Faking, foolery and tricking tabloids Documentary-maker Chris Atkins talks about hoaxing
A different type of street music Busking on the streets of Lincoln
April 2011 Year 4, Issue 3
News Is it over £9,000? Tuition fee dilemmas...
Opinion To AV or not AV – why we need an alternative
Culture Pay before they play anything with Pledge Music
Lifestyle A student’s worst nightmare – one month, no booze
Style Steal-me-down: older clothes worth “borrowing”
Sport Hollywood infected with the Lincoln Lakers Updated daily online at www.thelinc.co.uk Follow us on Twitter twitter.com/thelinc Find us on Facebook facebook.com/thelinc Listen to the podcast thelinc.co.uk/podcast
• • •
Disqualified, Appealed, Won the election
Exclusive: The self styled ‘Fresh Prince’ of Lincoln, Andreas Zacharia, was originally disqualified from this year’s SU elections - but still went on to win after a university official decided to keep him in the running. The Linc reveals the decisions that were kept confidential from voters and how this year’s SU elections contained the most serious challenges to the rules in an election yet. Continued on page 5
2 Editor Charlotte Reid
Deputy Editor Jonathan Cresswell News Editor Vacant Sports Editor Bradley King Deputy Sports Editor Calum Fuller Culture Editor Luke Morton Deputy Culture Editor Samantha Viner Style Editor Natalie Littlewood
Charlotte Reid Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Lifestyle Editor Stephanie Bolton Dep. Lifestyle Editor Sophie Card Pictures Editor Anneka James Readers’ Editor Samantha Pidoux Contributors Rebecca Caroline Shane Croucher Maken Eetup Tom Farmery Oli Gibbons Marcell Grant Lauren Grey Emma Greatorex Emma Kay Tim Long Carly Norton Max Pettifer Ryan Peters Jack Teague Scott Wheeler David Wriglesworth
Jonathan Cresswell Deputy Editor email@example.com
With the summer fast approaching it is tempting to forget about university and bask in the sunshine. However, it is a worrying time for higher education as universities have started revealing what they want to charge for their courses, tutors are striking over their pensions and there are no more Banned University of Lincoln adverts. Shame. In this final edition of the year we scrutinise the SU elections, speak to “compulsive liar” and film-maker Chris Atkins and look at
what really worries you the most – why there’s not much at the Engine Shed. Meanwhile, it is time for The Linc to go through a change as most of the writers go into hibernation to complete three years of university work in about a month. Also as the end draws eerily close we must knuckle down before they start charging us £9k for it. But The Linc will be left with a team who are accustomed to the paper and I am sure will enjoy the responsibility of being in
charge of a publication and the sleepless nights before a print edition. It will be an exciting time as most of the established team leave and I hope the fresh staff will have new plans, ideas and go in any direction they want. The new editor is, unsurprisingly, the current deputy editor, Jonathan Cresswell. After beginning as a staff reporter in his first year, and as a second year his next job title at The Linc was Assistant Deputy Editor. That giant promotion
proves that it was always clear that he was a keen and valuable part of the team. He is also responsible for a number of our recent technological developments – coincidentally for those of you asking The Linc’s iPhone App should be coming soon. So as my two years of The Linc come to an end I just have one small plea: if you are interested in writing and want to get your money’s worth from the university then start writing for us.
Whoops. I'm not particularly sure how this happened. Normally the person who writes in this box is the one telling me things like "No, you can't write that,” and “Is it really appropriate to compare playing Farmville with smoking-induced cancer?" But now the job of exercising restraint comes to me, as I become the fifth editor and gain the responsibility of taking The Linc in to its fifth year. It's quite young for a publication, but
hopefully you see it as a reliable source of the important news, culture, lifestyle, style and sport that matter to you. But don’t consider me personally a reliable source on all that, as I still think that corduroy is cool. And with many of the frankly brilliant team who I’ve worked with over the last year move on to discover what a “real world” is, there’s many free spaces on the team for anyone who wants to be part of it. Whether you fancy writ-
ing, photography, advertising or even the technical side of things (and trust me, there's more than just posting things to the internet) then please get in touch – just email me. I've had absolutely the most fun while working on The Linc. It’s a great bit of experience and I've met some absolutely fantastic people though it. Don’t be worried about getting involved. I started by writing about video games once a week and I'm about to be-
come the one in charge. Maybe that's something to make you slightly worried, but either way, the work pays off. And best of all, there’s the satisfaction that when you print that article finding where the university has got it wrong – it’s their money you're spending to do it. So I hope you enjoy this issue of The Linc – and if you do, stick with us on the website for daily updates and we'll see you on paper again in September.
The Linc on your phone
News in Brief Familiar sight? MHT, Architecture and Business and Law buildings all had door issues recently.
Special Thanks Professor Richard Keeble Professor John Tulloch Barry Turner Richard Orange The Linc was printed by Mortons Print Limited, Hornastle, Lincolnshire www.mortonsprint.com The views and opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily the views of the University of Lincoln, the University of Lincoln Students' Union or the Lincoln School of Journalism. All rights in the design, text, graphics and other material in this paper and the selection or arrangement thereof is copyright of The Linc or other third party, unless otherwise stated. Any unauthorised use of materials is prohibited, if you require permission please contact firstname.lastname@example.org We appreciate when readers or people quoted in articles point out any errors of fact or emphasis, and we will investigate all cases. These should be sent via email to email@example.com. The Linc tries to abide to the NUJ’s code of conduct and the PCC.
The delays before working doors The University of Lincoln has passed on the blame about ongoing problems with door access to various university buildings. The newly-opened Business and Law building will have its current disabled entrance upgraded to have power assisted doors after the Disabled Students Group called for better access – but it won’t happen until the summer. The university said that delays were due to “road improvement works due to be undertaken by an external third party” and it was “beyond the university’s control”. In March, it took a month for the doors for the MHT building to be fixed as the university waited for new parts to be delivered. Death at Brayford Court student accommodation A 37-year-old man was found dead at the Brayford Court student accommodation on Carholme Road. Police were called at 5pm on Tuesday, March 15th and there were a number of police cars and ambulances present at the residential site. There were no suspicious circumstances and the man was not a University of Lincoln student.
Raising money with a red nose ride The Glasshouse in Lincoln raised over £600 for Red Nose Day after cycling the distance of 177 miles as part of a staff challenge. Twelve of The Glasshouse staff took part in the challenge, cycling the distance from Lincoln to London. The Glasshouse company chose to support Comic Relief as their main charity this year, as Red Nose Day is a “large national event that brings many companies together and changes countless live within the UK and Africa” said the Glasshouse’s Laura Goodliffe. Leaftet littering discussed at Student Council The issue of the number of leaflets flooding the campus during the SU elections was raised at Student Council in March. Over 14,000 were printed and candidates commented they hadn’t put them all into use because they didn’t want to “wallpaper” the atrium. Dan Derricott, vice-president for academic affairs said that feedback would be generated after the elections on what worked and what was unsuccessful. Students were also informed that the leaflets used were all recycled afterwards.
You can now get the latest updates from The Linc straight to your phone with our new mobile app. Android Right now the app is supported on most phones running the Android operating system. You’ll be able to get the new stories delivered to your mobile with automatic updates and share stories on Twitter and Facebook from within the app. To download the app, just search for “The Linc” on the Android Market or scan this QR code with a barcode scanner app or using Google Goggles.
iPhone The Linc app is almost here on iPhone - check our website for updates over the next few weeks. You’ll be able to watch our videos and listen to our weekly podcast as broadcast on Siren 107.3FM. For more details, visit www.thelinc.co.uk/mobileapps
News RAG week raises £1,900 for charity by Emma Greatorex The university’s Raise and Give (RAG) society held their annual fundraising week recently and raised approximately £1,900. The week, which ran from March 20th to March 27th, included a range of events. There was RAG in a box, which involved members of the society spending 12 hours outside the media building in cardboard boxes, a dodgeball tournament and a rubber duck race down the Brayford. Jessie Bode, organiser of RAG week, was happy about the week’s success: "I'm really pleased about how much we've managed to raise." All events were welcomed by students from across the university, according to Bode. She said: "Students who weren't part of RAG supported the week, we sold 89 ducks for the duck race and we had over 100 people participate in the dodgeball tournament." Some members of the team also undertook a charity sky dive, on March 20th, at Hibaldstow Airfield in Brigg, North Lincolnshire. Each skydiver was raising money for their individually chosen charities. The money raised will be going towards their chosen charities The RNLI, Multiple Sclorsis Society and Leukemia and Lymphoma research by holding a number of events across campus. Phil Krstic, community action and fundraising officer for the Students’ Union also commented about the efforts made by RAG: "I'm very proud of everyone’s involvement. It's a unique event and I'm very proud of the whole of RAG." After the success of the event there are many plans for the future of RAG to raise more money for more charities who need people’s support. In light of the recent devastation in Japan the group plan to raise money to help the restoration of the country, as well as events for the upcoming World Aids Day.
RAG spend 12 hours in boxes outside the MHT building. Photo: Jessica Bode
The charity dodgeball teams. Photo: Jessica Bode
Rubber ducks floating down the Brayford in the duck race. Photo: Jessica Bode
For more information about RAG’s upcoming events visit their Facebook page by searching "Lincoln RAG".
