Ipswich Maritime Festival 2017: The Vikings Are Here!

Discussion in 'Central Ipswich' started by dan5, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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  3. martinc

    martincFounder Member

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    and once again it will no doubt tun its back on the water itself, with stalls lined up along the edge of the quay so you can barely even see any water, not that you can anyway as its full of the many boats of the privileged. I seem to recall many years ago before it was filled up with floating plastic caravans that we had a maritime event where the wet dock was clear and various water sports activities were taking place, now that's a maritime festival..
    So the big questions;
    will anyone clear up all the terrible litter along the approach from Stoke Bridge, they've never done that before,
    will the rough sleeper have to move from his spot under the Wine Rack or will all the visitors have to carefully step over him,
    with it having a "viking" theme how many people will turn up in the historically inaccurate horny helmets,
     
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    Well, I don't even think Ipswich Central and most people at IBC are even that keen on the Waterfront per se, just they think it is a way of getting people into the town (like perhaps in 917AD... since then we have a road network (with faster transport) and rail... probably only get a hundred people arrive in Ipswich by water each year... if that)

    haha, love it... "floating plastic caravans" exactly what they are. :D

    I had to take a step back, I assumed it would be special effects and at least 2 ships "at war"... will it be a costume reenactment instead?

    Even Great Yarmouth have some form of water sport activity going on... nothing planned in Ipswich as far as I can see, a big shame and I quite agree... perhaps they think maritime festival is an marina festival? (i.e. anything at the waterfront)

    I am planning of going down on Friday armed with a camera to see what the place is like (failing that Saturday first thing) as last time litter was appalling. I assume by then they would have moved on this rough sleeper. IBC probably find a B&B for him. Hopefully someone at the council will read this and decide to get someone down to clear up... maybe one of those #itsmystreet clean up operations when actually it isn't their street! :D

    Turn up in Viking "horny helmets"? I think they will do one better and sell the damn things!

    So we know when the fireworks will be... towards the end of the last day... bloody obvious! Why not programme for the re-enactments or music? Or is this for the entire 12 hours on both days?

    The Saints have their Beer&Co booze up event in St Peters Street (I assume)... not sure if they are having a street market. Or perhaps the church. I assume they will be lined up at the waterfront. Such a council thing to do... "look how beautiful the waterfront is" and then stick everything up in the way! In my view, only thing along the quayside should be those ugly fences (for a reason), the ships and any water sport activities. The stalls could be positioned away etc
     
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    Ipswich Maritime Festival 2013...



    Ipswich Maritime Festival 2015...



    Ipswich Events 2013...

     
  6. martinc

    martincFounder Member

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    882
    careful if you go friday eve as town is going to be crippled by closing some rather vital roads so people can have a run around them...
     
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    Yeah, just what you need at the end of the week... What is wrong with running around any of our beautiful parks?
     
  8. martinc

    martincFounder Member

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    882
    we got this to come as well, which seems to have displaced the usual Larking Gowen half marathon which was around Christchurch Park...
    Simplyhealth Great East Run - Half Marathon, Ipswich

    and a cycle race coming up, oh its all go around here.... They may need to fill in a few pot holes to help with all these, there are some real shockers around the town at the moment... but that's another story..
     
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    Nothing short but a deliberate hint that we should all run daily marathons (or half marathons) to and from work... what is it a little over 26 miles and 13 miles respectively? Instead of using your car or public transport it seems... try jogging on the A14 or A12 and see where it leads you...

    Not to mention cycle races... with all the cycle infrastructure there just hasn't been the uptake in cycling. I am sure it increased during/after London 2012, which has included turning London into cycle city.

    It annoyed me when they took away half the pavements from pedestrians for cyclists! Someone really needs to ask the question after adding those ASL, joint pavements, new cycle paths... whether there is actually enough uptake to consider increasing the provision. I don't see the evidence.

    The problem is the council is required to promote and encourage healthier lifestyles... but they own a bus company, every time they force people into cycling (or walking) they lose money... and that means a poorer public service for everyone. Partly due to this, people aren't willing to use public transport instead of their cars. They are effectively encouraging their bus passengers to seek alternatives like getting on their bike.

    In 2011 Ipswich Buses had an £8m turnover (£471k profit), in 2012 this fell to £7.6m turnover (£293k profit)... in 2013 they increased their turnover to £8.8m but made an £63k loss). To put this into perspective in 2003 they had a £10m turnover and half a million pound profit... it is back up to around that amount in turnover now (but not profit). A private sector owned company wouldn't be making this mistake.
     
  10. martinc

    martincFounder Member

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    882
    well, I feel the need to critique the Maritime Festival. The first question was, where was the maritime bit? OK there were a few interesting old barges and a tug etc. moored up but nothing else whatsoever going on on the water.. Its interesting you posted that photo of the musketeers from 2013 because this year there seemed to be almost nothing going on like that at all. There was a choir outside the Customs House, but it was too rammed with people to see them, and there were a few token historical re-enactors at the side of the Jamie Hehir building, and that was it! Nothing else was happening at all, unless we missed it. (don't think we did) Other years there has been much more going on to look at, not least people marching about with guns etc, all stuff to keep people amused and entertained, and give you something to look at other than food.!

