Event Organisers Update January 2021 ISSUE 194 - 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.

NEWS

TRAVEL BEING KILLED OFF
Many travellers to the UK are to be forced to quarantine at selected hotels near airports for ten days - possibly at their own cost of £1500 - £2500 - and those wanting to leave the UK will have to give a good reason why they are, under new measures to cut spread of the virus.

"To take a holiday" or "to visit relatives/friends" will not be accepted and those who cannot prove that their travel is vital will be ordered back home, or face a fine.

At present the restrictions only apply to those travelling from areas known to have Covid variants, but there is pressure on our government to apply this to all incoming passengers.

 

COVID CONVICTIONS

o Two teenage boys were fined £1,000 each after Manchester police broke up a party of around 100 people, and seized music equipment, at a flat in Shudehill, in the Northern Quarter.

o A dozen people have been fined for playing dominoes in a Whitechapel, London restaurant, where they tried to hide from police officers in a darkened back room.

o At a social club in Hackney, London, thirteen men were fined for playing cards.

o A mother of two from Portsmouth, who styles herself a "registered journalist" has been fined £200 for sharing photos of hospitals in the south of England on social media, claiming that they proved Covid 19 was "a hoax" and the government was "lying" about the coronavirus.

o In the Midlands four men were arrested after they posted videos online they said showed quiet corridors at two hospitals. The men were banned from entering hospitals, except on medical grounds .

o Greater Manchester police reveal that they have issued 2,600 fixed penalty notices since August for breach of covid regulations, including recent issues to partygoers in Hulme, Salford and Cheetham Hill. Fines of £200 each were imposed on four friends from different households who started a 61 mile drive from Manchester to Uttoxeter, to buy burgers.

o Buying burgers was also the reason a 34 year old man gave for his 100+ mile drive from Luton, Beds to Devizes in Wiltshire. He was issued with a £200 fine and his car was seized for his having no insurance.

o In Romford, Essex 49 people were fined for attending an illegal car meet up.

o In Edinburgh two women attending an illegal Scotland Against Lockdown protest outside the Scottish Parliament building were taken into custody after they argued with police about their right to be there.

o In Leighton Buzzard, Beds an organiser of a party for 50 was fined £10,000.

o Partygoers apprehended by the police in Basingstoke claimed they were not aware of the global pandemic because they "never watch the news".

o In Hackney, London, police issued a £10,000 fine to a place of worship following evidence of a large party being organised there. When the police returned later the same day they found further evidence of another large party.

 

COVID OVERSEAS

o Two young women in their 20's have been arrested in New Jersey, USA, for organising an illegal party in a warehouse for more than 200 guests.

o British backpackers are in danger of being deported from Australia after police there broke up a beach party on Bronte Beach, Sydney on Christmas Day attended by "hundreds" of people. Witnesses claimed that many had English accents and were wearing English football shirts.

o Pope Francis has hit out at holidaymakers who travelled abroad for Christmas, saying that they did not consider the effect of their actions on others and that they thought "only about going on holiday and having fun".

o Former Love Island participant and Miss Great Britain, Zara Holland has been fined £4,415 for breaching quarantine regulations in Barbados. Ms Holland had a covid test after her boyfriend had reportedly tested positive and was told to isolate at her hotel by the Royal Barbados Police. Instead she travelled to the local airport where she was apprehended. Under Barbados law she could have drawn a fine of up to £18,000 and a jail term of up to one year.

o French Border police stopped a group of holidaymakers from boarding a Eurostar train at St Pancras, London, to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday.

o Delta Airlines has banned 800 people from flying for non-compliance with face mask rules. Others banned by the airline include supporters of Donald Trump who heckled Senator Mitt Romney on a Delta flight.

o Fines of £500 were handed out to at least 30 travellers arriving at Heathrow airport without any proof of a negative Covid 19 test, as now required for all UK arrivals.

o More than 400 British skiers holidaying in Verbier, Switzerland, fled their hotels rather than comply with new quarantine measures requiring them to isolate for ten days.

o In the Netherlands a Covid testing centre in the fishing village of Urm was set on fire by youths protesting a national curfew. Police deployed water cannon to disperse rioting youths in Amsterdam and Eindhoven protesting the lockdown. Police say they have fined more than 3,600 people for breaching the curfew. Netherland's PM Mark Rutte comments "This is nothing to do with protesting, this is criminal violence and that's how we will treat it".

