worldwide with an occupancy of 25% from April to June this year. In this period in the UK revenue per room dropped by 90% as hotels were forced to close.
The company opened 90 new hotels in the first six months of this year. They have signed agreements for 180 more, including 100 Holiday Inns.
YORKSHIRE HOTELS FOR SALE
Contact Lambert Smith Hampton 0113 245 9393 by noon 4 September 2020.
THE PAINTED BIRD
Beautifully played by a ten year old Romani boy, Petr Kotlar, the boy's lone wanderings induce a massive loss of innocence as he witnesses a shocking assault by an unhinged miller (Udo Kier) on one of his workers, a brutal attack with a bottle on a woman by a gang of women and the murder and rape of unarmed civilians by soldiers. His own troubles include being taken in and abused by a murderous paedophile (Julian Sands), courtesy of a well-meaning priest (Harvey Keitel), witnessing a horrible act of bestiality on a goat by a beguiling farm girl he befriends (Julia Vidmakova) and being attacked and beaten by local youths, and men who should know better, because he looks different.
All the horror, and some of it has led to audience walk outs, is leavened a little by some who are kind to the boy, if not to other beings. A man who traps and sells wild birds for a living (Lech Dyblik) daubs paint over the wings of a sparrow he doesn't need and releases it into a flock of other sparrows, for it to be attacked and killed because it looks different, the incident that gives the film its name and narrative. There is a decent German soldier (Stellan Skarsgard) who is ordered to take the boy away and kill him, but doesn't, and a decent Russian soldier (Barry Pepper) who shows the boy how to use guns and gives him a pistol to protect himself with. However it is the acts of cruelty that affect him the most and he quickly starts to avenge himself on some of his protagonists, and some innocents. War changes people, and cruelty breeds cruelty.
The Painted Bird is directed by Czech director Vaclav Marhoul and has been acclaimed by most critics as his masterpiece, so it will be interesting to see if audiences generally agree. Critic Xan Brooks from the Guardian might have spoken for many when he wrote: "I can state without hesitation that this is a monumental piece of work and one I'm deeply glad to have seen. I can also say that I hope to never cross its path again".
You'll need a strong stomach for this one.
This is the desperate situation facing young Parisian Alice, beautifully played by newcomer Emille Piponnier,( in her first lead role in a feature film) whose husband has disappeared to leave her in sole charge of her cute toddler son. Faithless husband Fracois is also well played as alternately confident, affectionate, doting and finally weak and pathetic by Martin Swabey, and son Jules is impressively cute as portrayed by Jules Milo Levy Mackerras, in reality the four year old son of the film's talented Australian writer and director of the film, Josephine Mackerras.
When Alice starts going through some of her husband's telephone contacts, and calling them, she realises that one is an agency for high-priced prostitutes calling itself "Elegant Escorts", which happens to be recruiting. Intrigued and wanting to find out how her husband went through their money so quickly she goes along for an interview with some other hopefuls. and discovers that he was paying the agency between £540 and £720 per hour, with the agency paying the prostitute 70% of that, or £378 to £504. Faced with having to find £7,000 in two weeks or lose her apartment, and an offer of employment as a highly-paid sex worker from the agency she sees only one course of action open to her and agrees to the offer. She later makes good friends with another of the agency workers, Lisa, a kindly and sexy Australian played memorably by Chloe Boreham, who takes her under her wing and gives her some practical advice on her new profession. ("You'll need better shoes" "Get the money first" "Cut the agency out to earn the real money").
As Alice, working name Sofia, starts to satisfy clients it is striking how pleasant to her are the ones we see, and to an extent this has been criticised by some critics as a very rose-tinted view of a sleazy, empty and sordid, though highly lucrative, way to earn a living. However, growing in confidence, Alice stays with it and starts to pay off all the debts Francois has saddled her with. Eventually he grovels apologetically back to her and makes himself useful looking after Jules while he thinks his wife is out earning big money as a personal assistant to a very rich female executive, her story to cover up what she is really doing. In time he finds out the truth, about the same time as Alice finds out who he has been giving her money to for the last year, a delicious finishing double twist, this one, just before the happy ending…
Alice was released by Eureka Entertainment late last month on selected digital platforms.
BELA LUGOSI - THREE CLASSICS
The three horror classics, each around one hour long, were released last month in a 2-disc Blu-ray edition limited to 2,000 copies by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema Series. The pack also contains audio commentaries, radio series episodes, video essays and a 48-page collectors booklet.
This was the day after the government there had tightened its Covid-19 restrictions following a worrying rise in cases, reducing the number of people allowed to attend indoor gatherings from 50 to six. The event split the 80 delegates across two rooms, on advice reportedly given to the hotel's management by the Irish Hotels Federation, advice presumably just out of date when the event, now dubbed "Golfgate" took place.
So far the Minister for Agriculture, Dara Calleary, has resigned, as has Jerry Buttimer, deputy chairman of the Irish senate and EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan, who had previously simply apologised. with his spokesperson claiming he would unquestioningly not be resigning. Additionally Hogan, who was due to lead free trade negotiations with a post-Brexit UK, had reportedly not self-isolated for the required 14 days following his return from a trip to Brussels, and was caught by police using his mobile whilst driving on August 17. Seamus Wolfe, a Supreme Court judge who gives legal advice to government is one of a number who have apologised for their unwise attendance at the golf dinner.
Obviously this eating mode, never the most hygienic anyway, is finding much less favour in these pandemic times, where a quick unlucky lick could kill.
It will be interesting to see how KFC are going to change one of the most ingrained habits. Will we get disposable KFC gloves to keep the grease off our fingers while we pull and chew all the meat off the bones, or will we get KFC disposable plastic knives and forks to clumsily attempt the same operation, all without fingering the chicken?
It's a whole new world…
Sydney's 36 year old son Alexander will be taking over the business ([email protected]) and Old Grit wishes them both well in these difficult times.
In a note from Sydney he tells us: "Sharon and I have enjoyed receiving your newsletter and wish you continued success in being the sector's conscience and watchdog! It needs you."
Cheerio to a real gentleman.
The Oriental bow to each other from two metres away replaces the handshake in all UK social and business circumstances, for safety… Event organisers originating and running events of more than six people are jailed, along with their delegates, in a tightening-up of lockdown rules… A spokesperson for the attendees at the Irish government golf dinner tells the press: "Actually we strongly feel that we are above the common herd, and certainly above the law, especially the laws that stop us having a good time, but by which all the peasants should be bound. We salute our hero and role model, Dominic Cummings and his faithful defender Boris. We made the trip to Galway for an essential check on our eyesight and we all wish to remain anonymous"... At KFC "Fingerlickinchicken soup" made by liquidising fried chicken and drunk from a bio-degradable, microwavable non-plastic carton through a non-plastic, bio-degradable and sanitised straw becomes a best seller. Popular flavours are Barbecue Baked Beans, Mushroom Medley and Chilli Conflagration… and much, much more…
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