The top 15 p|d stories of 2015
Similar to the preceding Pleasanton situation, the new event in Belfast attempted to create its own competition format in a seemingly innocent system where the audience would help to adjudicate. The result was alleged pressure by the RSPBA to cease and desist, with participating bands reportedly threatened with suspension if they followed through.
Why was this story important? It’s rare when a competition in the UK attempts to operate outside of the RSPBA’s jurisdiction, and The Spring Gatherin’ made a courageous attempt, but succumbed to pressure when bands taking part apparently felt that their participation would be political suicide. But watch for more challenges around the world to the authority and dominance on associations, particular in places where fear can be the prevailing climate.