    So what we had this year was almost wall to wall food stalls, from one end of the waterfront to the other. I wasn't hungry, and nor were a lot of the other people, many stalls seemed to be doing zero business despite there being a lot of people. So we did have kids rides, and a band on a boat, but I think they forgot to book any actual entertainment!

    If it had been branded as the Waterfront Food and Drink Festival it would have been spot on, I really have never seen so many food stalls in one place ever. We were there mid late afternoon, maybe actual trade picked up a bit later, but by then you would be eating paella, or whatever, that's been sitting in a pan for a good many hours.

    There were craft stalls in the Dance House foyer, but to be perfectly blunt I like to see crafts that take some skill rather than stuff pretty much anyone could knock up at home, or that's simple been bought in in bulk to sell for a profit. Craft stalls do seem to have dumbed down a lot in recent years..

    The space the the Cycle Cafe are in or will be using was open, and that's where they had all the junk that just needed throwing away, (or repurposing). But no sign of a cafe in there though. It a pretty grim space.

    The forecourt to the university building which has in the past had stuff going on of an entertaining nature had a German food/drink stall (I think it was) and a plant stand, and lots of empty space.

    This is a jaundiced view I know, I'm sure people worked long and hard to stage the event, but as two adults walking from end to end who weren't hungry or in need of beer, and least of all any sort of large german sausage, it had almost nothing to offer or attract our attention. In a couple of breaks in the long line of food stalls we did manage to grab a glimpse of the actual water between the boats, and it was nice to see many of them trimmed up with flags, no one else seemed to notice though..

    Its probably a riot of colour, exotic cooking smells, and pissed up people this evening. though. Nice..
     
  11. OP
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    Damn, I was planning to go tomorrow. I am not surprised at all by your observations. I didn't get down to see whether they had done any litter picking... did you notice how clean it was? Or too many people?

    I did suggest they were trying to kill off the maritime festival and this appears from your description to be the case. I just expected them to do this for the next event. With the Upper Orwell Crossings... limited access to the wet dock, you won't even get the few moored ships.

    So absolutely no Viking reenactment? This was the main theme (allegedly) of the event. Also, music is meant to be a large part but you never mentioned this... except the band on a boat. Was it just the choir? Not a small music stage.. and was there any significant fairground rides?

    You are not alone. Some criticism on Facebook from two people...

    When they switched it to have the Waterfront Celebrations... this is exactly what it has become by your description. They are just using the name "maritime festival". Why was no one interested in the food stalls? They have hired in a market run by a consultancy... not local traders, not themed to the event. People wanted to be entertained and wowed... instead, they were deceived into needing to purchase food and beer.

    The dumbed down crafts is really annoying, why go out of your way for that modern basic take on crafts? It is sad we are losing proper crafts and not being able to have it showcased or to try out for them is a sad sign of the times.
     
  12. OP
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    I have uploaded photos published publicly on twitter during yesterdays Ipswich Maritime Festival.

    Of some note:-
    • Legal firm plugging Asbestos and a Biology stall... maritime? appears generic trade stalls
    • Not published but on twitter claims to have been a wedding (using as reception perhaps?)
    • From one specific angle where the fairground rides are and the ship in the background looks quite good
    • The gallery and bric-a-brac sales (not pictured in above photos) ... why?
    • AllAboutIpswich branded stalls... awkward, poor branding... they scrapped that brand (see below, for the I P S W I C H one. Why are they still using the old ones?
    • No red ferrari parked outside but we have a red lotus...
    All About Ipswich

    Old "Brand"

    allaboutipswichlogo.jpg (Excuse IPSWI watermark)

    New Brand
    All_About_Ipswich_Logo1.png

    (Excuse IPSWI watermark)
     
  13. OP
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    dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    Appears to be two main groups... those who enjoy a free event (popular with lots of people) and those who thought they were going to a maritime festival.

    Ipswich Star comments...

    Facebook comments...

     
  14. martinc

    martincFounder Member

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    882
    found it, taken a good 5 minutes, had to use "viking" as a search term...
    wanted to reply to some of your questions as I saw it on Saturday afternoon,

    cleanliness, there was little or no litter along the approach from Stoke Bridge, either it had been cleaned up or coincidence. Of course that area has changed a bit with railway lines removed and new surfacing since last big event I went to, so that may help.

    viking re-enactment. there were as I mentioned a few people sitting off to the side of the James H building, but nothing going in at all, nor any sign of what or where we could go to see any action. Nor was there a ship, I expected to see one, but it looks like they used photos from a previous event to confuse me!

    Bands, the one playing on the boat were having sound problems when we walked past. Not something personally I would bother with anyway. If you want to see a band you make the effort to go see a good one, anything else in my opinion is usually just too loud and intrusive background.. Would have been good to see perhaps some relevant maritime music though, sea shanties being sung or something. We may have stood and listened to that.

    Fairground rides, all for kids apart from one terrifying looking thing sticking up in the air. In fact may have just been a roundabout and the zorb balls in a pond.

