Posted by: thebluemusicblog | August 5, 2013

THUNDERSTORM IN PRAGUE

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I was planning to write this yesterday, but in the evening we got the message that the Festival site has to be closed for most of Monday for repairs after the heavy storm yesterday. And then the rest of the evening and into the night was spent on finding alternative solutions to gather the 220 Change Agents for the very first time.

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Hotel Atlantic in the middle of Prague, my home away from home for many years when I worked in Prague, became the solution. So we spent more time to reorganize their Congress Hall and find space for all the Change Agents. The first meeting ever of all the Change Agents will take place here in two hours, very, very exciting! But first to the opening of the Festival in very hot summer weather, somewhere between 30 and 40 degrees.

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The crowd waiting in front of the main gate was growing and growing just before the opening of the site at 16.00. 5000 people from more than 50 countries world wide has arrived in Prague, and expectations are huge!

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Eagerly waiting to welcome the participants are some key staff and volunteers, first of all Ian Luck, the Festival Manager:

IMG_2611More key people at the site:

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Two hard workers from Russia and Moldova! Misha and friend.

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Hard worker from Germany, Albrecht Kaul.

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Hard worker from Ukraine, Father Yevgeny of the Orthodox Church and President of local YMCA and a close friend.

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Welcome to the Health Tunnel, says Olga Lukinova, President of Belarus YMCA and also a close friend.

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Hard worker from Switzerland, Stage Manager Pete Bürki. He and I used to run Ten Sing Festivals in the early 90s.

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Singin’ in the rain! Hard worker and successful salesman from the Sales Tent and England.

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Just arrived from India – Jose from my staff.

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And another staff, Change Agent General Romulo, competing in the sun glass contest.

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The Main Stage, this time a part of a very interesting metal structure named “The Tower” and the performances will take place on different levels of this tower, included the main stage.

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Final touch on the construction of the Tower. Security rules are very, very strict to access the tower and climb to the top.

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Back Stage and behind the Tower. It is difficult to photograph!

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View from the top of the Tower direction Main Gate.

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The Tent Church is built by our Swiss YMCA friends, as always, and this is from the outside,

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…and this is from the inside.

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Last rehearsal of the Opening Show, here from the Musical “Love 2 Live”.

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A group of Swiss participants from outside Zurich, enjoying the last seconds of the sun for that day!

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Then it started to rain heavily….

IMG_2637…and much more rain!

IMG_2639…and then the wind started to blow and a big thunderstorm swept over the Festival side and made some damage to part of the equipment. Participants were gathered in the dining hall and then sent back to their hostels and the organizers made a good job in evacuating the site and all participants were safe and sound.

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Allt he participants in the dining hall. Today the opening ceremony will take place and all the other programmes will start during the afternoon. Now I have to post this blog post and get going so we can start the Change Agent training downstairs. More later!


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