Publication of the ticketing terms and conditions gives us the first glimpse into what it'll be like to attend a session at the 2012 Olympics. When you offer to buy a ticket, you also sign up to a Spectator Policy. If the following sounds extreme, that might be because you haven't been to a major stadium event recently and don't know what's the norm. Or it might be because this goes well beyond the norm. You decide.
Be warned. There'll be a security friskdown before every Olympic event, during which your personal belongings will be scrutinised. And all unacceptable items may be removed, permanently, never to be seen again. Let's see what London 2012 will be throwing away.
This doesn't mean no eating or drinking at your seat - there'll be plenty of catering suppliers inside each venue. But it does mean no food or drink will be consumed at the Games apart from that sold by official merchandisers. McDonalds Quarter Pounder and Coke, yes. Packed lunch and carton of Aldi apple juice, definitely not.
I hope Boris sorts out cycle parking outside all London's Olympic venues, because you won't be allowed to take yours in. Don't arrive at the Stadium by Borisbike either. The Cycle Hire zone is being extended east but not quite as far as the Olympic Park, because Barclays aren't official sponsors.
Hang on, have I read that right? Mobile phones may not be taken into a venue?! Mobile phones are a restricted item?! Mobile phones will be confiscated and not returned?! They can't mean that, surely? But that's what it says.
I can hear the security guard now. "Excuse me Sir, I have reason to believe that your Rolex is a fake, hand it over please." They can't mean all counterfeit products, even that £3 designer jacket you bought from Walthamstow Market, surely? But that's what whoever wrote these terms and conditions has written.
"of any kind..." what sort of ambiguous catch-all phrase is that? I mean, you stop almost anybody in the street and they'll have some kind of promotional material on them - back page of a magazine, IKEA-sponsored Oyster wallet, whatever. I know what London 2012 are trying to stop, and rightly so, but this over-vague phrase appears to give them carte blanche to impound almost any branded object.
Essentially then, when you come to the Olympics LOCOG have the right to remove lots of relatively normal objects from your possession. I can't believe they're going to steal all mobile phones, large handbags and chewing gum, but by signing up you're effectively saying that they can. Whoever compiled this list was either being excessively draconian or wilfully vague. Still, at least they don't appear to want your camera...
This is important. Yes you can take photos or make a video of what you see at an Olympic event. But no you can't sell them to anyone and no you can't give them to the media. And yes you can post pictures on your own website, but no you can't upload any videos to the internet. That's yes to Flickr, Twitpics and photo-blogging, but no to YouTube or Audioboo. I wonder how the Facebook generation are going to react to enforced non-sharing of Olympic videos and audio. More interestingly, I wonder if London 2012 can stop them.
What's on this weekend? Spring Into Summer Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 May
40 free guided London walks. Purley Festival Friday 29 - Sunday 5 June
Bunting week, below Croydon. E17 Art Trail Sat 30th May - Sun 14th June
250 arty Walthamstow things.