Monday, 7 December 2009

Moonfest. Genius.

The moon and graffiti. Uh?

Yep - there's a connection. And it made me laugh out loud.

On Thursday, John Girvan (Devizes historian and blacksmith) wanted to show me something. This thing had made the whole of his town furious. It'd sparked debates, forced the police into action. The antics of one very clever group provoked a small Wiltshire town into uniting against disrespectful behaviour and some environmentally-friendly criminal damage...

The rock festival Moonfest took place in Westbury, Wiltshire, at the end of August. It was a huge success. And a special form of advertising must be thanked for making Moonfest the sellout that it was...

Clean graffiti.

Instead of using posters, the organisers of the event used giant stencils and jets of recycled rainwater to clean promotional messages into buildings in the area. One of these still appears on the old canal bridge near John's Canal Forge. He walked me up to the bridge and explained what'd happened - with a grin on his face.

"You won't believe it. They had us all. Cheeky things'd used giant templates and cleaned uff th' muck frum th' surfaces of our canal bridge and uff our beloved Grade II listed Bear Hotel by the market place. Whole town was furious. But then we realised what they'd done. Had to smile. Is it graffiti? Council's annoyed cos they've now gotta clean the rest of the bridge."

Cunning must run in the blood in Wiltshire. First those canny moonrakers smuggle their brandy by hiding it in a pond, then, centuries later, a crafty bunch clean their way to a sellout festival. Sad thing is, looks like the organisers may be heading for prosecution over graffiti.

Seems a little harsh. After all, it's nothing a little rain water won't fix.

1 comment:

Sam C said...

Does seem very harsh to me. Technically it is graffiti but I think it's incredibly stupid that they're being charged with criminal damage seeing as they didn't actually do any damage, just cleaning. Are the police going to start charging everyone who cleans things? No, I don't think so. Stupid police.