    Lack of interest in the food stalls whilst we were there may have been the time of day and the sheer volume of them, must have been dozens and dozens. How much food can people eat! And other than buy it and eat it, what interest can you show in it.?

    For a middle aged couple going along on a Saturday afternoon, who weren't hungry, nor wanting to drink during the day, nor taking kids, there was a paucity of things to do or be entertained by. And that was in my opinion far worse this time than previously where we have watched various re-enactors do stuff outside the customs house, watched various military/maritime displays by people on the quay, we've seen exotic stilt walkers, and more..

    I always look out for a schedule of activities for these events so you know when to be somewhere to see them, so far as i know this time it had no programme of activities at all, unless you know different. What better to be able to sit and watch some sort of entertainment whilst you chew on your german sausage..

    this is harsh criticism, for all the thousands who apparently went and enjoyed it, no doubt a few beers on the Saturday night with mates, and a couple of helpings of something foreign to eat would have been a good crack...
    its all a bit like them having a home and garden festival sort of thing at trinity park as they do sometimes and filling the place with catering and then forgetting to book anything else!

    i usually pop into town to see the fireworks, but actually listed to them in bed this year, so maybe its me just being a miserable bugger...
     
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      dan5

      dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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      Responding to your message with headings! Some of my own too.

      Cleanliness

      Good to hear that the place was much tidier this year. The more derelict or rundown a place is or vacant, the greater chance for vandalism, graffiti, criminal damage, rough sleepers, hot spot for drunks and drug users, litter and arson. We should assume someone had to clean it up before the event as I see quite a bit of litter around the North East bend... not vacant or rundown... the most used part with the university there. Perhaps last time there were just more people littering down there? I cannot help but think there must have been litter-picking volunteers. Either way this is positive.

      Viking Re-enactment

      Yes, the viking ship was from the other year... perhaps expected this year for them to have included due to the theme? I did and think it was reasonable for that or something similar. From photos/videos there was someone walking past people in some form of costume. Some people did dress up.

      I missed the re-enactment if there were?

      Bands

      The generic music bolt on I find is ridicolous. Has absolutely no link to the event at all. It showcases the relevant bands and gives them cred that they have performed to rather large crowds... How many people actually came to hear a band? How many people who were there actually stopped to listen to the bands? Couple of hundred in total? Common sense would have set them up at nearby Alexandra Park or Holywells Park. If this mini-concert event was promoted alongside the maritime festival (i.e. like the Saints Beer & Cider one) people would be able to walk from one to the other rather easily.

      The other year they did have some themed music... not too popular but I think people were easy-going, observed and joined in. Bit of fun, try something new etc. If you have a performer that has charisma and is musically talented people will warm to them even if they wouldn't buy/stream or listen to the music at home.

      Fairground Rides

      haha, a roundabout! :D I could see what they were trying... but the rides were too close to each other, but yeah... the rides, ship masts in the background and a few stalls to the side... not to mention large crowd of people, makes a good photo...

      Food stalls

      It is just a money spinner. I hope they all did a good trade after travelling specifically to the event. Many waited for the Sunday (fireworks finale and probably had other things to do on the Saturday) to attend so they probably did a better trade on the Sunday. I don't think I would ever buy food from one of these events... approx 40% of people stationary, half of people flowing in either direction and 10% of people who feel the urge to cross path of those walking, most without any real reason to do so. Nowhere to sit and eat... and nowhere to stand to eat either...

      Also to note, various businesses exhibited themselves at the event at their own stalls. Why?

      Event as a whole

      I think the event was enjoyable for the vast majority. They came within their segment groups (to drink beer with friends, as a family day out, to listen to the bands, for fireworks etc) there was a little to offer everyone (although as mentioned didn't go far enough to cater for most) and it was just a generic free entry high footfall event. People go down to check it out as there isn't anything to lose where most people would try to make the most of a day out of it. Food stalls, some entertainment etc.

      The only people who would leave disappointed is those who specifically came because of the name... "maritime festival". We shouldn't be under any illusion that more people would have complained if there wasn't fireworks at the end or if the firework display wasn't that good. This is how you please the general public... something generic, put on an event where there is a little to please everyone (or so they think), the event nothing special but it brings in the people (if they charged entry of a few quid - say a charity fundraiser - they would have struggled with numbers) a solid foundation... and then a really good fireworks display at the end... tick!

      If you came in the evening for a few drinks with friends (instead of your local pub), maybe a bite to eat and to watch the fireworks display... you probably did really well out of the event.
       
    • martinc

      martincFounder Member

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      Star article asking for comments now, I think even they seem to acknowledge too much food, bugger all of much else...
       
    • OP
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      dan5

      dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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      Some people are a bit annoyed by it all. (If it isn't found will take a while to work, the following link to the main topic)

      Ipswich Star article on facebook has brought out a lot of home truths.

      Common themes:-
      • Needs to be more maritime - so many people are saying this!
      • Too commercialised (Honda and Lotus! Wouldn't be so bad if it was yachts... lol)
      • Too expensive (beers, food, fairground rides)
      • Lack of crafts
      • Too many food stalls to entertainment ratio
       

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