Saturday, 27 October 2012

Miraculous changes - date for final show is 26th Jan 2013!!!

OK, I know I have a tendency to ramble, but as this is fairly important news, I'll keep the headline brief :

The final show for 12.12.12 will NOT be on 12th Dec 2012, but will be on 26th January. The venue will be announced next week (1st Nov).

Here's the explanation of why below:

About a month ago, with the weight of everything upon me, I seriously considered quitting this challenge. It may seem strange because it was right after a well-attended show at Union Chapel, features on BBC, a performance on the London Eye. Everything looked positive to people.

But behind the scenes, I was having a really poor response rate from musicians, I was struggling to get the funding to secure the venue, and I didn't have any support from the organisations & people involved (with the exception of a couple of people. you know who you are. Thank you!). So, I was pretty much alone, broke, jobless, and without the support needed to make this challenge work. And I had 3 months to make this work. I had a venue pencilled in and ready to go, and even though the response was poor, I still believed I could form an orchestra and make this work. But I didn't have the funding or support I needed to put the event on and this really hit home after Union Chapel. I just had to face fact that it was probably too late.

So I went to quit.

Then something odd happened. The moment I was seriously considering giving up, my brother (who had come on board as the charity rep) contacted me and said there was a charity called Daytrippers who were interested in meeting with me to discuss putting on the event if I could form the orchestra. So I went to meet with them. And they seemed to love the idea. The main guy involved is a very smart and shrewd man, so he grilled me a lot on whether I thought we could make the event work. And I guess, partly through fear of looking a fool, partly through the enthusiasm I felt from the people there, I must have given the right answers. Because they agreed to come on board and put the event on, which will screen the documentary, and a performance from whatever orchestra I can get together.

Daytrippers do incredible work with children with disabilities and terminal illnesses, providing some amazing days out for them. I'd recommend everyone visit and see the awesome work they do.

So, at the eleventh hour, we had a possible reprieve. The venue was set, the organisers were set. I just needed to get the orchestra together. Yet, we still had to be realistic. We may now be able to put the show on, but was there enough time to sell tickets and make the event work? Are there enough people out there interested in coming to this? Are you people actually out there? Would there be enough of you to come and watch this on 12th Dec?

So, I looked back over the comments from people, and put the feelers out with Daytrippers, and came to the conclusion that whilst it was a nice idea, and people seemed interested (in fact, people seemed to not care when it was, just as long as it happened), we wouldn't be able to get everything in place for 12th December. It was a logistical nightmare. The challenge is meant to end that date, so how would I involve people I met that day? What's the cutoff? How are the film-makers going to film up until 12th then show the documentary that evening? When would rehearsals start? Would that get in the way of actually forming the orchestra? Aargh! It was all getting too much. So, again, we were back to the same problem. I had to concede defeat. Which was now doubly tough because I now had a great charity supporting the challenge.

So before quitting, I looked at the rules I'd made. Could I end the challenge on 12th Dec and then just do the final performance another time, still keeping to the original venues? Hmmm, felt like cheating to me. "But Shaun", people kept saying, "if you put on the event later after completing the challenge, and it means you raise more money for charity, then it's worth it".

So, as the main aim for me is to raise funds for Daytrippers and put on a show highlighting the year's work, we decided two things:

1) We would do a performance on 12th December, but it will be low-key (maybe invite only. Watch this space) and won't be at one of the top listed venues
2) We would do a screening of the documentary and a final performance with the orchestra sometime the following month, at one of the top listed venues.

You can look at the rules at and make up your own minds. Does this mean I've failed the challenge? Is it within the rules and a success? I'd like to hear people's opinions on this. It's an interesting debate I think. And one I've had with myself far too many times. Sometimes I forget that I am the one who has trapped me with these rules. And the bottom line that it's easy to forget is that I want to put on an event that everyone can come to, see the work that's been done, follow the journey I have taken leading up to 12.12.12, then hopefully listen to some music by more than just me and a kazoo.....does it HAVE to all happen on 12.12.12?? The answer, for me, was no.

Once I let go of this pressure to live by the rules I'd set, another awesome thing happened. Suddenly, almost within a matter of days, it seemed that one of the awesome venues on the list had been back in touch with us/Daytrippers, had rescheduled some pretty cool and profitable acts to free up a date, and offered us 26th January. This venue is not only one of my favourites, they were by far the most supportive along the challenge, contacting me throughout and offering other places as options (they were booked from the outset on 12th Dec). The guys are really wonderful people.

So....whether I succeed at this challenge or not, I can proudly announce that Daytrippers and I will be hosting an event on Saturday 26th January at one of the top 10 venues on this list.

The venue and info on tickets will be announced next week.

Onwards and upwards


No comments:

Post a comment