Before festival season…..

Is festival booking season, I was reminded of this today whilst reading the Metro on the tube and spotting an ad for Lovebox, which has improved immeasurably from the shite Groove Armarda on repeat borefest of Clapham Common to the cool East London version which features the super gay Sunday oral aural excitement featuring Horse Meat Disco, Gutter Slut, Azari & iii and the Rapture.

A dancing cartoon cock is still a cock

Only gays can get away with featuring a cartoon cock on the advertisement in a national newspaper. Amazing

In other news, booking my euro adventure this year I am choosing between Sonar, Melt, Garden, Electric Elephant etc etc for my European swaray, I am veering towards a Sonar return but Melt has a ridiculous line up and was amazing last year. Hmmm… maybe both…

UK Festival preview to come…

Andrew Logan – The Boy who never knew the word ‘can’t’

Andrew Logan... never did like to blend

I was not aware of the ‘Alternative Miss World Competition’ until recently and it feels like it should be something I learned about at school, albeit a very bohemian lefty school where cross dressing, outrageous make-up, sexual cheekiness and crazy loud eclectic music are the norm.

The Alternative Miss World Competition first took place in 1972 when maverick artist Andrew Logan put on what is basically the anti-Miss World, taking the elements of the better known version but subverting it so that anyone could enter regardless of age, sex, size, shape, sexuality and talent, it was all about expression and inspiration. Maybe the best part of the contest was that it was not so much about winning but celebrating diversity, creativity and fun, Logan created something amazing and all because he never knew of any reason to not express himself

Every entrant created wonderful home made costumes in the theme of morning, day and evening wear. Each had weird and wonderful names and walked the catwalk to fantastical music and no little amount of camp draggy theatre.

Andrew Logan... still blending

Andrew Logan was both host and hostess with his half and half costumes, usually created by 60’s design legend Zandra Rhodes, each year he would have a variety of co-hosts ranging from Devine to Julian Clary to Richard O’Brien to the latest with Ruby Wax. The likes of Leigh Bowery took part, Andy Warhol was a judge and it was so popular David Bowie could not even get in.

What made it even more interesting was that it was always a family affair with his 4 brothers mucking in to build, manage and even drag up for the show. His sister has been the only contestant to enter every time it has been staged.

Tea anyone?

The tiny screen 2 at the ICA was the perfect setting to watch The British Guide To Showing Off with fellow dress fancy fans, we were even in the company of two people who had attended many of the events throughout the years as contestants. If you missed it then gutted darling!

Every guest gets their own hot man to carry you too

It puts to shame the fancy dress parties I go to… although my 30th is around the corner so maybe not…. watch this sparkly space!

I could carry this off...

It’s my ball and I’m going home

Balls to it

Today it was announced that there could be a fine of £20k and a possible jail sentence for anyone streaking at the London 2012 Olympics, which I think is just plain mean. There was a time when a friendly streak was a common part of a football match and the crowd loved it, regardless of the sex of the streaker, even if they had an ass the size of the goal itself, it was fun. Viewers at home even got to share in the joke, nowadays if you are watching from the comfort of the sofa you do not even get a sneak peek.

The reason for the stern clampdown it would appear, is the power of the sponsor and the aim of protecting the paid for exposure deals, Olympic big-wigs are worried that non-official partners may get a slice of the publicity. Every major sporting event in the world is sponsored to the nth degree, big brands pay millions to be associated with the most prestigious events and for that they expect a level of control that would embarrass Kim Jong-il… well nearly.

The worldwide audiences enjoying events such as the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics and as we are currently seeing in New Zealand for the IRB Rugby World Cup are huge. The opportunities to see through increased TV coverage, newspapers and the influence of the web both through editorial and UGC means that the level awareness can be almost total. One of the first instances of a brand streaking their logo was Vodafone at the in 2002 during a New Zealand fixture, since then we have seen a variety of cheeky ways to beat the ban, at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 the dutch brewer Bavaria bought a load of seats at a World Cup game. They dressed attractive blonde ladies in bright orange branded outfits in the sure and certain knowledge that during a break in play the producer would look to cut to crowd totty for a bit of a rest-bite, the ladies were arrested which was not a positive outcome for any party. Manu Tuilagi, the England Rugby player was hit in the pocket too for wearing a sponsored gum shield.

Brands who can not afford the cost or who choose not to sponsor officially are therefore left to come up with clever, cunning and sometimes underhanded techniques to get their logo in front of our eyes. I have been in numerous brainstorms where we have been trying to find a way to hijack these events, guerilla tactics are nothing new but where do brand managers draw the line? Can they claim ignorance or apologise when the proverbial hits the fan? Are the inevitable fines worth it?

It is clear that we need brands at these sporting events in order to pay for the stadiums, create the infrastructure and to attempt to keep the ticket prices at a level that the average person on the street can afford. A cautionary word is needed to make sure the brand fits and that the event does not become dictated to by the world of brands, that is when you lose the fans and the magic of these great events ids diluted