The end of students as consumers by Marcell Grant An attempt to “restate the meaning and purpose of higher education”, or a clever way to rebrand the university experience to accommodate for upcoming budget cuts? The university’s new Student as Producer scheme intends to bridge the gap between the two core processes of a university – teaching and research. Some may argue, however, that the two should remain mutually exclusive and that research is what the university owes students as consumers. The Student as Producer festival, which took place on March 31st, displayed several examples of how students can, and already do, engage directly with their own education. It included events such as “become a scientist
day” and culminated in a keynote address from Monica McLean entitled “Pedagogy and the University”. McLean said that the Student as Producer scheme could help to conciliate the difference between lecturers’ academic principles and the students’ need to discover how learning relates to their own lives. She added “being intellectual should be seen as ordinary”, saying that Student as Producer could help students to perform better in life after university, and improve employability. The Higher Education Academy awarded the scheme £200,000 for the period 2010-13, during which it will be slowly phased into academic life at the University of Lincoln, which has itself contributed roughly £140k. The university will join several other insti-
tutions that are implementing similar schemes including Warwick, Reading, Sheffield, Maastricht and others. The project director is the university’s dean of teaching and learning Professor Mike Neary, he commented on the overall project and its aims saying: “The idea is that students become more of a part of the academic project at the university… we’re thinking about ways in which we can get students more involved in the design and delivery of their own learning.” He discussed how much of an effect the project will have on everyday academic life: “It’s not meant to be a huge shift, there’s already a lot of this going at the university... what we are going to do is make this activity mainstream, so students learn by doing and by discovery.”
When discussing the quality of existing degrees in the climate of budget cuts he said: “I can’t speak for what all students want, I know from research that it’s [Student as Producer] a very good way of helping students to learn… we do think students are consumers, they pay money for the experience, but we also think students are much more than that. “Universities are not schools, universities are not about telling people things, they are about producing knowledge… so when the students leave university they haven’t just got a degree but they are able to show employers the work they have produced. “We know what wonderful places universities are, and when we can get that relationship between teaching and research right, and then we can really make things happen.”
Lighthouse is one of several accommodation providers that students have had issues with. Photo: Jonathan Cresswell
Unhappy with Lighthouse? Sorry, uni says there’s “no proven complaints” by Carly Norton Students are often quick to complain about the standard of accomodation in the city, but with so many complaints, who is responsible for poor quality places still being recommended? The University of Lincoln is part of the Lincoln City Student Accommodation Accreditation Scheme, which aims to provide students in Lincoln with accommodation that meets standards set out in its code of practice. The scheme involves numerous partners, including the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and Lincolnshire Police Authority. The code of practice for the scheme states that “the main aim of the code of practice is to
provide safe, clean and well-managed accommodation for students living in Lincoln”. Student accommodation companies such as Club Easy and Lighthouse are part of the scheme too. It is down to the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste to decide if a housing company provides adequate accommodation to be accredited in the scheme. Paul Ranshaw, the Housing Standards Officer at City of Lincoln council said that “the scheme application process is administered by the two universities”. The University of Lincoln’s accommodation services webpage states that “the scheme is led by Lincoln City Council” with a number of partner bodies contributing. Michael Ball, the residential services manager at the University of Lincoln, said that the accommodation ac-
creditation scheme was “a partnership scheme and it would not be seen as any one organisation 'leading' the scheme”. Ball also said that the the university tries to ensure that “compliance is achieved from registered landlords and that new initiatives which involve compliance or good practice are passed down to the sector”. Last year, the University of Lincoln’s Students Union (SU) ran an accommodation survey on student housing, including both university owned accommodation and housing accredited by the scheme. The survey was entirely based on student opinion, and gave accommodation providers a score out of four for various areas of service, including value for money and problem resolution. In the SU opinion survey, Lighthouse fared
particularly poorly, receiving only one star overall. Michael Ball said that “no proven complaints have been received by the Accreditation Scheme regarding this company”. Kayleigh Taylor, welfare and diversity officer for the SU, said that the student accommodation accreditation scheme has a “minimum set of standards [centred] largely around safety and doesn't look at service or value for money issues”. Taylor, who has been re-elected for the position of vice-president welfare and diversity, stated in her manifesto that she intends to set up an SU–run accommodation service. She said: “The union services are still working on various aspects of this [SU led accommodation scheme] with partners and working up some feasibility plans, however, this will be a long term project.”
When we’ll know if Lincoln wants you to pay £9k by Charlotte Reid As the guessing game for what universities will be charging for tuition fees in 2012 continues it is interesting to speculate what the University of Lincoln will be charging. So far, there has been no indication of figures for Lincoln or when they will announce it. However, Bishop Grosseteste, the other university in Lincoln, revealed on March 23rd that they will charge £7,500 with Principal Muriel Robinson saying: "We have decided to play this straight with students and charge them the real cost to us of providing their courses”. Originally, when the proposals to raise tuition fees were put through parliament in late 2010 it was expected that the average cost of tuition fees would be £6,000 a year or less.
Whereas, Dan Derricott, the current vice-president academic affairs at Lincoln Students’ Union, has said previously that the University of Lincoln needs to charge £7,500 to break even. However, as some of the worst universities in the country or ones that are not recognisable names plan to charge from £7,500 to £9,000, despite David Cameron saying at the time that universities would only be able to charge the full amount in “exceptional circumstances”. The Independent revealed in early April that every university in England and Wales “has expressed an interest in charging more” than £6,000 with at least 60 universities intending to charge £9,000. Some of the big chargers so far have been obvious from the start like Oxford and Cambridge, but the Uni-
versity of Leeds and Loughborough University were not expected to charge £9,000, but intend to. The Times Higher Education wrote in March that universities are opting for higher fees to make up for education cuts and that not even the threat of the government withdrawing funding if they set fees too high will stop them as “senior sector figures have warned that universities are calculating their fee levels to make up for possible punitive withdrawals of funding in the future, rendering the pressure from the government counterproductive.” While universities had until March 31st to indicate privately to the government what they intend to charge, by April 19th all universities will have to publically announce what they shall be charging. This means the guessing game shall finally be over soon.
Fees announed so far.. £9,000 Aston University, University of Bath, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, Durham University, University of Exeter, University of Essex, Imperial College London, Lancaster Univesity, University of Leeds, Liverpool John Moores, Loughborough University, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Reading, Royal Agricultural College, University of Surrey, University of Sussex, University College London, University of Warwick
£8,500 Leeds Metropolitan University £8,000 St Mary’s University College, University Campus Suffolk £7,500 Bishop Grosseteste Lincoln Variable Coventry University (between £7,500 and £9,000) London Metropolitan University (between £6,000 and £7,000)
SU Elections: the complaints and controversy by Charlotte Reid and Jonathan Cresswell This year’s elections were the first time in the University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union history that a count was suspended and a complaint was appealed against. The count for the role of vice-president activities was suspended on March 21st, the day of the election but no reason was given as to why. The complaint made that was eventually appealed against, but it was never revealed why the count was suspended. In the campaigning week period The Linc highlighted that Andreas Zacharia, the current vice-president of activities, had made use of union resources to encourage people to vote for him. People who were friends with the ULSU Activitiez account received a request to join the group “Fresh – Andreas – vote”. Regulation 8(v) of the Students’ Union rules on how to run the elections restricts the use of unauthorised publicity materials which are then “detailed in the information pack and at the candidate’s briefing”, which lists SU resources as one of those banned. The Linc also highlighted that two of the candidates, Ary Sharif, who went on to win the election for president as well as Zacharia, received the official backing from a sports and societies club. The Lincoln Lakers, the basketball team, gave Sharif and Zacharias their support whilst the Lincoln Jets, the cheerleading team, gave their support to Zacharia. This was done through their Facebook group pages, by changing the profile pictures and adopted statuses that gave them their support. Mark Crowhurst, the general manager of the Students’ Union, says that if an issue with how the regulations have been implemented or if they have been broken then a formal complaint must be made in writing to the returning officer. However, even if the SU knew a candidate has broken a rule, a formal complaint has to be made for any action to be taken, as Crowhurst explains: “If a rule was broken but no complaint received there is therefore no complaint so therefore no ruling could be made.” Once the complaint had been highlighted with the returning officer, Al Powell, the mes-
sages and the pictures were removed from Facebook as it was in breach of regulation 10 (ii) which says that no candidate should have the official backing of any sports of societies. Since then it has come to light that as well as The Linc’s complaint one candidate running for the position also complained about Zacharia’s campaigning. The returning officer believed Zacharia should be disqualified under the regulation 8(v) because of his use of union materials. However, the complainant had written down the regulation 10(ii) on the complaint form. When this was taken to an appeal it was then overturned because of the listed regulation on March 24th. The complainant attempted to make a further complaint where he would quote the right regulation but was told he could not and the count went ahead. Paul Walsh, the clerk to the Board of Governors, is the person with the final say in an appeal against the decision of the returning officer. Walsh explains his small role in the SU elections: “The returning officer is empowered to adjudicate complaints about the conduct of the elections and if the complainants are not satisfied with the adjudication of the returning officer they can complain to me.” He said that a lot of the job was dealing with interpretation, and the appeals process was a case of “is the complainant’s interpretation of what the regulation calls for correct”. One of the appeals that were made to Walsh came down to interpretation and he commented: “The complainant’s interpretation of the regulations was different from the returning officer’s and I judged that the returning officer was correct and that he had the power to make that interpretation.” Nothing was said about the process when the count was suspended because it “may have been detrimental to the process itself,” says Crowhurst. The SU has still not officially announced anything regarding Zacharia’s previous suspension. Eventually, the count for vice-president activities went ahead on March 27th with all three candidates, Andreas Zacharia, John Conway and Michael Stewart, all still in the running for the position. Zacharia won with 946 votes, Conway with 399 votes and Michael Stewart with 132 votes, meaning Andreas continues with his role as a full-time officer in the Students’ Union.
