Sunday, December 6, 2015

FIL Finale

Our wonderful volunteers
An emotional last day, with a closing press conference & ceremony in the morning, more talks, goodbyes to most of our Embassy colleagues, a mad dash to catch one film (The Goob) of the nine I've otherwise missed, a modest party for our 40+ volunteers and an amazing final concert. 
Jazz Jamaica
Reaction to the programme has been excellent. FIL's President, Raul Padilla, went on record as saying that the UK Pavilion "was the best they've had in their 29-year history" and ForoFIL's producer, Ana Teresa Ramirez, said that our performing arts programme was likewise the best they'd had. They also had the most visitors ever: 792,000. So we're pleased. Exhausted. But very pleased.
The positive vibes carried over into the final concert. We went for Jazz Jamaica, and it was just the right choice. I think the size of the crowd - at around 4,000, the largest of the nine days - and the final night good vibe took them by surprise. But they delivered. Goodtime ska-cum-reggae which got everyone dancing (Lots of videos posted on YouTube). Could have gone on for hours but ultimately it had to end. Although they hung around afterwards for an hour talking with fans while Ben Burrell playing impromptu trombone solos. It may have been hyperbole or the tequila or emotions running high, but band leader Gary Crosby said: "It there's one gig I'll remember in my life, it'll be this one"
An amazing last night.

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