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Reviewing Mix N Blend

“One of the biggest events in Bury this year” is how I explained it to friends when asked what is was going to be, and I would say that it was an accurate description. We sold 248 tickets for the evening event alone. The workshops were booked to capacity, so we expanded them by an extra 5 places each, and these to were booked up. Rolling in and out of the cafe during the day, we clocked an estimated 200 people, and it was never empty. In terms of participation we actively engaged with over 150 young people from in and around Suffolk, with 4 people managing to complete a bronze award due to their participation.

Overcoming Adversity

To believe that an event, large or small, will run without any hiccups is naive, however these problems can be reduced by appropriate planning, and successfully managing a great team of flexible people. Below is a chart explaining some of the problems we faced, how they impacted the day, and how that negative impact was minimised.

Problem Affect Solution
DHL lost all of our resources Unable to display the gallery, use the evaluation forms, or provide volunteers with Shirts/lanyards Redistribute resources, and create a “contribution gallery”, where the public can add their own images. We created an online survey to compensate for the missing questionnaire sheets
BURYSOUND UNPLUGGED required more staging and power than initially planned Pushed sound checking for the evening event back by an hour Streamlined the sound checking process further ad reduced the times
Moving the seating how we wanted would have cost too much Unable to have a pit for the crowd to stand in Removed all of the side seats, and the first 3 rows, so as to create some space for people standing
Door to changing rooms/workshop rooms required a keycard to access Performers and participants were unable to access the rooms without us, requiring quick movement across the venue The reception radio us and we came and collected the performers/participants
High number of performers Difficult to ensure people were where they are meant to be on time Ensured that everybody was aware of the amended running list, and got the acts ready in plenty of time before hand.


The feedback from the event, while less than we anticipated due to the loss of resources, was overall very positive. I used an online tool called Survey Monkey to create an online version of the paper questionnaire I originally had printed. This was the distributed over Facebook and Twitter to those who came, with a £20 iTunes voucher offered as a prize to those who completed the survey. Below are charts I have created to visually represent the feedback received.

Age Demograph of Audience


Individual element response (Higher is better)


Would you come to a similar event?


One of the purposes of this event was to trial a new format for Arts Award. While I personally feel we may have gone a bit too subtle with the Arts Award branding, a surprising number of people felt that they were more enlightened to the role of Arts Award. This might have been from the poster, or through the stall we had upstairs.

Understanding of Arts Award


Overall I would say that the event was highly successful.  The Olympic values that I planned to incorporate do appear to have been demonstrated throughout the event, with the excellence of Bury St Edmunds being beautifully displayed to a large and receptive audience. The performances I think have won over the respect of many adults who perhaps were slightly skeptical to the idea of youth arts being important or impressive, and even if they are not swayed, I have endless respect for EVER SINGLE performer who went on stage to do what they love. I personally made many friends while organizing this show, and strengthening existing bonds, and I suspect this is true of many of the performers and organisers.

I would like to say a massive thankyou to every single person who performed, planned, hosted, aided or was in any way shape or form involved in Mix n Blend. It was a show to be rivaled, and the feedback only strengthens this notion.

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