Sunday, August 10, 2008

Madonna kicks out the kids

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium was funded with a large slew of public cash, raised from the National Lottery, and so is a public resource rather than a private concern. One of the ways the place has paid a small sliver of the debt it owes to the nation has been by hosting a charity football event for the Neighbourhood Watch Sports Trust for the last few years - an event organised to give disadvantaged kids the chance to play a premier sporting venue.

Not this year, though. Although they'd been told the event would happen as normal, and the charity had spent three thousand pounds organising the event, suddenly, they were told "no".

The reason? Madonna is playing the stadium on the 23rd August and has decided she needs to annex it for three weeks beforehand.

Millennium Stadium manager Gerry Toms said: “When we set the dates, which we do quite early, we do say that if a commercial event comes in then we may have to push you out, so to speak. They agree to that when they sign up.

“In fairness to this group they have been here for several years, but this year we are contracted to Madonna, and explained ‘we are awfully sorry, we cannot do it’.

“I said, ‘What do you expect us to do? To tell Madonna not to bring the show in because you’ve got a sports day?’.”

The slightly sneering way Toms says "sports day" is discouraging; and that he clearly feels that a commercial gig by Madonna is so obviously more important than a charity, community event suggests that Toms might not be the best custodian for a stadium which wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for the generosity of the public purse in the first place.

That the Trust was only told twenty-two days before their match is also a little surprising, and crushing: at least with some warning, they might have been able to find a venue which was a little less obsessed with fawning over twilight celebrities.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

And yet the likelihood of anyone properly complaining about this and campaigning against the decision to cancel the charity event is remote. It's quite disgusting really. A has-been old woman who kidnaps children from other countries only to leave them in the care of nannies so she can go dancing around on stage and shout "look at me LOOK AT ME!!!" over something that's actually worthwhile. People who buy her music should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, arsehole- luckily, people that are fans of Madonna don't feel the need to be ashamed about very much. And they shouldn't- I mean, the choice to book Madonna or some snotty kids, who ya gonna pick? It's a no brainer, unless you hate money.

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