VP Activities - Andreas Zacharia Photo: Sam Cox
President - Ary Sharif Photo: Leila Fitt
VP Academic Affairs - Jennine Fox Photo: Leila Fitt
VP Welfare Kayleigh Taylor Photo: Leila Fitt
All change at the top with new SU team by Marcell Grant Although the winner of activities was not announced on the night every other position managed to avoid being steeped in controversy and were allocated as per usual. The number of students voting was 1,921, which was a considerably higher turnout than in previous years and exceeded the SU’s aim of achieving 15% student turnout. The newly created part-time positions of non-portfolio officers went to two candidates; Kelly Nicholls and Gemma Cobby. The role of liberation officer went to Maryim Saghir who had no opposition, while Samuel Whewall will become the new RAG officer. Jennine Fox unexpectedly won vice-president academic affairs after five stages of elimination under the single-transferrable-vote system, which potentially served to her benefit.
When asked about the elections being akin to a popularity contest, she said: “Hopefully they liked my manifesto in terms of representation…some people do say it’s a popularity contest, but ours went to the fifth round and was very close.” Fox’s attitude towards lecturers striking may foreshadow the involvement she has with them during her tenure: “Lecturers and students should be building their own relationships, I can understand why the lecturers are on strike…but I don’t really agree with it.” Her attitude towards cuts in university funding will also be important in the next year: “These cuts aren’t going to make a massive effect…what I plan to do is listen to what the students want.” Kayleigh Taylor was re-elected as vice-president welfare with roughly a thousand votes. When asked about her lack of competition she said: “My worst fear was going up against
RON [re-open nominations]”. One of her main manifesto points is to improve representation for students who are parents, however, it appears she knows very little about the demographics of student parents, and hasn’t actually conducted any official surveys into what they want, relying instead on hearsay. “We need to know how many we have…because we don’t…we’re not basing it on any concrete feedback, but we have heard that some student parents feel that lecturers aren’t available after hours for them,” she said. Ary Sharif managed to trump the current vice-president academic affairs Dan Derricott to presidental position with a difference of 702 votes. He quipped that the week of campaigning was like “living in a bubble”. Sharif has worked as a photographer in local night clubs and knows a large percentage of the student body, but commenting on the
“popularity contest” claim said: “I have more experience than most candidates, I’ve been here over the past four years… If you think it’s a popularity contest, fair enough but I feel I know what needs working on.” His manifesto states that he wants to focus on events, workshops, networking, and “not necessarily social events”. This could prove difficult as sports and societies are a huge part of the Students’ Union experience, and are often underfunded. Sharif, however, claims that he will not “shift focus”. Another key manifesto point of Sharif’s is to improve the library; he voiced his disapproval of the cutting of the E-brary system, and said that more physical copies should be available too. When the new officers take their roles in the summer, it looks as though it will be a very different year as the presidency of Chris Charnley comes to an end.
Chris Atkins, director of the film ‘Starsuckers’, puts the media to the test with fake stories. Photo: Borderlines Film Festival
The man who fooled the media by Shane Croucher Chris Atkins is a liar – a very good one – and the media knows this only too well. Over the past few years the BAFTA-nominated documentary-maker has made a name for himself fooling the British media into covering a range of false stories. Most recently he fooled the Daily Mail, BBC News, and others into believing that the Prime Minister's new cat, Larry, was stolen from his aunt. His work aims to expose the amount of outright nonsense that appears in the media. Journalists, desperate to fill space in news print or flesh out a television bulletin, will often publish unverified information. In his 2009 documentary “Starsuckers”, Atkins fooled assorted tabloids into publishing made-up stories about celebrities. One of these included Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding having a book collection on quantum physics and a telescope. “They don’t care. That's the most depressing thing. You do something like ‘Starsuckers’ that shows this stuff ... and they literally do not care and keep on going. They're oblivious to it,” Atkins says. “The only time they think ‘hang on, we’re printing all this shit that isn't true’ is if people stop buying their papers. Perversely, the opposite is the case. The truth is often quite dull. So lies sell better. The public are more receptive to lies than they are to the truth, because the truth's boring.” "Starsuckers" also exposed journalists allegedly willing to use illegal methods of obtaining information – like taking celebrities’ medical records. As well as Max Clifford, the notorious publicist, talking candidly about all of the information he manages to keep out of the media on behalf
of his clients. The backlash came thick and fast: “Lots of people tried to sue us. The News of the World, Max Clifford, and Bob Geldof were all queueing up at one point to try and take us to court if we said the things that we were going to say about them.” “We said ‘We'll see you in court’. Then we screened the film, and we were right. But that did take up a lot of time and energy, and unfortunately, money fighting off these various legal challenges. The News of the World's one in particular was extremely vicious,” Atkins says. “But similarly [we had] lots of plaudits lots of pats on the back, lots of people coming up to [us] saying thank you for doing this, thanks for doing the thing television documentaries weren't doing.” He said: “Now people are banging on about phone hacking like it's new news. Actually, phone hacking is five years old, and ‘Panorama’ has just got around to doing a documentary on it. That's what I call being current affairs on the BBC. “At the time, we were the only people really saying ‘Come on, our tabloid press are out of control. They’re printing things that aren't true and they’re breaking the law’.” He claims no representatives of the tabloids will defend themselves publicly against him: “They've just refused to debate with me, which I sort of think speaks volumes.” His earlier documentary “Taking Liberties” (2007) was about the erosion of civil liberties under Tony Blair’s New Labour government, which flirted with authoritarianism. He gained a BAFTA nomination for the film. “Starsuckers” also received widespread acclaim, though not in the tabloids of course.
Both films were made for the big screen and shown in cinemas before making it onto television. They're made in the big American style of documentary associated with the likes of Michael Moore. The reason Atkins has adopted this style – he’s seemingly the only British documentary maker to have done so – is because he “can't stand most British documentaries”. Atkins says: “All my favourite documentaries are American. When I was seeing things like Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, Werner Herzog – even things like ‘Murderball’. There were amazing polemical docs and great story-based docs. ‘Spellbound’, ‘Catching the Friedmans’ – all this stuff was coming out of America. I'm a big ciné buff and I was watching all of these docs going ‘This is what I want to be doing’. These things have a point, rather than our films that didn't seem to have much of a point.” He lays the blame at the top-down approach of the TV sector, which most British documentaries are made for, as they stamp out original and creative work. “You go in, say ‘I've got a great idea. It's about the erosion of civil liberties’ and they go ‘Ah, we've had a civil liberties season, we've had a Blair season, why don't you do something about food?’ ... If you have an Oscar-winning idea and you go to a TV commissioner they'll tell you it's crap and say ‘Why don't you make something about food?’ … because that's what they've decided in a planning meeting they need to have a season on. “That's why our documentaries on television – and as a whole a lot of our television – is just unwatchable in Great Britain, because it's made by top-down decisions from advertisers, not by people with a creative bone in their body.”
Atkin’s best bluffs 1. Urban fox-hunting In summer 2010, Atkins made a film pretending to document a fictional sport called “Urban Foxhunting”, which appeared to show a group of people in London killing foxes at night for fun. The story caused uproar and featured across the press. It sought to satirise the media’s coverage and demonisation of foxes after a fox attack on a child.
2. Larry the cat A Facebook group was created telling the story of “Tim Sutcliffe”, who claimed the new Downing Street cat Larry belonged to his aunt Margaret. But this was, in fact, cooked up by Atkins. The story then appeared in the Daily Mail and on BBC Norfolk.
3. Amy Winehouse’s bonfire barnet This is the story that Atkins says he will be remembered for “as the guy who made up Amy Winehouse's hair being on fire". It began when his team planted the story in the Mirror about Winehouse’s beehive catching fire. A few days later the story reappeared in other national newspapers, gossip columns and eventually the Times of India.
4. Sarah Harding and MENSA The Girls Aloud star was “revealed” as a secret astronomer who read books about quantum physics and even owned a telescope. But it came to light that the singer did not have a skylight to do a spot of star gazing and the story was just another catch for the documentary.