 

MORE ON COVID

o Glastonbury 2021, due to run in June and fronted by Sir Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, has been cancelled due to the pandemic, as was last years presentation The Chelsea Flower Show has been postponed from May this year to September.

o A legal challenge to the prohibition of live music events in indoor licensed venues in Northern Ireland has been commenced by Sir Van Morrison.

o "They have blood on their hands" says an intensive care doctor about people who don't wear face masks and who continue to mix with others unnecessarily.

o Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick reveals that her officers have faced 48 spitting attacks. She urges the public to continue to report those who are known to them to be consistently breaching restrictions and regulations.

 

COVID - IOTS?

o UK PM Boris Johnson was spotted cycling in the Olympic Park in east London, staying local at only seven miles from his home in Downing Street.

o Japan's PM Yoshihide Suga has apologised for members of his ruling coalition making a number of unnecessary visits to nightclubs, in breach of their own calls for the rest of the population not to.

o Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief executive of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission, was asked to leave her second home in in Llanegryn, Wales, where she was holidaying on Christmas Day, in breach of lockdown rules. She was shopped by her neighbours.

o SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has been arrested and charged in connection with alleged culpable and reckless conduct last September. Ferrier traveled from Glasgow to the House of Commons in London while she waited for the result of a Covid test - when she was advised she had the virus she travelled back to Glasgow.

o The leader of Richmondshire District Council, North Yorks, Angie Dale has urged all her residents to stay local to save lives, urgings that she made whilst holidaying in the Maldives, only 5,000 miles from her home.

 

ENJOY
If, like most of the population, you are bored with every day being much the same, it might be a good time to spend more of it doing Covid-safe things you really like.

According to a recent survey by internet movie retailer and renter Weyu, 56% of 1,000 people surveyed said they were beating their lock-down blues by watching their favourite films and/or TV shows. Coming second was reading books, a choice of 36%. (Note. Respondents allowed more than one choice)

Third was to clean or reorganise the house (29%), fourth was to do gardening (23%) and just behind at fifth was to phone a friend (22%). Sixth was physical exercise (18%), just behind at seventh was to do a puzzle or play a board game (17%) and eighth was to cook for the family (15%) Equal ninth at 12% each was two activities at opposite ends of the spectrum, redecorating, and taking a nap.

Enjoy, and don't feel guilty.

 

VENUE NEWS

o The Queens Hotel, Leeds, is renovating all its bedrooms and adding 16 more to total 232 in a £16 million refurbishment due for completion by this summer. (TheBusinessDesk.com) Also planned is a revamped food and beverage offer, with a central restaurant, outdoor terrace and wine bar.

o The 206-bedroom city-centre Renaissance Manchester hotel on Deansgate, which included offices and a car park, closed in the summer of 2020 citing weakened demand caused by the coronavirus. However it will now be converted to a £200 million mixed-use development including a new hotel, offices, a car park and residential units. (TheBusinesDesk.com)

o The 98-bedroom Mercure Birmingham Barons Court Hotel, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood is up for sale at £2.85 million through Christie and Co. (TheBusinessDesk.com) The hotel has four conference areas for 150/70/70/28 theatre-style.

 

GOOD TIMING?
A German MEP, Peter Liese, who sits on the European Parliament's public health committee has threatened Britain "You will suffer" if AstraZeneca fulfils its contractual obligations over the Covid vaccine at the expense of supplies to the EU. According to AstraZeneca Britain's order for its vaccine was received three months before that from the EU.

