The first day of the festival is always a bit of an odd one, and this was no exception. Rather than the usual opening lecture, this year featured a full-on debate in the Union Society. Six speakers, and then the chance to walk through one of two doors, the Ayes or the Nays.
And what a debate it was. Four quite serious speakers (including the excellent Phil Riley), one very amusing one (David Quantick) and one who talked complete nonsense that had nothing to do with the debate. Louise Rennison is apparently a successful writer of teen drama, however her argument for why "This house believes that regulation is killing radio" killed her side's respectibility. She started by changing her shoes, before demonstrating an Irish jig and talking about her Yorkshire family. Proof indeed that debates should be regulated… and Phil Riley looked ready to throw in the towel!
The vote was a little confusing – the concept of choosing which door seemed a little too complicated for some, however the result went against the motion, much to the relief of the many contributors from Ofcom. Hurrah for democracy, the quango shouted! And kudos to Paul Robinson who suggested that Leslie Douglas was killing radio, and pretty much asked Phil Riley if he wanted to kill her. She sat in the balcony above, staring down upon him, as he was temporarily lost for words.
The trek then took place to the official Radio Festival Bar… interestingly called the B Bar, but apparently not named after the Blackburn-based radio station. The drinks were flowing, as were the expense accounts. Keep those receipts, people.
The best novelty giveaway so far is 4Radio's invitations to it's drinks party tomorrow night… printed on the label of a 7" record. The older attendees were trying to peel the labels off to see what tunes came free with the invitation, while the younger members stared at this round piece of plastic as if it was from a different planet. Maybe they'll be able to melt them down and reshape them into an ipod.
Tomorrow… bloggers, Danny Baker, Graham Taylor, Jamie Theakston and the garden party. We'll also go through the delegate pack to see which goodies are worth selling, and those worth keeping. The RadioToday.co.uk goodies are the latter, obviously! See you at B Bar.
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