diamond geezer

 Thursday, March 17, 2011

London 2012Publication 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.
Personal property
There will be no storage available at the Venues, save for limited space afforded to children’s buggies, prams and wheelchairs.
19.1.2 LOCOG has the exclusive right to determine what objects may be brought into a Venue by a Ticket Holder. LOCOG will not store confiscated and/or unauthorised material at a Venue and a Ticket Holder will have no right for the item to be returned.
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.
Prohibited and restricted items
Ticket Holders are prohibited from transporting into a Venue any firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon or object, explosive, chemicals or incendiary device.
Well that's a relief. Good. So far, so normal.
19.2.3 The following is a non-exhaustive list of restricted items which may not be taken into a Venue (LOCOG reserves the right to amend this list, generally, or in respect of any Venue or Session): food (save for baby food), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (save for baby milk and other valid medical reasons)...
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.
...liquids in containers of greater than 100ml in size, needles (save as required for valid medical reasons), animals (save for guide dogs), weapons (including knives), illegal drugs, other illegal substances, fireworks, firecrackers, poles, flagpoles, sticks, photography tripods, bats, umbrellas and other blunt instruments...
If it rains, don't bring a brolly to the venue. Even if you only plan to use it on the journey there, you'll lose it immediately. Plastic raincoats rule.
...motorcycles, bicycles...
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.
...roller-skates, skateboards, or other types of skates, electronic transmitting equipment, flags of countries not participating in the Games...
Aside from Afghanistan, Kosovo and Vatican City, pretty much every independent country sends a team. Are London 2012 expecting the Pope to turn up with a big flag?
...large flags or banners, horns, whistles, drums, rattles, musical instruments, lasers or any other devices that in the opinion of LOCOG may disturb a Session (including mobile telephones)...
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.
...objects bearing trademarks or other kinds of promotional signs or messages (such as hats, T-shirts, bags, etc) which LOCOG believes are for promotional purposes...
Don't panic, your Nike t-shirt is fine, and your Emirates football top won't be banned. It's only deliberate attempts at ambush marketing which will be forcibly restricted.
...counterfeit products...
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.
...balls, rackets, frisbees or similar objects, large quantities of coins, lighters, advertising or promotional material of any kind...
"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.
...printed matter bearing religious, political or offensive content or content contrary to public order and/or morality, bottles or containers made of glass or other material, flasks, thermoses, refrigerators...
Who the hell brings a refrigerator to an athletics stadium? Well don't!
...large objects such as suitcases or bags...
How large is a large bag? This is important because most of us can't survive without carrying a bag around, and we need to know in advance how large a bag we can get away with.
...and in general any material that LOCOG may deem dangerous or that may cause damage or disruption to a Session.
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...
Filming, photography and taping
Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.
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.

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