Royal Wedding party marred by big screen failure

Bradley Stoke Royal Wedding party: big screen failure

The organisers of Bradley Stoke’s Royal Wedding community ‘street’ party, held yesterday at the Jubilee Centre, say they have had positive feedback from families who enjoyed the occasion despite the failure of the centrepiece big screen TV.

A technical issue with the TV screen’s back projector meant that party goers were only able to view a dim 4′ x 3′ image instead of the 14′ x 8′ one that had been promised in the event’s publicity.

The big screen was not working when the event was officially opened at 10:20am by BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson and, with just ten minutes to go before the start of the ceremony (11am), the crowd of between 100 and 200 was told that the technical problems could not be fixed.

A small number of families packed up their picnics and left the venue to watch the wedding at home, although it is thought that some returned later to enjoy the stalls and rides set up around the field.

Those that stayed were invited to “move closer to the screen”, with the youngest children allowed to sit in a row just feet from the screen.

Michelle Dent, Chair of the Friends of Jubilee Green volunteer group that organised the event with assistance from event management company Re-energize told The Journal:

“We are really gutted about the failure of the big screen contractor and Re-energize assures me there will be a full refund from the contractor.”

“I can only apologise to everyone who attended for the small picture. Helen [North] and I have spent the last four months volunteering our time to organise this event, however we’ve had some really positive feedback from families who had a really good time despite the issues with the screen.”

Bradley Stoke Royal Wedding party - fancy dress competition

Organised activities for children attending the party, including puppet shows, decorating a congratulations card for the royal couple, a Prince and Princess fancy dress show, a ‘wedding reception’ disco and play sessions in Jubilee Park, were all well supported and helped keep minds off the embarrassing failure of the big screen.

Michelle added:

“A huge thank you to all the children who took the time to dress as princes and princesses, they looked amazing! The children enjoyed the puppet shows and the wedding reception disco.”

“Thank you to all the community groups for taking part, the Aztec hotel for the wedding cake, Ramada Grange for goody bags and Starbucks for the coffee.”

“All that’s left to do now is post the community congratulations card to the happy couple!”

“I’d also like to thank BBC Radio Bristol for the oportunity to promote Bradley Stoke as a fun, vibrant place to live.”

Bradley Stoke Royal Wedding party - crowd in front of the big screen

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, Robert Goodwin of Re-energise explained the big screen failure had been caused by “something going wrong with the power supply to the lens”, adding “we had a run through and tested the TV signal yesterday”.

Mr Goodwin told The Journal that he would consider offering compensation to traders attending the event in consideration of the reduced attendance caused by the big screen failure.

The Journal understands that provision of the big screen was sub-contracted to a local supplier, named as First Choice (Bristol) by technicians working behind the scenes. The technicians explained that the projector had been delivered overnight from another supplier and hence the complete system had not been tested before the day of the event. The only available back up was a ‘long throw’ projector, which resulted in the tiny picture seen by the crowd.

BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson commented later on his Twitter account:

“Just opened Bradley Stoke street party where big screen has failed. Astonishing incompetence from supplier [always test kit properly before use].”

Bradley Stoke Town Council funded the event at a cost of between £3,500 and £4,500, agreed by a slim majority at January’s Full Council meeting. One Councillor subsequently wrote to The Journal saying he was against the proposal, “especially in the light of our current financial and economic conditions”.

Despite the problems with the big screen, The Journal managed to get some great shots of the event, which can be seen in our PicasaWeb gallery: album; slideshow.

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  1. What a complete and utter waste of our council tax. Even if the screen had worked how can event for only 200 people be justified.

    Hopefully the use of Re-energize will now cease, the council issue an apology and a significant refund or claim via the supplier is made.

    BSTC – stick to the day job if I was you or pay the price at election time.

  2. Blimey. I went to a privately organised street party in Aust and there were more than 100 people there – participants only had to bring something to eat/drink.
    At £22 per head, I hope this celebration was worth it!

  3. what can i say, I was a little kid when Charles & Diana got married and still can remember the whole ceremony watching it on a B&W TV in the third world. And now for me after living here for the last 10 years when the biggest historic and patriotic event of our generation arrives, the screen fails. So disappointed with the state of affairs in this country. I think we need a reality check, why we always end up as good looser(s) but not brutal winners. ARE WE A COUNTRY OF LOOSER(S)

  4. I admit to being sceptical as to whether this was a good use of money as I wasn’t sure many people would want to come out to a town wedding party.
    But having seen people streaming in from all corners of the town dressed up, with flags and picnics, this turned out to be a great community event.
    The failure of the big screen was such a shame and pathetic on the part of the company responsible for it. Their incompetence in not having backup plans in place to ensure a screen was working has ruined the hard work of those who put so much into organising the event and led to people jumping on the negative ‘waste of taxpayers money’ bandwagon.

    In reality, considering the screen failure the event was still a success with FAR more than 200 people there in the afternoon. If the screen had worked the number remaining / attending would have been far higher and a great community occasion.
    I suppose we could say we shouldn’t spend money on this sort of thing, all lock our doors and shut our curtains.
    But as was shown by the amount of people who attended or planned to before the screen problems, and the number of people that attend the June festival and the fireworks events, there are plenty who are proud that their town puts on these community occasions.

    Well done and thanks to those who gave a lot of effort into arranging something for a significant number of others to enjoy and but for the failure of an outside company, would have been very successful in this.
    And also well done to all those who either stayed or came back to ensure the day was far from a total disaster.

  5. I was really looking forward to seeing the wedding live on the big screen. Took my 8yr old son along as I thought this would be something he would remember for life. Instead, all we experienced was disappointment and this wonderful day was ruined for both of us.

  6. I think whole event was a brilliant idea and I’m not jumping on the ‘waste of taxpayers money’ bandwagon.
    Remember people were invited to see the Royal Wedding and they couldn’t see it.
    I believe the Organisers of the event should take this on the chin and apologise to the people for this disaster.
    Also I’d like to know why this particular Events Management company was chosen and what is stopping us to take legal action against this company.

  7. The Friends of Jubilee Green (FoJG) have published a letter of apology from First Choice Bristol (a.k.a. Audio Visual Direct) on the FoJG website.

    They add:

    “From the feedback we received on the day from families attending it appears this did not stop the majority from having a good time.”

    “We believe that approx 1,000 people attended over the 5 hour event, not everyone stayed for the whole 5 hours, people were still arriving after 2pm after their own celebrations had finished and the sun had come out.”

    A powerpoint presentation showcasing local community groups that was planned to have been shown on the big screen can also be viewed on the FoJG website.

  8. We all said from the start that this would be a complete waste of money and the shocking turn-out proved us all correct and the council that make these decisions a pretty incompetent bunch. Yes the screen failure wasn’t their fault but what a waste of money it was always going to be from the start. The failure just highlighted it a little bit better.

  9. Bradley Stoke Town Council has published a statement on the screen failure.

    An extract from the statement:

    “Whilst we realise that it will be of little consolation to those who were disappointed on the day, we would like to assure residents that the incident will be investigated properly and that any necessary action will be taken in the interests of the taxpayer. To that end a refund in respect of the screen hire charges has already been secured.”

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