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DF Concerts meeting

The following update was supplied to local residents after a meeting with DF concerts in Jan 2018. These are not agreed minutes and were shared in good faith.

    1. Colin Roger, of DF Concerts, is requesting one-to-one meetings because they feel that we, as individual residents, have a lot to share/say, but at Council-run meetings, the Council moves us on too quickly and we may not get the chance to share all of our concerns. Colin has 25 years in the business and said he recognises the importance of building relationships and open communication, particularly as they do intend to continue the TRNSMT Festival into the future, overall.
    2. Colin said that the decision to hold further events and a second weekend was made by his boss, but ultimately, it boiled down to the following: a.) singers were available and other promoters were eyeing the Green to hold a follow-up concert weekend, in line with the fact that the Green is a GCC Event Space, and they also thought it would be best for local residents to just negotiate with one event company; and b.) they actually want to give back to the local community, to open up the space on the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for some kind of a “carnival-like” family-friendly event where children could get up on the stage, there would be food trucks, possibly performances from local theatre groups or local music groups, etc. This proposal from DF Concerts, apparently, was met with pessimism from the Council, who apparently said they didn’t think this offer would be taken up or supported by the local community. However, DF Concerts is very much interested in developing this, particularly by involving Calton Community Council and any other interested local groups/associations. My husband and I would welcome these kinds of community events, and we would likely attend with our young children.
    3. By scheduling a second weekend of TRNSMT, Colin said that DF Concerts had opened up the Council’s eyes to the fact that there are 33 scheduled events on the Green. TRNSMT is followed by the 2018 European Championships (Athletics) and then the World Pipeband Championships. (I had previously heard from local Councillors that they aim to reduce the number of events at the Green, and the Orange March will take place at another location from now on, probably Bellahouston, but another park somewhere in the city.) I know that this is being actioned by our local Councillors – to reduce the number of events on the Green.
    4. We discussed security and security staff. Colin makes a point of briefing all stewards in person, and he personally goes around to check that they’re briefed and giving the right information to people. This year, there will be additional training for all stewards/security staff, including videos and the like. If we have any issues as residents with stewards, he encourages us to call the helpline that will be set up.
    5. On sound and noise, Colin said that technology is now so advanced that the speakers on the insides are motion controlled and can be adjusted by sound engineers so that theoretically, you could draw a line and hear the noise when standing on one side, but not the other. He is looking to do a sound check in a few properties, with permission, of course, where the sound engineers can take measurements and adjust the speakers to reduce noise from their laptops. This data will also be kept for future years. I have agreed to do this in my home.
    6. There will be a drop-in session held in the Winter Gardens for local residents to meet with Colin, Clare, sound techs, security, etc. This will be planned and publicised extensively but no date has been set yet. There will also be a walk-around so that residents can see the operation, during set up, prior to TRNSMT.
    7. Regarding tickets, an electronic ballot for local residents, where you would sign up for the ballot if you receive a flyer, works out to a 1 in 5 chance that you’ll receive tickets. Colin said it doesn’t have to work this way – it’s up to residents and the community. He is also happy to arrange tickets for housing associations/etc. if there is a contact willing to distribute them. The point is not to “buy us off” but instead to allow residents to come on site and experience the event for themselves, to see others, especially young people, who have life-changing experiences at music concerts – it’s a vibrant culture. Colin was clear that it wasn’t from DF Concerts, but personally, that he is keen to provide tickets to anyone who comes to meetings and gives feedback, because in his opinion, if we have taken the time to do that then we should be given the definite opportunity to experience it – and the Council did not agree because of potential ethical entanglements. However, it is my impression that he would provide tickets to local residents on an individual basis if that’s what is required. I was extremely clear that free tickets would not stop me from complaining or campaigning – and Colin welcomed that. He said that it’s supposed to be about a dialogue, and he would continue to want to hear our issues and concerns because sometimes, very little things can be done behind the scenes to make a big difference for residents.
    8. He mentioned that regarding local businesses, it is his intention to set up a list of suppliers for the supply chain. For example, during set up, if workers need hardware, they could use Bill’s Hardware instead of B&Q. If there is a bakery, the rolls could be sourced from there. He also said that he wants to identify local shops and cafes that workers can go to during breaks. Last year, they set up a “discount” at WEST if you showed your tickets, and they would like to expand that scheme. Etc., etc. This is something that I intend to share with local shop owners I personally know, and perhaps others could as well, to spread the word.
    9. DF Concerts will not be putting the wall up as far over as the play park this year. They were recommended to do that last year by the Council. They are trying to give more space outside the perimeter and addressing the “penned in” or “tunnel” feeling along the river from last year, and acknowledged that this felt unsafe late at night. I didn’t see any specific plans but perhaps this is something that we should ask collectively to be defined and circulated.
    10. Regarding communication, I told them that hearing on the radio on my drive to work that there would be another weekend of TRNSMT nearly made me crash the vehicle – I was that angry. I asked that in the future, residents should be informed of dates and plans prior to tickets going on sale. I have also previously asked our local Councillors for this information. Colin was adament that we had not been lied to – but took on board that it felt like subterfuge when we had had a de-brief meeting and nothing was discussed about additional dates. Better communication is important to them, apparently, in this arena. (I’ll believe it when I see it.)
Published inMeeting Minutes

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