Saturday 24 June 2023

My Mill Hill Music Festival Diary Days 3-5

Firstly an apology. I've just been too busy over the past few days to update this. So here is a quick round up. On Wednesday, we had the Recital on the Ridgeway, by the Regency Quartet, with  a guest spot by harpist Huw Boucher. This was an evening with some incredible music. My involvement was pretty minimal. I simply transported the drinks from Hartley Hall to the venue and gave some moral support. But I did get to see some fantastic music. The event was well attended, with over 60 people turning up. The festival tries to cover as many genre's as possible and giving a showcase to some of the best students from the Royal College of Music. We had the Regency Quartet last year, they were so wonderful we asked them back. 

To my surprise, they were even better. At the end of the show, I loaded all the drinks we didn't use back into the car. It was an early night for me!

Thursday was a busy day. I was working a shift at the studio, as we had a recording session and I needed to cover for Fil. This was quite handy, as I was doing the sound for Emma Kershaw at Frith Manor Primary school. I had borrowed a van from our friends Paul and Mary Dawson, who run Kitchens with Elegance. Such logistic help makes a huge difference and means that we can keep prices low and make the festival as accessible as possible. They are a great Mill Hill company, so if you need a kitchen, CHECK THEM OUT! (They did my kitchen 25 years ago and it still looks wonderful). Our sponsors can only sponsor us if they have a business! I must also give a shout out to Mill Hill Wines who run our High St Box Office. They get nothing for doing it. Please nip in, buy a bottle of wine and say thanks to them, if you enjoyed the Festival!

Anyway, on with story. So being at the studio meant that I could load the van at my leisure, with our 1000 watt PA. I also had to pick up glasses and drinks from Hartley Hall. Having collected the gear, I arrived at the school at 3pm. I set up the gear and stage dressing, switched it on then BANG. One of our speakers burnt out. All of our gear is regularly inspected and PAT tested and the PA had been used the previous day. As the band were arriving at 4.30 pm for a sound check, I had to quickly go back to the studio and collect another PA system. Luckily we have spare systems, so I was able to get it all ready and the band were none the wiser. The concert was a sell out and many punters came up to compliment me on the sound at the end, which is always nice. The show finished at around 9pm, we broke the gear down and I was back in Mill Hill for 10pm, which meant I had time to grab a kebab at Cobans and a pint at the Services club. 

On to Friday. The Party night at the Mill Hill Golf Club is always a full on day. We have to build a stage and cover it, set up lighting, put up fences, set up gazebo's. So at 10am, I arrived at the studios, loaded up the stage and gazebos and other equipment and delivered it to the golf club. The team started to assemble it and I went back for another load. By 3pm, everything was ready for our sound guy Vince, who always does the bigger events as he has a 10kw PA system. Vince rigged his PA and the Pogue Traders arrived for the sound check at 6.30pm. That went well, the support band, The Sundays (not the girl band), featuring festival founding organiser Paul Amsterdam on sax then arrived. They soundchecked, and the crowds started to arrive. The music kicked off at 8.30, with The Sundays putting in a stonking funk set.

As the Sun went down, the Pogue Traders went on and put in a blistering set, The whole place had a bop. The event was well attended with around 200 people at the event.

Once they finished, it was all hand to the deck and by 12.30, the whole gig had been broken down and was in the van. I got home and had a chat and a glass of wine with a couple of friends. I was in bed by 2am!

Onwards and upwards for the final push tonight!

No comments: