We’d like to be able to tell you some basic good things about the Chorlton Green Festival being held on Saturday March 31st.Things about how volunteers are learning new skills, the “success metrics” of the Festival, and the “lessons learnt” from previous years. (Similar to puff pieces we’ve run about the Land Army, Eco-Daya etc). Sadly, we can’t.
We’ve been advertising its organising meetings in our calendar, and in previous years we’ve attended (and indeed were invited to be a speaker at a “Fringe Event”). The last issue of Manchester Climate Fortnightly in November 2010 contained a puff piece (page 7) about plans to renovate a building on the site of the venue, a church in Chorlton.
Sadly, the person in charge of organising the Festival has refused point blank to answer our questions. Initially the reason given was that they were to be too busy. We offered a phone call – this was declined, and when we suggested he delegate the answering of the questions we received a robust and forthright email with more fundamental reasons. We can’t tell you what those are, because he has refused permission to quote the email. [Can he do that, legally? We don't know, and don't care. We're respecting his wishes on this.]) It is unclear whether he is acting unilaterally at this point, or has discussed his stance with the broader group of people organising the Festival.
What are these inflammatory questions? Pretty straightforward, we think;
1. What’s your budget?2. What are you doing to make sure it has as low an impact as possible?3. What would count as a success?4. What training or mentoring is available for volunteers who want to get involved with making the festival happen?5. What specific lessons are you acting on that you learnt from previous years? (we’re big on the learning these days!)6. What does the festival do in between the yearly events to keep people interested etc?7. How can people sign up for a stall and how long is the average wait until they find out they have been successful?
Perhaps some of the current or past volunteers would like to pitch in here? Because we really simply want to be able to run a positive news story. Part of our “inspire” remit, after all.
Disclaimer: Question 7 is of specific interest to us because we have applied for a stall and… well, it’s a long story.