It’s time to vote for a better vote by Scott Wheeler Almost a year after Britons went to the polls it’s almost time to vote again as May 5th marks one of the biggest days in recent British history. The referendum on whether we want to ditch Britain’s FirstPast-the-Post (FPTP) in preference for Alternative Vote (AV) will take place. So what is the AV? AV is where you rank candidates in order of preference. If a candidate fails to win 50%+ one of the vote the first time around, we then go to the second preferences. The candidate with the least amount of votes is knocked out and their voters’ second preferences are then given. This process then continues until a candidate achieves the necessary percentage of the vote. This therefore results in second and third preferences being crucial in many elections. So why change the “winner takes all” system? Simply, because it is not representative of the voters. In Lincoln, Tory MP Karl McCartney got elected with 37% of the vote. This isn’t unusual. In two-thirds of constituencies across the country, MPs are elected with less than 50% of the vote. Other examples include Norwich and Lib Dem MP Simon Wright who got elected with 29% of the vote. Moreover, these cases are becoming increasingly common because, like it or not, Britain is no longer a two party system. In 1945, 98% of the country voted either Labour or Conservative. Now, that figure is 65%. However, even that figure is artificial. It is clear the majority of the country is not interested in two party politics. In the
The Lincoln “Yes to AV” campaign kicks off at Lincoln Cathedral. Photo: Marcell Grant
European elections of 2009, where proportional representation is used, the combined Labour and Tory vote was just 45%. So why would AV change this? After all, it is not proportional representation (PR). But we shouldn’t let good become the enemy of perfect. But the good thing about AV is that it should be supported by both supporters and opponents of PR. AV will also encourage MPs to work
harder for your vote. Under FPTP voters are coerced into tactically voting – that is voting with your head and not your heart. Under AV, you will be able to vote with both, without wasting your vote. But some people have argued that AV will mean some get multiple votes but to quote IPSOS Mori: “This system does not involve some people getting more votes than others. Every voter gets just one vote,
which is counted several times. Your second preference is not a second vote, it is an instruction about how you want your (only) vote to be used if it would to be wasted because your first choice candidate can’t win.” It might be dismissed as a “Lib Dem thing” but AV is supported by Labour leader Ed Miliband and much of his shadow cabinet. UKIP, the Green Party, and the English Democrats also support it. David
Cameron might not be a fan, however, the BBC recently reported that some Conservative MPs were “relaxed” with the alternative vote. Don’t fear AV. It’s not an inferior system or as confusing as some claim. It will make MPs work harder for your vote, reduce tactical voting and the adversarial nature of politics. If you’re not happy with politics, take the chance to make a change.
Compare the BA (Hons) Marketing by Maken Eetup Across the country, universities are turning in to a game of “Play Your Cards Right” as rising fees are announced with cries of “Shall we go higher? HIGHER!” Sadly, when most places are going to charge £9,000 it’s not very fun game to play as you already know the answer. It’s essentially an inevitability that people will be choosing based on cost – so it’s only so long before the GoCompare man vomits on the screen with another advert singing: “Go Compare, Go Compare! It’s just loony, going to uni, with the costs there...” There are a few people who may find comfort in a cost-based system of choice. In particular the members of the Conservative party, who consider class a form of natural selection. The advertising of fees is actually an improvement at some institutions like Oxford and Cambridge. One parent, Reynolds Huntington-Smyth told me: “It’s much easier than
bribing now they make the amount clear. Normally you’re coincidentally donating well over £9,000 and ending up with a place!” There’ll be difficulties attracting students to Lincoln with a high cost, as it’s a university where the entrance requirements have previously been just checking that your IQ is higher than your number of fingers. It’s why so few people from Norwich apply here. But if they do set fees higher than eight grand the university is getting ready to promote the city as “the best second rate education you’ll ever get”. Hopefully they won’t quote further from “The Inbetweeners” with how they describe the city. Sources within the university have hinted that they will either charge £9k or 90p depending on whether they can figure out how to work Microsoft Excel. The rise in fees is necessary for universities to continue as like anything else in the country that has a social benefit, most of the funding
has been taken away – so it’s likely there’ll still be cuts elsewhere. The university has claimed that it has many options open for funding. However, applying to Wonga.com for some quick cash might not be the best backup. Various cost saving measures have already been tested including a recent experiment where no money was spent on maintenance, leaving doors around the university broken and closed. The idea was that if people couldn’t go to lectures, there would be no need wasting money on secondary services like “teaching” – freeing up the budget to be spent on more staff parties. After discussions with consultancy firm Ocean Finance, another option is to consolidate all of the existing lectures in to one affordable monthly lecture. “Most of the time people don’t bother going to lectures anyway,” explained university spokesperson Lotta Cutts, “so if we combine
each of the lectures of about seven or eight people we’d only need one of the three theatres.” “We could probably rent the other two to some business enterprise that nobody understands. A bit like the EMMTEC building,” she added, “nobody knows what that’s for anyway. Who cares? We’ve paid for it now.” The University of Lincoln has already announced that it will shut the Hull campus due to the funding cuts as it would cost two million pound to bring it up to the standards of the Brayford campus – though the most shocking bit was that they think the Brayford campus has “standards”. But if they’re closing campuses due to cost, don’t be surprised when they realise they spend the most money and the Brayford campus closes and we’ll all have to move to Riseholme to learn equine sciences. So let’s have a practice and join me in singing... “I love horses, best of all the animals, I love horses, they’re my friends...”
No alcohol? No problem. by Stephanie Bolton ‘Sober’ and ‘student’ are two words that rarely go together. However, third year student Carli Smith spent March alcohol-free in aid of Lincolnshire Police’s Operation Nova. The initiative started in 2009 with three main aims to tackle domestic abuse, alcohol related anti-social behaviour and violence in the night-time economy. Carli got involved in the campaign by chance as a friend was telling her about the campaign needing a slogan “so being a Marketing and PR student I jumped at the chance,” she said. After coming up with the “sober student” slogan, Carli is not only the face of the campaign but is in charge of the social media surrounding it, including the Facebook page, Twitter account and writing the blog. She updated the Operation Nova blog after every (sober) night out, with guest posts from friends who joined in having an alcohol-free night out. Before her challenge began, Carli experienced a Friday night in Lincoln with Lincolnshire Police as part of the “Safe in the City” programme to see the effects of alcohol abuse first hand: “I was actually in the prison van itself, so I was responsible for taking people who had been arrested to and from the streets and putting them into the cells for the night,” she says. “There was a young lady dressed in not very many clothes and her boyfriend had been handcuffed on what was quite a serious allegation, and she was linking arms with him and just joyfully eating pizza whilst her boyfriend was arrested.” Before she began her alcohol-free month, Carli hoped that it would make students realise that you don’t need alcohol to have a good night out: “I think I’m trying to make the point [that] people put themselves at risk when they’ve had too much to drink and probably do things, say things and just act like general idiots when they have had too much to drink, so hopefully it will make me more aware as well.” "I was slightly apprehensive [at the start]. I don't think it was the fact I couldn't drink, but more the freedom of being able to do it was taken away. I had my last 'drinking' night out on Saturday with friends and family and have to admit I don't think I will miss how I felt on Sunday morning,” she says.
Fancy swapping a pint of beer for a pint of water? Carly Smith spent a month alcohol-free for Lincolnshire Police. Photo: Adrian Sampson.
Carli’s Diary - Final day, March 19th http://operationnova.blogspot.com/ Pre-drinks were relatively easy, I sat sipping Lucozade from a cup and despite the pile of peer pressure that I was subjected to – “We won't tell anyone” “No-one will see” – I didn't give in! Was I tempted? Yes! Of course I was, the girls were giggling and dancing around in the lounge and kitchen and I was plonked on a chair. I didn't take much persuading into the dancing though and I was strangely more steady on my feet than I would have been had I had a drink. I certainly felt the cold more than I would have if I’d been drinking
and kept yawning - not something that would happen if I had a double vodka and red bull! However, I broke through the tiredness and got to the Engine Shed. One of the perks of not drinking meant I didn't have to queue for a drink and when I fancied a drink of water I pushed through and asked someone to order one for me – due to it being free they didn't mind and said it was their “good deed for the day”. But it’s the end of the challenge, one whole month without alcohol… When embarking on this adventure I was extremely apprehensive, nervous I wouldn’t fit in with friends and scared that I wouldn’t enjoy nights out as much, but to be honest the only
effects have been positive. I can hear my liver thanking me for giving it a break, my stock of paracetamols is at an all time high as I have not had to use any and my bank balance has drastically improved! Do I think I will stay alcohol free? In a word: no. It has been an interesting month and hopefully I will have dispelled the myth that you have to be drunk to have a good night out…I certainly have proved it to myself. Before the challenge I used to shudder with dread at the prospect of going out without drinking but now I don’t think I would give it a second thought.
Would you become a sperm donor? by Max Pettifer Sperm donating was once a huge part of the student lifestyle. Anyone between the ages of 18-40 could donate. Depending on the male and circumstance, one donation would see the “goods turn to gold” as they earned around a £15 payout. With any tight student budget, this would allow a half decent round at the bar and a bucket load of tinned beans! Payments, however, have now
been abolished for sperm donating as it was deemed unethical and was banned by the government, although any expenses up to £250 accumulated in the process of the donation can be reimbursed. But should the cash really be the main incentive to do such a noble job? "No it shouldn’t, because no amount of money should put a price on life," says student Ryan James. According to the National Gamete Trust (NGT), there’s a current shortage of donors and people are
waiting around a year on average for a sufficient donor: “Only 384 people are donating and 500 are needed.” Although a child born through sperm donation still has no legal, financial, social or moral rights over the donor, some people blame the decrease in donor numbers on the new right that children born from donations after 2009 can legally find the identity of their donor. However, Joe Coleman doesn't think that this should matter: “My Dad's adopted and doesn’t want to
know who his real parents are. It’s the people that are there for you, and act as the family figure when you grow up. These are the people who the child should be loyal too. And I think most of people born from donations may feel the same way," he says. Ryan says that knowing a child could trace him would stop him from donating: “I don’t like the idea of being psychologically and morally responsible. Although the law states the child has no moral right over the
donor. It doesn’t change how you feel. Allowing the child to find your identity, allows them to possibly find you,’ explains Ryan. There are many clinics across the UK that carry out sperm donation. NGT's website, www.ngtd.co.uk, gives clear and practical information to those considering becoming a sperm or egg donor. To help with further understanding involved in donating, contact the confidential helpline on 0845 226 9193.
