You’d be forgiven for assuming The Crown at Bishop’s Cannings desire a gothic exodus of drugged and depraved heathens sacrificing virgins into a hellfire den of iniquity on a daily basis, if you believe the pitches of complaints by a sole villager. When, in reality, all that’s really happening is the occasional small gathering with some music, lasting only until a respectable hour.
If the pitchforks at dawn is beggar’s belief, Wiltshire Council’s undemocratic decision to restrict the licence to a mere five events a year is the stuff of inequitable despotism, and they should try applying Mr Spock logic that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Far from me to suggest this one objector has some kind of association with Wiltshire Councillors, but the thought is.
And it is a need, for many, living in an area hardly Ayia Napa. Without a hub of a community what’s left, rows of houses of slouching mindless hermits masticating on a Lidl bag of Cheesy Puffs, relying on ITV broadcasting a new series of Love Island?
The endgame is the village loses a charity fundraising pub, and employer, likely in favour for a Facebook page, for that’s the reality. Tempting me to hold my position in the debate in the key of Harry Enfield’s Angry Frank character, “is that what you want, cos that’s what’ll happen?!” There are enough villages around here where their local pub is badly managed, offers little in the way of community spirit and help, ergo Bishop’s Cannings should be grateful for what the landlords Gary, Jazzy and Chi have achieved. But the key point here is, most of the villagers are.
On Facebook, folk have gathered in support of the Crown upon announcing the cancelation of their next live music date, set for October 4th, leaving villagers disheartened, charities they were fundraising for and the musicians out of pocket, all thanks to one person who couldn’t compromise on a single night’s full beauty sleep; a real player in the spirit of community. I’m not suggesting they were a pioneering acid house DJ in the heady warehouse rave era, but ponder they must’ve, at some point in their life, held the basic desire to have fun, surely?!
The musicians who’ve played there have also rallied in support of the Crown, Liam Woolford on Plan of Action said, “this is an outstanding pub with some of the best landlords we have the pleasure to deal with, Jazzy has said it nail on the head, with hard times ahead for pubs etc we need to support these businesses otherwise they won’t be around much longer, such a shame one individual thinks they can ruin that.”
Tunnel Rat Studios, who organised the music at CrownFest this summer said, “Jazzy Gary and Che have turned the Crown around to be the best music venue in Wiltshire. All the hard work putting on shows over last summer raising much needed funds for local and national charities.”
And Derrick Jepson, frontman of Paradox got virtually primeval with his thoughts, “you have been exemplary in your reserve and calm when there are those around you who seem hellbent on closing you down for trying your level best to make something fantastic that serves the musicians of this world who only want to perform their art form and express themselves in a manner that dates back since the dawn of time.”
When this summer saw CrownFest I’d be so bold as to suggest this was the local event of the year, at least in my top five, hospitable and well-organised, with a variety of volume-controlled music hardly constituting a thrash metal anarchist’s ball. Though it might not be Glastonbury, the weight of whinging is near equal, a wrangle Michael Eavis regularly solved by going ahead regardless and paying the fine, an option not viable when hosting the kind of small affair, the proposed gigs at The Crown hope to do.
All this in a weekend where Wiltshire Police shut down an illegal rave at the nearby village of Great Cheverall, evoking my questioning; if you cannot be allowed to organise a music event through official channels, what choices are to be made by people who simply want entertainment? If the authorities don’t wish for a repeat of the nineties, maybe they should consider a compromise.
In a word it is a shame, a crying shame that one tiny and equally petty groupuscule can kick up such a fuss about such a storm in a teacup. The best thing The Crown can do is, when the occasion allows, hold the best party, like, ever!
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