The Red Bull Air Race is returning this year! I caught some of the practice runs in the week before the last one and bought tickets for the final and I had a great time. I will be looking into the possibility of going again.
What is reasonably interesting about this years event is how the organisers are handing the distribution of free tickets to local residents.
Last year the organisers gave tickets to the three London Boroughs who bordered the event. This is what Red Bull had to say to say at the time 10% of all general tickets will be given free to local residents of affected boroughs (Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets) (click here for a bit more information).
So what happened?
Well both Newham and Tower Hamlets announced an open lottery for their residents to apply for tickets.
Not Greenwich, oh no, not Greenwich. They kept kind of quiet about the whole thing and I discovered that the tickets were to be distributed to "Community Groups" and then any left over would go to residents who managed to discover that they could register an interest. It was all very messy and as hinted at above somewhat secretive.
Local Blogger The Last Bus Home found out what happened to the tickets, you can read his findings here.
So two Councils did a free draw and Greeenwich had our glorious leader, and the first politician to lie on stage at the O2, Chris Roberts "hand pick" some local community groups before the rest went to the general public, or those that had heard about it anyway.
And what are Red Bull doing this year? Well they're organising their own draw for local residents to apply for (read about it here).
Could they be hinting that they were not too happy about the somewhat shoddy way that the Council dealt with the last batch of tickets that they gave them?
You can make your own mind up on that one.
If you want to know a bit more about last years saga then click here.