Most people think of domestic abuse as purely physical - but mental abuse can hurt just as much. Photo: Elisabeth Moore
When love goes bad: the mental harm of domestic abuse by Sophie Card One in eight people will suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime. This is one woman’s story. Imagine feeling helpless, like nothing you do is good enough. Constantly scared that the littlest thing may cause a situation which soon spirals out of control and you’re the one that ends up hurt. Made to feel like you are nothing, fear and dominates your life. This is the reality of living with domestic violence, and with one in four women experiencing violence at the hands of someone they love, the chances are that someone you know will become a victim. The organisation Woman’s Aid deal with all type of domestic violence. A report released in 2004 showed that 45% women and 26% of men have experienced at least one incident of inter-personal violence in their lifetime. Women are more likely than men to be victims of multiple incidents of abuse and sexual violence, with 32% of women who have experienced domestic violence doing so more than four separate times. The escalation of physical violence has risen so much that on average two women a week are killed by a male partner or former lover. Take the recent story of mother-of-two, Joy Small, who was abused multiple times by her husband Aram Aziz. Reports from friends say how she was so scared she kept a hammer under her pillow. Her husband later killed both Joy and their two children before taking his own life. This is just one story that highlights the dangers victims of abusive relationships face everyday. The term “domestic violence” is often perceived as meaning
solely physical violence however the term encapsulates emotional abuse, psychological, sexual or financial violence; any situation where the main aim of one person is to gain control and an upper hand against their partner or spouse. This is something Linda knows all too well after she thought she’d married the man of her dreams: “I was 23-years-old when I married David. We met when I was just 18-years-old. “When I look back now I feel I was too young to get married. We bought our first house together when I was 19, so from that young age I already had a 25-year debt of a mortgage,” she says. Linda knows firsthand the terror that victims of domestic violence experience everyday. Having married at such a young age, she began to realise that her husband’s short temper would cause him to snap. “At first he was always ok towards me, but soon he would use verbal abuse, like name calling and putting me down. I felt like I could do nothing right in his eyes. The emotional abuse can be just as bad as the physical, if not worse, as it leaves no visible scars, but it’s something that stays with you forever,” Linda recalls. As the abuse continued, the strain on Linda was destructive, a repetitive system which ended in further abuse. What started as emotional abuse slowly escalated into physical violence. “He never needed an excuse to hit me; I would just be there to lash out at. Whenever he used physical abuse, I would lie to people about where my bruises or black eye had come from. I can only guess that he knew I wouldn't tell anyone that it was him. He knew I was too weak and too scared of him. I just kept quiet, that way I was avoiding yet another beating,” she says.
Linda knows how hard it can be to contemplate leaving an abusive relationship. Having tried to leave once, but she was turned away by an emergency housing scheme, who told her that she would be making herself and children voluntarily homeless, she decided to follow her own path: “I stayed with him for 25 years, and the abuse never ended. After years of realizing things were never going to get any better and most of all realizing that I am worth better, I decided to file for divorce. “I knew I had spent the last 25 years of my life weak and scared, but now I had to be strong for once, and do this. Of course he threatened to kill me if I went through with it, but for some reason his threats were now making me stronger; I was determined to get him out of my life.” With no other means of escape and her abusive ex-husband sending her death threats, Linda was forced to flee the country. However, regardless of everything she went through, she remains positive, stronger and has found a partner who doesn’t use violence. “After the divorce I spent the next four years single, and loved it. I have now met someone who I must say is the complete opposite to my ex. He would never dream of hitting a woman. He has never so much as raised his voice to me never mind his fist.” Linda made it away from her abusive partner, however, there are thousands that still face violence everyday at the hands of a “loved one”, she believes that getting away from her past was the best thing she ever did and encourages others to do to the same before it escalates out of control: “If anyone who reads this is going through a similar situation, please, just get out, it may not seem it at the moment, but believe me, it will be the best thing you ever did,” she pleads.
Has the Engine Shed run out of steam? by Luke Morton Before 2006, Lincoln didn't really have a decent sized venue for music. There was the Drill Hall, SCY and the odd pub with a function room. Smaller bands would come through the city and every now and then there would be a big band play the Castle or the Showground, but ultimately Lincoln didn't showcase much mainstream music. If the standard Lincolnian wanted to see their favourite artist, chances are they'd have to travel to Nottingham, Sheffield or Leeds – cities with venues of 1,000 plus capacity that book the biggest and best touring bands. However, this was set to change with the introduction of the Engine Shed. Opening in September 2006 at a cost of £6 million, the 1,600 capacity venue promised to be a haven for music in Lincoln. The opening night was headlined by Embrace and since then there has been a stream of artists, DJs and comedians walking through its doors including; Gorillaz, Kasabian, Zane Lowe and Russell Howard. Lincoln's premier club night, Moda, even moved from the function room at SCY to the Engine Shed and has brought some of the biggest names in electro, from Fat Boy Slim to Kissy Sell Out. Despite the number of big names visiting the venue, the overall amount of gigs is low. At the time of writing there are seven events booked until the end of the year. This includes a DJ set, a tribute band and a comedy show. As such, there are only three actual recording artists playing the premier live events venue in Lincoln - whereas last year Sheffield Corporation, a venue with a smaller capacity, hosted nearly 140 gigs. The Engine Shed has over 10, 000 students and 90, 000 locals so there’s definitely an audience. Instead, these people travel to Rock City in Nottingham which at the time of writing has as many shows in the next nine days as the
It’s Lincoln’s major music venue but things aren’t sounding great. Photo: Huseyin Kishi
Engine Shed has booked for the rest of the year. There is obviously room for more bands to be booked, which they no doubt will, but not enough bands are being booked in advance. Compared to the other local cities, Lincoln is severely lacking. Even Grimsby Auditorium has booked Morrissey. Perhaps more risks need to be taken? The bulk of the artists booked for the En-
gine Shed are safe bets at selling out and are more “student friendly”. There has been the odd coup, the Radio 1 Student Tour and the Gorillaz warm-up show were brilliant examples of the talent Lincoln can attract, Zane Lowe also named the Engine Shed as one of his favourite venues. It could be an issue of funding and there is simply not enough income to book bands which aren't guaranteed to sell out instantly,
but as the old saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money”. The reason venues such as Rock City, Corporation and Cockpit are doing so well is due to their reputation, which currently the Engine Shed doesn't have. It is a really good venue, when you're at a full capacity gig there's a great feeling and bands seem to love it, but these moments are too few, and without more bookings being made, Engine Shed's moment could be over.
Giving bands a helping hand with PledgeMusic by Rebecca Caroline When it comes to making an album, long hours in the studio and plenty of hard work are not uncommon. But what about funding the album? Most acts will get money from their record label to help with producing, or even put one together themselves at home. But some acts are looking to their fans to fund their album, whilst raising money for charity in the process. The Blackout, Funeral For A Friend, Madina Lake and even Charlie Simpson are just some acts who have used PledgeMusic to help fund their next release. PledgeMusic is a record company that has set up an online system that allows fans to “pledge” on items or experiences related to the band in question. These can
range from a download or hard copy of the release to rarer things such as album artwork or even an acoustic session at your house. When you go out and do something like this, there is always a risk that it could backfire, but Welsh rockers The Blackout, managed to get half of what they needed within three days of their pledge going live. By the time the pledge closed, they had got more than 100% of what they needed, with 10% the money raised going to the charity Teenage Cancer Trust. Everyone that pledged had essentially pre-ordered the bands album “Hope” before it was even recorded. Gavin Butler, one of the vocalists from the band, was overwhelmed by the response they got: “We were all thinking how can you have that much faith in a band?”
One of the people who helped to fund this particular album was Steph Blakemore from Somerset. “I pledged for the listening party because I want to see them succeed. I've seen them come so far already,” she said. It wasn’t just the chance to listen to The Blackout’s album before it was released that Steph managed to get. “My friends basically arranged to have one of the acoustic sessions at my house. They all paid an equal amount each and made it happen,” she said. In total, they managed to find £500 to make this happen and Steph was more than happy: “They've been my favourite band since I was 13 or 14 years old, and I'd asked for them to play at my house every Christmas and birthday since then. It was amazing having them in my house.”
