Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Planet Fear - The Corporate Express?

Ok, so it looks like Planet Fear are going to go ahead with their St. Bees Bouldering festival, having decided they are unprepared to accept the views of many local activists – including a number of key developers of the area and some of the ‘founding fathers’ and equippers of the cliffs – who all think it is an ill-conceived idea (due to the fragility of the area and not wanting set a precedent for these kind events happening on the headland in future) and essentially a marketing exercise.

The assertion placed on this Blog stating that Planet Fear had no right to advertise the event as a BMC endorsed event was proven correct, and the BMC asked PF to remove the BMC logo’s and affiliation text from their website, which they have now done. In an email the BMC sent to all concerned parties, the BMC said it in no way endorsed this event, but said it could not find objection if various access protocols were adhered to.

The underlying issue Planet Fear seem to have missed is that this is NOT a suitable place for this kind of corporate event. Despite PF’s offer of a litter sweep and claims all excess funds raised from the sales of accommodation, topos, parking etc. (all via their website) will be given to the BMC/local bolt fund, this is completely unverifiable as it is an event run by a commercial business with no external governance from an impartial body – how are we supposed to know how much money has been taken?

On a personal note, I feel particularly peeved that PF are charging for a topo to St. Bees, that will, I have no doubt, be primarily ‘researched’ via my website, which I spend countless unpaid hours and litres of petrol updating. More fool me you might say.

Anyway, Planet Fear have added their own ‘Yes-No Poll’ to their Facebook page, so I suggest the people who voted on the LakesBloc Poll make their voices heard via this medium if they so wish, as I am now turning the LB poll off. Planet Fear Poll.

For Planet Fear's current stance click here.

LakesBloc Poll Final Result (click for larger view):


LakesBloc said...

I'm not accepting anonymous posts on this....

Anonymous said...

Interesting point regarding the BMC - I have read the unamended minutes as they were taken at the lakes area meeting and they actually allowed the use of their logo at that point. Seems they had a change of heart (or someone didn't do their job quite as they should - we all make mistakes) and then landed planetFear in a PR mess not of their doing by asking them to remove it.

Regarding the topo - I don't think in fairness that anyone can be stopped legally or ethically from taking a picture of a rock and then applying common knowledge of a problem to it - grades are afterall open to debate. If they'd photocopied someone elses work and not referenced it or sought permission then fair enough, but it appears that they are producing it from scratch.

Jim Swann

LakesBloc said...


Thanks for the comments. You may well be right regarding the BMC's involvement. The fact still remains: they do not and never did endorse the event.

Regarding your comments on the topo/guide: I can assure you making a guide like the LakesBloc St. Bees North guide, is not simply a case of "taking a picture of a rock and then applying common knowledge of a problem to it". Ask anyone who helped me collate the info for the guide; it took a considerable effort. Not to mention the fact a number of sectors featured were developed by the 'guide team' (for want of a better phrase) around that time. I understand it's not a matter of legality, but more one of ethics and respect for those who are willing to put in their time and effort into creating such info for others to use.


flyinchad said...

You seem to have closed the vote just as both sides of the argument have been diplayed, any particular reason?


LakesBloc said...

As it says above, Planet Fear have a poll going on their Facebook page so I thought it simpler to redirect people to that - the link is above. I'm not sure what is to be gained having two polls running with the same people voting on both?

To be honest, it might be fairer if Planet Fear posted a link to this info from their FB page/latest web article, as I have done them the courtesy of linking to their argument here (see above).


GCW said...

I see the PlanetFear vote is now 2:1 against, which is much in line with the LB vote.

Maybe it's time for someone at PF to sit up and pay attention rather than steamrollering along with their own agenda?

Jim Swann said...


As it states on the Fb poll and in the pF news piece, they are willing to listen to the vote and act accordingly.

planetFear said...

When we set up the poll, we announced we would give it until wednesday and act according to the result.
To withdraw the poll and act upon the current results at this stage would go against the basic principles of democracy. Remember the anger of late voters who had their polling stations closed at the last General Election? We have not, and have never had, any intentions of steamrolling anything, which is why we asked for a consensus of opinion. If the result stays as it currently stands, there will be no festival, which is cool by us, as it represents the view of the majority. Remember, this was an idea that came from local guys who climb regularly at St Bees who also work for pF, which we checked out with the local arm of the national body, who had no issues and in fact many agreed to come along, which has been authorised by the landowners, and had strategies put in place to consider erosion and access issues. However, when Wednesday comes, if the majority still don't want it, then that's fine, it won't happen. We will just have to eat all the BBQ sausages ourselves!

planetFear said...

We asked if you thought the St Bees Bouldering Festival was a good idea, and the result was a resounding ‘no' with 114 votes for and 287 votes against. We have therefore cancelled the proposed event with immediate effect. Anybody wanting a refund on camping or parking should contact us direct on 01768 774422.

We want to thank everyone who took the time to vote (either way) so we could reach this decision. While we feel that our plans have been hideously distorted and misrepresented in some circles, we completely accept that the majority of people don't want the festival to go ahead. Organised, communal climbing events can be contentious, but we are happy that we took the right steps in planning the festival. We hope that those of you who were planning on coming can understand that pulling the plug at this stage is the right thing to do.