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The excitement about the possibility of another Pevfest being put on in the community might be palpable, but clearly there would be a number of challenges. Some big questions about the event would need to be addressed at the committee planning stage.—Bay Life, 12 August 2019

Dianne Dear, who is the publisher of Bay Life, The Pevensey Bay Journal newspaper and the Pevensey Food and Drink magazine, has today (12 August,) put out a call to the community to see what people think about the possibility of putting on a Pevfest in 2020.

Pevfest was a music event held for five years in Pevensey and Pevensey Bay in public houses in the locality. Local resident Shirley MacKinnon  was instrumental in the organisation of the event each year.

Shirley told Bay Life, “PEVFEST was always for charity and over the years we raised over £20K. The musicians gave their time for nothing and those that are around still in whatever band now would I am sure do that again.

Each year she explained, “We had 50 bands playing in 7 venues from 12-11pm”.

Shirley added a note of caution about the foundation of any committee to look at a ‘scoping exercise’ to put on another Pevfest, but expressed some interest in the ideas being mooted with regard to 2020 ,and the possibility of another event

Talking about linking to the idea being put forward by Dianne Dear, she said, “Very happy to talk to her. The event took a huge amount of time and next time may need licenses and Police agreement with proper security”.

She added, “I suspect I would get drawn in somehow but I am really not sure if I can devote the time, with other things planned for next year already”.

Pevfest became the victim of its own success. In the fifth and final year, thousands of people descended on the Bay, coming from  surrounding towns.

With the final event, organisers produced a handy map and guide to the public houses, outlining which bands would be playing in which public houses and at what times.

On the morning of the last event, Bay Life recorded over 3,000 people browsing the pages of the web platform, looking to the map pages provided for more information,with many of them downloading the guide.

By 10:00am on the morning of the last event, given the numbers of people that were browsing the web platform, there were already possible concerns over safety and security.

We understand that the day went well, but concerns grew in the evening and the Police were involved in a number of incidents. The message that the homegrown event was ‘a victim of its own success’, has stuck.

At the time of the last event, social media was only just beginning to get into full swing.

We are now very firmly in the Age of Social Media. Any promotion of the event might see a tenfold increase in the numbers of people utilising the local web to search out information about another Pevfest.

One of the technical team working with Bay Life said, “up to 20,000, 30,000 people hitting the Bay Life servers would be no problem at all on the day, but if only 25% of those people came to the Bay on the day, then the demands on servers in local cafes and public houses would clearly be significant, that would be another matter”.

He added “we have a real time tool to study what people type into Google that brings them to Bay Life, we still see people typing in the word Pevfest”.

Variations of the name with ‘Aquafest’ and ‘Smugfest’ have appeared as one off events in local public houses, held yearly in the locality.

Peveneey and Pevensey Bay are natural settings for one day events, with a number of attractions drawing people to the small scale seaside setting.

Two Food and Drink events at Peveneey Castle in recent years included a day of music.

The events proved to be successful with upwards of 3,000 people attending the event over each of the weekends. The events were organised by teams of people under instruction from the tourist team at Wealden Council.

The excitement about the possibility of another Pevfest being put on the community might be palpable, but clearly there would be a number of challenges. Some big questions about the event would need to be addressed at the committee planning stage.

In her message to the community, Dianne Dear says “at this stage I just want to sound out local people to see what they think about the possibility of founding a committee as a scoping exercise, to look at the possibility of putting on another Pevfest in 2020.

“I would be interested to see what people think”.