It’s a long way to the top by Emma Greatorex
Even though more people are buying MP3s and CDs, there’s still some magic to rummaging through vinyls. Photo: Bryan Fenstermacher
Charity shop gold by Ryan Peters While most of us walk past high street charity shops without giving them a second glance, for record collectors they can be treasure troves full of hidden gems. Hidden in the back of dusty goodwill collections in charity shops across the country, are vinyls that can be picked up for literally a few pence, but can be sold to the right people for potentially thousands of pounds. These stories of diamonds in the rough are legendary within collector circles and are what spur on many to visit charity shops even more than record fairs or specialist stockists. One such collector is Ken Peters from north Wales, a man who has been collecting vinyl for over 20 years and during that time has managed to find his fair share of hidden gems. He once bought a limited run of an early Rolling Stones LP at a charity shop in Chester, for literally pocket change, that is now worth close to £500. It’s widely accepted that the downfall of vinyl was caused by CDs. However, just like many people argue that the popularity of music downloads is causing music to lose its physicality, collectors argue that vinyl is the most robust and permanent way to own music. “The records you pick up form a diary,
they’re a throwback. It’s something solid in your hand that reminds you of what you were doing at that time of your life,” explains Peters. “Records are so large that you could get a wealth of information and really well produced artwork on their cardboard sleeves. Nowadays people are lucky if they even get the lyrics when they buy a CD,” he said. Recently, however, vinyl is starting to creep back into music shops across the UK, with everyone from Lady Gaga to British punks Gallows using the format as a way of releasing limited editions of albums. This has spawned not only a whole new generation of record collectors to go out and seek vinyls, but breathe new life into the industry as a whole. “You can look at it two ways,” muses Peters. “There are two streams of collectors. Financial ones who see a record and buy it because they can pick it up for a fiver from a charity shop, knowing they can sell it on for ten or a hundred times that price.” “Or there are people like me who may have been interested in music for a long time, or a particular group, and see collecting as not only a hobby but as a way of exposing themselves to all the music they loved in the past,” he says. “It definitely came back in a big way
when bands like the White Stripes began to release coloured vinyls,” comments Jim Penistan, owner of Lincoln-based record shop Back to Mono. “Artists like Florence and the Machine, as well as Lady Gaga, go to a lot of effort to produce some really great gate-folds for their vinyl releases that make them definitive collectors editions.” When asked if he had ever heard any diamond in the rough stories during his time in the record business he said: “I know a guy that picked up this record for a fiver and now I could probably get a thousand pounds for it at auction,” pointing at a mint condition copy of a Beatles album which is proudly displayed near his shop counter. It seems the rumours of vinyls death have been greatly exaggerated. The new wave of records being released by current artists seems to be inspiring a younger generation to start their collections. Add to this the mythic stories of picking up priceless gems for a pittance, and it seems the format could finally be entering its second renaissance. While it may never be as instant or cheap as its high-tech competitors, vinyl is still going strong on turntables across the world, and will continue to do so as long as there are people who, want not only songs when they buy their music, but an experience.
With the music business continuing to thrive and competition heating up, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get noticed. Alexandra Foxley Johnson and Josh Davie are two local musicians hoping to break into the music business. They’re not only students at the University of Lincoln, but they have also made their mark in the music industry, with some very positive results. Johnson is a first year journalism student and describes her musical inspiration as artists such as Florence and the Machine and Imogen Heap. She currently performs all over the city, including Kind Bar and the Jolly Brewer, and hopes to get more gigs in the future. “I write and play a lot of different music, a lot of it is alternative and something a bit different,” she said. But singing isn’t a new talent of Johnson’s and before coming to Lincoln she performed for many people in her home town of Chesterfield. “When I was back home over summer I played a lot of gigs, some which I was asked to do for weddings and birthdays. It gave me the confidence to go out there and approach people in Lincoln.” Johnson regularly plays at a number of open mic nights and events like this have encouraged her to visit more. “I recently played a bigger set at Kind Bar, I played a couple of covers and a lot of people seemed to receive it quite well.” She spoke about the support she had already received from the general public. “They talk to you about your music and you get encouraged by them to go further. They appreciate the amount of work and effort you put into it which is the most important thing about being a solo singer.” Josh Davie is a first year history student at the university and his talents haven’t gone unnoticed. Davie is another solo singer and through his open mic nights at bars and clubs he has been recognised by music fans across the county. He says he found getting noticed in a new city difficult after moving to Lincoln in September. He approached similar bars and clubs and performed across Lincoln, but his big break was on the radio with BBC Introducing earlier this year after he sent a demo CD into BBC Radio Lincolnshire. “It was hard to get noticed at first but since appearing on BBC introducing I have had great feedback and hopefully I’ll be back on the show soon.” But just how difficult is it for young musicians who want to get noticed in Lincoln and what is available to them? Ben Deyn helped organise Kind Bar’s Couleur night, a popular event dedicated to help young bands and singers perform on stage in front of an large audience. “Couleur has been a massive help to bands across Lincoln as suddenly there is a new venue for them to play at, one that’s right in the centre of town and one with credibility. Due to Kind’s intimate feel, the band’s can really connect with the crowd in a way that never seemed possible anymore.” They have had a huge role in the success of bands who have left Kind and gone to play across the county and the event has proven popular. “The event has been very successful so far, and even though it’s on a completely new night, we draw in crowds from across the evening which makes all the organising worthwhile.”
Student Alexandra Foxley Johnson hopes to get her big break in to the music industry. Photo: Alex Foxley Johnson
It’s not all fun and games on Xbox Live
Busking is a living for Tim Yates and Paul Young from Blackbeard's. Photo: Samantha Viner
Lincoln’s busking boom by Samantha Viner Go to any city centre on a sunny weekend and you are bound to hear the sweet sound of music. Buskers come in all shapes and sizes, anything from a student with a guitar, an eccentric man with a recorder or even a five piece rock ‘n roll band. Busking is a past time that many students have undertaken, not only for a little extra money but also for the experience with a few performers even making it a full time job. Some city councils frown upon busking and have started to enforce busking licenses which will only be given once the street performer proves how well they can perform. Jack, 24, is a busker from London. He used to study at the University of Lincoln and has been busking for the last eight years. He sees it as a hobby: “It’s for a bit of pocket money…it’s just good fun to come out on the high street. It’s like people watching but you get paid for it.” Jack has had mixed responses to his performances in the city centre. “I usually get a good reaction, there might be a little chav kicking off or something but it’s a laugh isn’t it? I just like practising my songs.”
For Jack it’s clear that busking is a way to try and impress the ladies: “That [as a girl walks past] is an amazing reason for busking. I just get to stare at hot girls all day.” Some performers make a living from busking, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, a folk band from York, have visited Lincoln half a dozen times. Paul Young, 25, plays guitar, melodeon and fiddle in the band and has been busking “pretty much as [a] full time job since 2007”. He said: “We’ve always had a good reception in Lincoln. A lot of cities tend to have people whose job it is to wander around being busybodies, I think you do get some people like that in Lincoln but the ones in Leeds especially think it’s their job to stop buskers. “People don’t think about whether its actually a problem and similarly with shops the security will come out and be just like ‘Don’t play here’. “But on the other hand some shops pay us to busk outside so it’s clearly debatable whether it’s a good thing for them or not. In fact we had security guards come out here but there was a big crowd so I think they knew they’d have gotten booed.” Performing on the street is important for the band as it helps to promote their music. Black-
beard’s Tea Party also sell merchandise such as CDs and shirts when they go into city centres. Young and co have managed to make a living out of busking: “If you put in full time hours you can make full time money and you can certainly make good money out of doing it.” “It’s a lot harder making a living if you’re a singer/ guitarist but because we’ve got more of a sort of wow factor and novelty it works and I know of some buskers who do very unusual things and make a fortune, it’s all down to what you do really.” Young expects to be busking for as long as the band is together “unless we get to the point when we get really famous and make loads of money so we don’t need to. But I think as long as we are a sort of working gigging band I think it will always be something that’s helpful. “I mean if you think about a band which is quite famous and successful if they went out and did a days busking in a city it would be a big publicity event lots of people would see them so I think it’s always a good thing to do and I think we’ll always enjoy it. ” Buskers will always be a part of any busy city centre scene, we may not like all of them but they’re here to entertain and most of them manage to do so.
More culture coming to the cathedral city by Emma Kay County councils across the country have been forced to take major cutbacks but some initiatives have survived the axe. A new strategy is set to be in place for Lincolnshire from 2012, to improve community culture and see what can be done to help different aspects of culture flourish as it is a topic that is much wider than many people think.
Councillor Nick Worth, the chairman of the cultural strategy organisation, says it is of vital importance that a plan is put in place for Lincolnshire as a whole. “The strategy was being reviewed over the last two years and the new one has been adopted three months ago. It was important to do it now because there was no strategy in place for the county as a whole.” The plans, which looks to improve knowledge of Lincoln’s cultural fa-
cilities, is very important for the local economy. “People don’t realise how many cultural attractions Lincoln has; the Cathedral, the Usher Gallery and the theatres to name but a few. These have a massive impact on our economy,” said Councillor Worth. The main changes to the strategy would be how the attractions are promoted: “We really need to push promotion and marketing – we contribute a lot to the UK as a whole in
terms of festivals, national and international events.” Over the five years the strategy will be in place Councillor Worth hopes to see a lot more volunteers in Lincoln’s cultural events, especially young people and students. “We want to engage the community with our events so that people know what is going on in their area – we aim to improve the availability of information on websites to increase the amount of custom we
get,” he said. He added that there will be a survey in the coming months to find out what young people would like to see in their area: “We want the younger generations to engage in our culture. We aim to find out what young people would like to see that they can get actively involved with. “It’s not just theatre; it can be anything from knitting to football. It’s what makes Lincolnshire what it is.”