Completely co-incidentally Herr Liese's bullying threat was issued on January 27, designated by the UN as International Holocaust Remembrance Day…

MOVIE SPOT

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
Those who love a good documentary will warm to the story of the search for American singer-songwriter and poet Rodriguez, said to have killed himself on stage in Detroit, Michigan, in the 1970s

The tale was told in the Academy and BAFTA Award winning film Searching for Sugar Man, released in 2012 and documenting how Sixto Rodriguez, aka Rod Riguez, Jesus Rodriguez and Sixth Prince, was the sixth boy child born to immigrant Mexican parents in 1942 in Detroit. Rodriguez grew into a talented performer of psychedelic folk and rock music, often with a political theme, in his 20s when he was favourably compared to Bob Dylan. He recorded his first album, Cold Fact, in 1970 and his second, Coming From Reality in 1971. Neither did well in the USA and he was dropped by his record label, Sussex, which itself closed in 1975

Since then strong claims were made that a depressed Rodriguez had shot himself on stage, in front of his audience. In South Africa a bootlegged copy of Cold Fact found its way into the country and into the consciousness of the anti-apartheid young, who loved his political lyrics set to excellent tunes, his anti-government attitudes and his support for the less well off in society. As his fame and fanbase grew through the 1980s there, so did the need of the fans to find out more about the talented singer whose music had died after only two albums a decade and more ago. And there was no information, except the reports of his shocking death

Later in the 1990s two South African fans decided to travel to the US and discover what had happened to their hero. They were led to the Detroit area by a lyric in his song Inner City Blues that states "Met a girl in Dearborn" Dearborn is part of the Motown metropolitan area, famous for being the birthplace of Henry Ford and the site of his headquarters. Near here, at a house in the historic Victorian suburb of Woodbridge they finally learnt the cold fact about Rodriguez and the emotional moment was captured on film for Searching for Sugar Man, along with interviews with members of his family, players from the record industry, and some performance footage

The film's soundtrack contains selections from his two 1970s albums, along with two or three tracks that were part of an unfinished third album. The film also includes details of how some of the singer's output was banned, an aspect that only increased his appeal to a young set. This was for his singing about his "Sugar Man"drug dealer and the drugs offered: "bumpers" (amphetamines), "coke" (cocaine) and "sweet Mary Jane" (marijuana). However the lyrics of Sugar Man, his signature track, make clear the self-respect that can be completely lost with the dependence on drugs, and those who can turn out to be false friends, so in no way does the song glamourise drugs or drug-taking, but points out the dangers.

 

HELL AND HIGH WATER (1954)
This exciting Cold War thriller, starring a perfectly-cast Richard Widmark, starts with a bang as an atom bomb explodes somewhere between North Japan and the Arctic Circle in the remote North Pacific, sending up a boiling mushroom cloud.

This is the style of director Samuel Fuller, who favoured hooking in his audiences early, and the explosion footage was supplied by the US government with the proviso that certain spectrum colours were removed to prevent possible identification of nuclear secrets. The blast in the film triggers the sending of a hastily overhauled Japanese submarine to investigate, this commanded by experienced captain Adam Jones (Widmark) and carrying two senior scientists, Professor Montel, played by Victor Francen towards the end of his 50+ French and Hollywood film run spanning 45 years, and his assistant, Professor Denise Gerard played by Polish-born actress Bella Darvi in her debut movie

Captain Jones soon proves his mettle as they are stalked then attacked with torpedoes by a Communist Chinese submarine. Unable to fire torpedoes back due to the fact that there had been no time to test the torpedo tubes Jones nevertheless manages to disable the attacker with a cunning and unexpected move deep underwater and they carry on their journey. Meanwhile Jones and Professor Gerard are developing into each other's love interest as they move closer to solving the mystery of the big nuclear bang.

