The company arrived early in the morning, on Thursday 14th July (Dieppe-Newhaven ferry crossing times obligations…), but the preparation of the event had started well before : beginning of November 2010, for a first site visit and meetings with community groups ; then mid-March 2011, for further discussions with local groups such as the Lewes Bonfire Society, the Newhaven Choir, the Marching Band or local residents. And they also came while they were performing at the Brighton Festival, at the end of May 2011.
So it is no surprise that some of the company members ’feel at home here’. Especially as they are indulged by the volunteers from the Hillcrest Community Centre providing the meals for the artists, or by the residents who host some of them…or by the local pubs.
Part of the company is in the warehouse by the harbour, rehearsing a few music pieces, preparing the truck on which the musicians will be playing or the barrels to be used during the show, as the company will incorporate Bivouac in Newhaven Cormorant !.
The others are at the location of the finale - secret place, shush !- and on top of the Newhaven Fort, from which several people will be descending by zip-wire, including 6 local volunteers.
Each of them has a go at sliding down this afternoon. They’re not quite sure what to think, but Marc, the company’s expert in aerial work, is enthusiastic and reassuring. Amongst them, Tom, Guardian newspaper free-lancer, will be talking about his experience in the paper later on.
Technical run-through in the late afternoon. John Marshall-Potter, Technical manager for the event, knows the company well : he had technically managed the first ever UK Bivouac show in Great Yarmouth, at Out There festival 2010. He also supported the Brighton Festival team when Générik Vapeur performed Drôles d’Oiseaux and Bivouac last May. ’I am starting to know how they work and what they want…and how we can do it, avoiding the classic health and safety paranoïa here !’
It is forecast rain all day tomorrow, supposedly getting better in the evening. Wait and see…