From student to designer by Natalie Littlewood and Stephanie Bolton Rubbing shoulders with the fashion pack, receiving free designer samples and designing his own luxury luggage label, Michel Olivier Geraghty is not your average student. Last July, Michel began his blog, Frappe London, and it is now attracting up to 5,000 hits a month - and that’s just the content that he manages to get online whilst working for his degree. On top of this the third year architecture student from the University of Lincoln designs his own luxury luggage label in his spare time. He juggles the two with a carefully planned regime; university work from nine to five, then a quick blogging or designing session, before going back to architecture until around three in the morning.. “It’s fun”, he says, “but tiring!” Michel is soon to make the first sample of the first collection of his luggage label that himself and a friend have created, which “is called the Heritage collection. It mainly focuses on the modern day journey. Every collection is based on a different journey, so the journey of a wall street business man, the journey of a bumble bee, the journey of a student.” The collection is based around ‘exotic’ materials such as buffalo and ostrich leather for a ‘high end’ finish. “The quality has to be immaculate,” he says. “We aspire to do things that have never been done.” Michel is hoping to gain a business grant from Enterprise@Lincoln to see the production of the collection through. This passion began whilst at college: “I’m interested in everything. I don’t like to be a
person that’s fully focused on one thing. I think being diverse is what makes you different from everyone else. “There’s a range of things I want to do. Styling…buying and merchandising with a store owner…and blogging the whole experience of what I’m doing.” Michel has a clear idea of what his blog should include to attract the 5,000 monthly views. He says: “I want to try and create discussion. I do a lot of things, I do ‘what I wore today’ , I post certain brands and do a quick review on them. I want to really just take it to another level.” All the success he has seen so far, he says, has come off the back of his blog and, by generating a constant stream of views, it shows potential employers that “this kid is actually doing something”. The success of his blog has also earned Michel accreditation from the British Fashion Council to attend London Fashion Week in February this year and found himself sitting next to some of the industry’s top stylists. Despite the success he still has an interest in becoming an architect because it “is the pinnacle of design”: “A fashion designer can’t jump to architecture without having the seven years behind them, whereas an architect can go back and be a fashion designer, if they have the inspiration and know how.’ In the future Michel, amongst all his other plans, hopes to have his designs stocked in mainstream, high end stores and online retailers. “There’s quite a few big stores I’d love to get my things in to. I say love because I’m not sure it will happen! But you’ve got to believe, right?” Follow Michel’s progress from student to fashion designer at: frappelondon.com/blog
How many students have their own luxury luggage label? Michel Olier is an architecture student and designer. Photo: Anneka James
Something borrowed, something new by Lauren Grey The catwalks are alive with ‘70s disco fever; wide legged trousers and block colours are what’s hot, but with so much choice on the high street this spring’s wardrobe is going to be an expensive one to fill. We’re all aware that rummaging through our grandmother’s wardrobe is a cheap and more authentic alternative to buying high street vintage, but borrowing from other members of the family will be just as valuable this season, including your dad. So once you’ve found your key pieces borrow the rest and add a little extra to your ensemble - for free! Photo: Tal Shafik
10. Boy’s cardigans It’s time to give your nana her knitted cardigan back and steal your boyfriends! The androgynous look is one of this season’s key trends and matched with a pair of brogues and little white socks, his cardigan will be the perfect finish for that genderless look. 09. Trilby Hats are back with vengeance this spring, they come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, fabrics and colours but the one to watch out for is the trilby. You’re most likely to find one of these hidden in the back of your dad’s wardrobe, so get rummaging! Wrapping a colourful ribbon around the base of it will make it look elegant and more on trend this season. 08. Broach Another simple tip for pulling off the androgynous trend is tailoring; jackets and blazers are a hit with the high street right now but if you want a more individual, vintage feel to your look, ask your mum if she has any broaches which you can pin to the collar. 07. Ribbon Bow ties are cool – and one of this season’s key accessories, but buying them brand new
can be a little pricey. Instead, raid your mum’s sewing box for a ribbon or long piece of material and make your own! Wear it tied underneath the collar of a plain white shirt or blouse for more of that androgynous look. 06. Artificial flowers It was once fashionable to wear shockingly large artificial flowers in your hair, but thankfully that trend died out a long time ago. However, this season Dolce and Gabbana introduced the floral wedge to the catwalk! So start recycling those old artificial flowers by pinning them to your winter wedges and bring them up-to-date. 05. Scarves Silk scarves can be worn with almost every outfit in almost every way imaginable; tied around the waist and neck being two of the more popular options. However, this spring and summer is all about headwear so why not be a bit more imaginative and wrap your mum’s silk scarf around your head, because turbans are back! 04. White shirt A plain white shirt is a staple ingredient for any girl’s wardrobe because there are so many ways to wear it. Borrow one from your brother
and work it with any style; cropped, buttoned up, open, tucked in or pulled out, and don’t forget the hand-made bow tie! 03. Make-up Sucking up to your sister may come in handy this season because make-up has exploded onto the high street in every colour imaginable. ‘70s disco glitter and pastel colours will awaken your eyes to the colours of spring. 02. Leather bag You’ll often hear your mum say “fashion isn’t made to last these days” – and she may be right! Or it may just be because she has the money to indulge in high-quality materials, which is why her handbags are always the best to borrow! Real leather shoulder bags look very classy with any outfit. 01. Summer hats She may not have made it in to our top ten picks with her hand-knitted cardigans this season, but our grandmother’s wardrobe is still the number one place to turn for vintage, raw fabrics. So in at number one is the floppy hat! Be big, bold and brave and don’t forget to add ribbon or artificial flowers to the bonnet for a more 70s summer vibe!
Sport Tilson’s experience is vital for City’s success
Lincoln’s Matthew Bowser is aiming to compete at the Olympics. Photo: Calum Fuller
by Tom Farmery
Lincoln’s Bowser sets his sights on Olympics by Calum Fuller It’s been a bizarre year for Matthew Bowser. He was the favourite for last year’s Lincoln 10K but illness, bereavement and injury conspired to throw his season off-course. Now, despite those setbacks, the 27-yearold middle distance runner has regained his fitness and has his crosshairs firmly set on competing at the Olympics next year, and in 2016. Bowser recalls: “Last year, I was in really, really good shape but four days before it [the Lincoln 10k], I got the worst cold imaginable. A stint of altitude training followed for Bowser as he battled for a return to full fitness, only to be greeted with the tragic news of a close friend’s death upon his return. “I don’t like to use it as an excuse, but a close friend from the running club [Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club] died, and that
knocked me for six a little bit. “I ran a few early personal bests in May, but I had no motivation and I was looking outside the box a bit. Then, to top it off, I went on holiday and injured myself.” The lay-off ensured that Bowser was out of action until October last year, but since then the turnaround has been impressive, leaving him bullish about his Olympic aspirations. “Over the last five months, I’ve been absolutely flying. I was aiming to go to the Commonwealth Games, and I was only a second off the qualifying time for the 1,500 metres. “I never look back. I’ve taken a lot from it and a lot’s happened to allow me to believe I can make the Olympics. Something that Bowser believes has worked in his favour is the absence of intense training he undertook at a young age, to which he attributes his general good for-
tune with injuries. “To be honest, my initial ability – and I don’t like to say it – came to me naturally. I’ve been a bit of a lazy runner.” Now with a two-year sponsorship deal in place that has allowed him to train fulltime, the affable former Lincoln 10k champion believes that now is his time, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure his dream is realised. “As an 18-year-old I was third or fourth best in the country and I was only 15 or 20 seconds behind guys like Mo Farah. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the opportunity I was given. “I had a lot of funding as a junior, but I was more inclined to drive around in nice cars and be an idiot. “Now no-one’s holding me back, and at the next Olympics I’ll only be 33, which for a middle distance runner is nothing. [Haile] Gebrselassie is 37.”
A manager’s pedigree is often determined by the amount of success achieved at a club. When Lincoln City were under Chris Sutton and Ian Pearce they ended up 20th in League Two and two points away from the relegation places. Being patient and approachable are traits that start-out managers can get wrong. It was a surprise to many Imps fans in September 2009 when Steff Wright appointed Sutton as City's new manager. Both Sutton and Pearce had played in the top flight of English football, but it was an experience that would prove inessential at Lincoln. The former Blackburn frontman was never shy of giving frank assessments and the narrative of most press conferences would often result in a depleted cry of: "This club has, for a long time, been unsuccessful, and we need to be realistic.” It was an echo of negativity that, as much as being plausible, was not going to win over Lincoln fans that had witnessed the play-off memories that the late Keith Alexander gave them in the early 2000s. There were many frustrations faced by Sutton. He found it tough to alter his expectations from being a Premier League footballer to a League Two manager. September 29th, 2010 was the day Sutton resigned as manager of Lincoln City. Soon afterwards, chairman Bob Dorrian announced Steve Tilson as the new manager in an attempt to rekindle a team who were then destined for the drop. Dorrian, unlike Wright, opted for experience and stability as opposed to giving an ex-Premier League player his “big chance”. It made sense, as in his last job as manager of Southend United, Tilson had saved the club where he was a player in an almost romantic affair. From the beginning there was a different outlook. And where Sutton would have played down his side's chances, ‘Tilly’, seems to enjoy the positive speculation that comes with recording consecutive victories. Tilson is showing his pedigree as a manager and has produced enough evidence to warrant Lincoln City with another season in League Two and something to build on for next term.
