(forgot to post this last night)
I read in one of the local fora that the organizers of the annual bash at Pilton have finally nailed their true colours to the mast, and are now firmly declaring the event to be within the reach of Hooray Henries only.
This of course is the market they have been yearning for ever since it became clear that the fence-jumping Travellers who flocked to the event every midsummer in the belief they had a deity-awarded right to participate — for free — were in fact totally wrecking the event for everyone.
Hence the huge political storm over licensing; the determination to keep the fence-jumpers out; and the resultant 17-foot fencing. (Not to mention the armed goons patrolling it.)
However, it has been some years since the Posh People’s Pot and Pills Party was really within the reach of the average working-class punter; never mind penniless travellers. Six years ago it was already being described to me as “for plastic-card-carrying Guardian readers only”. Most locals I know can only afford to spend time at the Festival these days by offering services; or setting up sales stalls there.
Yet today, regular participants have been informed that the cost of running a sales stand has just been arbitrarily increased by a staggering 48%. (Work out what your reaction would be if that were applied to, say, the price of petrol.)
And this in a year of recession; and savage cuts in public spending.
Let’s just hope the marketeers have judged their clientèle correctly. Otherwise, this could prove a very costly mistake.