Less mud than Glasto...
Folk singers - they used to look like this didn't they?
Oh, how times have changed
Seth Lakeman - Parklife 2, July 1 2007
I vaguely remember volunteering ‘us’ to organise the food and stalls for a local live music event in July. But in November 2006 it seemed an age away. And then came assignments, revision, exams, more assignments and then - it was June. Luckily the other half had been busy schmoozing local businesses in the mean time, but as soon as my final assignment was handed in I let him know exactly what he should have been doing in the intervening months. I’m sure he appreciated my input…
In PR they call it event planning; in fact students dream of a Summer work placement coordinating an occasion like Parklife. What they usually end up with are a couple of weeks answering phones, updating client databases or making tea. And perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing when you are at the start of your career. However, when you are a mature student finding useful work experience is often more problematic. You’ve been at the reception desk, done that photocopying and sorted the magazine collection before and what is more you know that you could be paid for your efforts as well. Perhaps getting involved in something voluntary might be the answer?
Though you can forget glamour. Think instead of struggling to right blown-over mobile toilets, 6:30 am starts, picking up the parts of a burger that someone didn’t want to eat, putting up tents in wind and lashing rain, pushing 7 tonne lorries out of the mud, fetching bark chips to spread in front of stalls from a pile that has been visited by every cat in the neighbourhood and trying to swing a sledgehammer when the heaviest thing you usually wield is a pen. It’s enough to make you wish you’d stuck to reorganising the paperclips.
Still, it was a very satisfying day. Even Seth Lakeman, (the man who puts the phw into phwoar), made a surprise appearance. And who knows - networking with local businesses might lead to things in the future – even if the impression I left them with was of a mud splattered, gherkin collecting mad woman smelling of blue loo and cat pee..