It’s not a new problem, and as Allendale becomes ever more vibrant and fun to live in, more and more events and venues will jostle with each other to attract the attention of possible participants.
This past Tuesday evening, for example, the weekly Dale Singers rehearsal was decimated by a meeting called by B4AV, the consortium that is digging the community’s own optical fibre network throughout the Allen Valleys (and a group, incidentally, that the diary must cover soon). I’ve already mentioned a challenge between two concert-type events in the village hall. These things are bound to happen, aren’t they?
We used to have something called a ‘claiming calendar’ which apparently helped to establish precedence on any event. I actually never saw the calendar in use, and wasn’t sure who held it anyway. Sometimes folks will check with popular venues, like the hall, to see if anything is happening there before they create a specific function on a target date. Something like three separate ‘monthly events calendars’ have been created by different individuals over the years, in response to public requests, and yet these calendars were so often ignored that they fell by the wayside. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if two separate events are held simultaneously (if they’re in different venues, of course!) when the audiences are likely to be entirely different. But if there’s the slightest chance of overlap (and there always is), feelings are bound to be hurt when two promotions are going on at the same time.
More than different events, though, Allendale and environs has quite a surplus now of venues offering the same sort of facilities. Looking at the Sure-Start supported meeting room at the Allendale Fire Station, which caters for Mothers and Toddlers on Wednesday and Friday mornings, for example, I’m reminded that the availability of this space decreases demand for older venues. Sinderhope Community Centre has created a lovely niche for itself as an intimate space for concerts, presentations, meetings, and very welcome it is too, but inexorably, other established venues have had to accommodate, increasing the flexibility of their own offerings, for example, while maintaining price competitiveness.
All of these challenges, events and venues, you’d think, could be dealt with by a central programme, a network that outlines what’s on everywhere in the Allen Valleys. The problem with such a network is that, as I’ve discovered personally, very few folks will bother to register their event or even venue, preferring to move forward on an event-by-event basis with a more simple notice to Allendale area notices, for example. So to be effective, a universal calendar/venue compiler would have to be pro-active, searching out all events, functions and venues and logging them carefully and scrupulously. Unless the compiler’s job is funded, nobody is going to do this for very long for gratis and good will.
And so, much as it has been for the past twenty years or so, that’s the current state of play on simultaneous events and parallel spaces throughout the Allen Valleys. Still, the more research a group can make, about a particular target date especially, the more benefits in terms of turn-out they’ll be likely to find.