The 44 year, 60+ film career of Richard Widmark is featured in clips from some of his best films in the excellent 45 minute documentary Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters included in the pack for Hell and High Water. This showcases his talent for playing villainous roles - and villains don't come much nastier than the appalling psycho, Tommy Udo, giggling as he kills in the 1947 film-noir Kiss of Death - as well as heroic ones, like Colonel Jim Bowie in The Alamo (1960) with John Wayne as Davy Crockett.

The life and career of the strikingly good-looking Bella Darvi is less well documented but Hell and High Water may be the best of the 15 films she was featured in between 1954 and 1971. Born Polish in 1928 she was imprisoned by the pro-Nazi French Vichy government for being Polish in the 1940s, while her brother died in a concentration camp. Her first marriage lasted less than two years and her second less than a year, and she became the mistress of producer Darryl Zanuck, who left his wife Virginia for her but then left Darvi when he realised she was bisexual, something she never made a secret of. Darvi was a problem gambler in Mote Carlo and would lose or win up to £30,000 a night. Clearly unhappy she attempted suicide with barbiturates in 1962 and 1968 and then killed herself with gas in 1971 when she was aged just 42.

Hell and High Water had a limited release of 1,000 copies last month in Blu-ray format by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema Series. As well as the Richard Widmark documentary mentioned above the pack includes two audio commentaries and a collector's booklet

OLD GRIT'S DIARY

Friday
Home Secretary Priti Patel points out the danger of illegal house parties to public health, and praises "our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down".

 

Wednesday
Nine Metropolitan Police officers have been fined £200 each for eating together in a cafe. They were all members of the South East Basic Command Unit and their superintendent commented "Police officers are tasked with enforcing the legislation... and the public rightly expect that they will set an example".

 

Thursday
Another thirty-one Metropolitan Police officers are facing fines of £200 each for having their hair cut by a barber who visited their police station at Bethnal Green, east London. Two officers who organised it are being investigated for misconduct.

FOODIE NEWS

One of Spain's great ewe's milk cheeses is Manchego, which has to be made with raw or pasteurised milk from the Manchega breed of sheep on selected farms in some areas of the La Mancha region of.Central Spain. It's a firm textured cheese, with a very creamy and inoffensively mild taste in the young, white versions and a still creamy but fuller flavour in the cured, yellow versions, the semi-curado taking 1-3 months, the curado taking 3 - 6 months and the vintage stuff (viejo) maturing from 1-2 years.

We recently tasted a curado from a Spanish foods importer (Tapas Lunch Company) along with four younger Manchegos from UK supermarkets and the results follow (Do try this at home but don't eat the rind from any Manchego - it's inedible, unlike that on a Stilton where for us the lovely nutty flavour is the best bit) Scores are out of 10.

Tapas Lunch Company Manchego curado. Creamy and yellow with a vintage hit. Score 8 200g/ £3.55 £17.75 per kilo.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Manchego Creamy and white Score 7 170g/£3 £17.64 per kilo.

Aldi Manchego Creamy and white. Score 7 175g/£1.99 £11.37 per kilo.

Asda Extra Special Mild Manchego Creamy and white. 150g/£2 Score 7 £13.33 per kilo.

Morrison's Matured 9 months minimum. Creamy, light yellow, fuller flavour. Score 7.5 175g/£3 £17.14 per kilo.

Conclusion. For a young cheese Aldi's is the best buy. Morrison's maturer Manchego is nearly as good as the curado from the Tapas Lunch Company and very slightly cheaper.

NEXT ISSUE

The latest Home Office message is very clear - "No quarantine, no travel"... Party organisers ask "Whee's the harm in bringing together dozens of responsible adults for eating, drinking, dancing, singing and shouiting?"... Boris Johnson, speaking from his bicycle in Walton-on-the-Naze, explains what staying local means to him... Japan's PM explains why nightclubs there are still open for government hospitality... Angie Dale, leader of Richmondshire District Council, North Yorks is told by her team to quarantine in the Maldives, permanently... MEP Peter Liese asks why a bullying German issuing threats has got anything to do with International Holocaust Memorial Day... and much, much more...

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