But once again the majority of the Live Mic fraternity bewrayed their total Me Fein, self-centred interests. We had many of these people turning up just for the open mic competition we organised and no other event, in spite of us bringing the best of Irish writing from home and abroad and eminent American writers from Boston and San Francisco who had never appeared at Irish festivals before. (Watch out for Martin Espada at a festival near you soon, he impressed so much he received an invitation back to Ireland from another member of the audience the night of his reading).
We put up a 200 euro prize, paid a professional thespian-poet judge a modest fee of 150 euro, we had the expense of room hire, sound equipment hire, staff time, all to cater for a group of people who, in the main, had no interest in any other writer except themselves. Were they grateful for our efforts in catering for their rarefied, self-centered interests? Were they fuck!
One complained that she wasn't allowed to read two pieces instead of one like everyone else, another person accused the time keeper of robbing her of minutes in her performance. As I said already a majority of these people attended no other event. I'm delighted to report that the prize went to John Walsh of Galway who did attend other events at the festival (not that the judge would have known).
But I'm left thinking why should I do anything for this largely selfish constituency in the future.