Lady Imps prepare for first women’s super league by Oli Gibbons The maiden season of the F.A. Women’s Super League is fast approaching kick-off. The event has been hailed by some as the biggest day in the history of English women’s football. The latest addition to the Lincoln Ladies Football Club, Casey Stoney, is the vice-captain of the England national team. She joins three other current internationals in the team, with Sue Smith, Jess Clarke and Sophie Bradley all playing for England
Ladies in the recent Cyprus Cup. The national representation at the club is something that Stoney insists played a factor in her signing for the club: “Obviously I spoke to Sue Smith, Jess Clarke and Sophie Bradley. They weren’t by any means trying to force my decision but they did tell me about the club, which really enthused me and excited me. “They’re enjoying it so much. They’re loving training, they’re loving being part of the club and they said Lincoln is like one big family. I wanted to become a part of that
family.” While the high profile nature of the signing meant that it was seen as somewhat of a coup for club, it was a move that had been in discussion for over a year. But Stoney saw it as great move considering what the team can offer her: “Lincoln are actually a full-time team. They train pretty much five to six times a week, which no other club can offer. “With the World Cup coming up and the potential of having an Olympic team as well, it’s was an
opportunity I couldn’t turn down”. Despite the prolonged talks between Stoney’s former club Chelsea and her new employers, she was surprised to see reports linking her with a move as nothing had been agreed until only days before the move actually took place. “But I suppose that’s women’s football for you—one person finds out and before you know it, everybody knows because it is quite a small community,” Stoney says. Stoney, as well as the rest of the team, have ambitions to do well in
the league, but also appreciates that new members of the team will need time to adjust to new surroundings. “First and foremost, I am really looking forward to joining up with the team. “I’ve got separate goals for international football and for club football but [my ambitions] for my club are to fit in and continue where I left off with Chelsea.” Lincoln Ladies open their campaign against Doncaster Rovers Belles on April 14th at Ashby Avenue.
Lakers shoot for their Hollywood moment by Tim Long The name “Lakers” automatically instils connotations of Kobe Bryant, “H-O-L-L-Y-W-OO-D” in big white letters, and Jack Nicholson sitting front row at Staples Centre. Lincoln is a long way from tinsel town – there was to be no slow motion three point buzzer beater to win it in the dying seconds. But the Lincoln Lakers do have something else in common with their California namesakes – they are champions. In the University of Lincoln sports hall on Wednesday, March 9th, Staffordshire Steelers failed to show up for the final league game of the season, ensuring there could be no big Hollywood ending. But the Lakers didn’t mind— Staffordshire forfeited the game and the points and Lincoln finished top of the league. Team captain Matty Barwell said: “It’s fantastic to have won the league and I feel that we have fully deserved it. For some of us, myself included, this will be our last year playing for the Lakers and so to go out as league champions is an incredible ending.” The game with Staffordshire had been called off once before but, instead of accepting the points by forfeit, the Lakers wanted to rearrange to win the league on the court. They were left waiting for an hour in the rescheduled fixture before finding out Staffordshire never intended to show up.
Barwell said that was difficult to take, despite being crowned champions: “At the time it did take the gloss off the achievement because we had a record crowd waiting to watch the game. We were all eager to play and they showed a complete lack of respect which left the team visibly deflated.” In a season with more twists and turns than a silver screen blockbuster, that team spirit was crucial in helping the Lakers bounce back from their low points: “The loss in overtime against Birmingham was the toughest challenge to overcome. “We had the lead and let it slip. But we didn’t dwell on it and came away from the game even stronger and more determined to succeed.” Before the recent Varsity against the University of Derby, Barwell was confident that the Lakers could prevail again: “Our confidence levels are high but we won’t get carried away. “Our rivalry with Derby is an intense one and if previous years are anything to go by then it will be a heated affair. “I feel that mentally this team is a lot more controlled than in previous years and I’m confident that we can come out with a win.” The 83-47 Varsity defeat to Derby abruptly ended Lincoln’s hopes of a fairytale ending, but the championship-winning season will still be remembered as a Hollywood smash hit.
Varsity 2011 Results Futsal: Lincoln 11 Derby 7 Men’s Football 2nd team: Lincoln 3 Derby 1 Equestrian: Lincoln win Men’s Hockey 2nd team: Lincoln 5 Derby 0 Badminton: Lincoln 5 Derby 3 Men’s Football 1st team: Lincoln 1 Derby 1 (Derby win 5-3 on penalties) Rugby Union: Lincoln 43 Derby 17
Women’s Basketball: Lincoln 61 Derby 31 Netball 2nd team: Lincoln 16 Derby 42 Women’s Hockey team: Lincoln 1 Derby 2 Women’s Football: Lincoln 3 Derby 3 (Lincoln win 9-8 on penalties) Netball 1st team: Lincoln 47 Derby 15 Men’s Hockey 1st team: Lincoln 1 Derby 2 Men’s Basketball: Lincoln 47 Derby 83
The Lakers finished off a successful season with an unfortunate loss against Derby at Varsity. Photo: Leila Fitt
Fleming: Lincoln United ‘good schooling for me’ by Bradley King and Alex Blackburne
Terry Fleming took control of Lincoln United in February. Photo: Tom Farmery
When you see Terry Fleming galloping around the football pitch, you could be forgiven for thinking the Marston Green-born right-back is a fresh-faced 21-year-old, keen to make his mark on the game. In reality the enthusiastic Lincoln United player-manager’s career is now into its third decade. At 38-years-old, he is now in the twilight of his playing days. “My legs were saying, ‘Fleming, you’ve got to stop!’” he says half-jokingly after a midweek training session. Fleming took over the reigns at Ashby Avenue from John Wilkinson, who moved up to the boardroom in February, giving Fleming new responsibilities. “[I was] flattered, but it came as a shock,” explains Fleming, on being offered the United job. Fleming’s career dates back to the early nineties when he played in the inaugural season of the Premier League for a Coventry City side which included the likes of Kenny Sansom, Steve Ogrizovic and Peter
Ndlovu. He spent two seasons at Highfield Road before forging a career in the fourth tier with Northampton Town and then Preston North End. Struggling Third Division club Lincoln City were the next team to call on Fleming which he is nostalgic about: “We had some fantastic games down at Lincoln in the FA Cup runs and League Cup runs. We had Man City and Southampton—some fond, fond memories.” Fleming went on to Plymouth Argyle and Cambridge United before ending up at Grimsby Town, where he became something of a cult figure amongst supporters, despite only staying for one season. A group of fans set up “The Black Zidane Appreciation Society” to pay homage to Fleming’s ability — something which he admits is humbling. “It’s really good to know that fans do appreciate the player I am. The fans do see that and they’ve had appreciation boards and websites set up in my name, which is
fantastic and I just thank them very much for doing that.” Afterwards, Fleming had spells at several non-league clubs before John Wilkinson took him to Grantham Town, where he was made captain. In 2008, when Wilkinson moved to United he took Fleming with him and last year told The Linc how he saw managerial potential in the veteran. Despite having landed the top job at the Whites, Fleming doesn’t think it is necessary for rookie managers to begin their apprenticeship at non-league level. “Starting here, you haven’t got a silver spoon in your mouth. “But it’s good schooling for me. We’re playing in a competitive league and I’m just happy to be given the opportunity to start here.” Fleming will be entering his 40th year next year but, even if he starts to feel his age, his thirst for success will continue to grow as he attempts to take Lincoln United up the football pyramid.
SPORT Match previews and reports at thelinc.co.uk
As the new Formula 3 season approaches for Jack Harvey, he’s getting ever closer to the dream drive in F1. Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Harvey closes in on F1 dream by Jack Teague Lincoln’s number one racing driver Jack Harvey will make his debut in British Formula 3 in April, taking him a step closer to the highest platform of motor racing – Formula 1. The 17-year-old, who turns 18 on the weekend of his first Formula 3 race, has been given the chance to be part of the five time British Formula 3 championship winning team, Carlin. Despite being a rookie, Harvey is aiming high during his first season of Formula 3: “The goals are to finish inside the top three, win some races and be close at the end of the year. “You’re always aiming high and obviously we want to win, it’s the same with every other driver that
has a racing licence – you want to win the series you’re racing. “Realistically we want to finish inside the top three.” Going up to Formula 3 presents new challenges, with more power and grip for the drivers to handle, but, having recently completed preseason testing, Harvey believes that the more aerodynamic car suits his driving style. “Testing has gone quite well. The performance on track has got better and the more comfortable I’ve got in the car it’s showed on track as well. We have high hopes for the season.” Looking back on his season last year, Harvey says he had mixed emotions about finishing second, just 11 points behind the championship winner. “It’s always difficult because peo-
ple say you’d always take that at the start of the year, which you would have, but your expectations change across the season so we were a little disappointed not to win the championship. “Winning wouldn’t have created any more opportunities for me. Being a driver I wanted to win, but it wasn’t the be-all and end-all that we didn’t.” The British Formula 3 calendar sees Harvey travel to Monza for the first race of the season and he hopes he can add to his win there in his last Formula BMW race. “I think if we have a solid opening race that will put us in a good stead and separate the stigma that goes along with being a rookie. A dominant British calendar gives Harvey’s family the opportunity to
watch him in action, something that has been difficult over the past few years with races abroad. “Some of my family have already planned that they’re going to come down and see some of the races which is really nice because before they were limited with the flights and hotels abroad being so expensive. “It’s been almost inaccessible.” Although Harvey may be a few seasons away from Formula 1, he has already experienced the atmosphere following seasons of racing Formula 1 weekends in the Formula BMW series. “Formula BMW supported Formula 1 so I always used to race on Formula 1 circuits. “I speak to some of the drivers. Robert Kubica was one of the driv-
ers who I spent most of my time with and I was obviously upset when he had his big accident and that he wouldn’t be racing for the start of the season.” With time off this winter to relax, Harvey spent some time clay pigeon shooting—something he hopes to continue away from the track. “I’ve been doing clay pigeon shooting for a little while but more recently I’ve really got into it, so I really enjoy doing that. “I think it’s quite fun. It’s frustrating because some of the days I’ll go out there and I can’t hit anything, and then other days I’ll do quite well.” The British Formula 3 season opens in Monza on the weekend of Saturday, April 16th.