There was some discussion on twitter yesterday regarding Summer in the City. I missed the fireworks, but I thought I'd add a word or two in a place not confined by a 140 character limit and at a time slightly out of the heat of the argument, which I hope will allow for a more level headed approach.
The background to the story is this. Davey (aka daveyboyz) entered an online video competition a few weeks back. The prize was £100,000 (I believe only £20,000 was cash, the rest in 'sponsorship'). Davey announced that if he won he would give £2,000 to help cover the cost of the gathering already being organised by myself and a few others. Whether this move was intended for the good of the community and the gathering, or as a way of gathering support for the video, I'll leave for you to decide. What I will say is that he didn't make any contact with any of the organisers before he did this.
I remember seeing a lot of my friends helping out on twitter, asking people to vote for the video for the good of the gathering, but in the end it wasn't enough, Davey didn't win that prize.
However, and I don't know exactly how it works - I think there are competitions every month and Davey's video was re-entered into the next competition, and it won. The prize is significantly smaller, I believe £5,000.
Now here comes the argument (isn't it always right after the money comes in?!) Tom, who's helping to organise, assumed this meant Davey would be sticking by his promise of a £2,000 donation. Davey said it was a different competition with a smaller prize so he would be keeping all of the money himself.
The point of this blog is still to come, and it's not to voice my opinion on what would have been the right thing to do, but I'll let you know that now just for the record.
I don't think it would be fair to ask for 2 out of 5 grand, when it was originally supposed to be 2 from 20 (plus all the sponsorship).
I also don't think it's fair to give nothing when a lot of people were voting for the video under the assumption that a percentage of the winnings would be going to the gathering.
What I would have done is given the same percentage - it was £2,000 out of £20,000, so I would have offered £500 out of the £5,000 winnings - 10%.
If I were in Davey's place, that's what I'd have done. But let me be clear, I'm not asking for £500, or any money. First of all I don't think even I could persuade Tom to accept it now, secondly Davey posted the following tweet earlier:
"if I do give anything to the gathering, I will decide people i give it to - its not going anywhere near you guys, sorry"
So I don't imagine asking for any amount would be fruitful.
But most importantly, and here we've finally got to the point... We don't need it. (Sorry you had to read all of that to get to a four word point. Still it could have been worse, I think Tom's was four letters.)
We've planned this gathering well, spent a lot of time considering options, searching for places and thinking about ways to finance it. Though there's still work to be done, we're in a good place.
I wrote this post last night, and at this point I took a break and watched X-Men 2! When I came back there was another tweet from Davey that read,
"Ok well i dont mind giving some, but i wont be giving directly to you organisers."
I think I've said all I need to as an organiser of the event, namely that planning is going really well and we are happy to continue without any 'help'. So I'll leave this last paragraph for my personal thoughts - this is my blog after all.
I was quite insulted (though not surprised) that Davey made the announcement without consulting any of us. Those last two tweets have magnified that considerably. I don't know where he would plan to send money if not to the organisers, but I feel as though he's undermining the huge number of hours we've spent discussing, researching and planning this gathering. On the plus side, nothing has changed! I'm still really looking forward to August, in a couple off weeks I'll be in London and I'll be looking at the probable venue for the Saturday night. There's also a sample t-shirt on it's way to me, we'll be selling them to help with the funding.
On another note, did you hear... The UK is forecast a long, hot summer. I'm very ready for that!