This little light of mine
Gail Brown checks her bank account for evidence of ticket allocation and wonders whether the Olympic torch will be enough to launch a long-term burst of enthusiasm for the London 2012 Games.
So the Olympic torch route has been released; well part of it has. LOCOG has made a promise that the torch will always be within one hour of 95% of the population and that, no matter where you are, this is your, sorry our, chance to be part of bringing light to Britain. Pretty bold statements, tantalizing even, and without doubt they are likely to ring true if, and this is still the big if, you want to be involved. Do you want to be involved? Will people flock to London or indeed the other venues that will be home to the Games. And will you be involved as a bystander who just picks up on the joy of the Olympic vibe as an event whizzes by your house, as a viewer who just sees it all on the TV or will you actually be within the Olympic Park or one of the external performance parks? Do you want to be part of it? Has the UK got the 2012 bug yet?
So what if the ticketing process has been a bit odd (did you get any?). For those folks that put the tickets on their credit cards you might not know until your next bill, which will bring either a ‘yeah’ or an ‘oh dear’. Were you as bold as the guy that bid for £36,000 of tickets and got £11,000, a game in these difficult fiscal times that is not for everyone. How exactly is this possible when there are tons of folks without tickets that would be happy with just a pair to a single event while Mr £11,000 has walked away with quite a large personal supply, a one-man passport to the greatest show on earth. Is that a democratic system working in the best possible way?
What do you do if you have got all the tickets you applied for? Taking the whole of August 2012 off isn't something that many employers will want to allow. I already know of some near professional fisticuffs going on with folks that applied for £6,000 worth of tickets and got £4,000 worth and are now juggling the work diary. For lots of organisations that are there to serve the sport, culture and arts worlds this is likely to be an incredibly busy time so how can you spare the time off. What to do; what a to do.
Gail Brown is chair of advocacy and research for the National Association of Local Government Arts Officers
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The Leisure Review, June 2011
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