Sunday, March 04, 2012

"Cultural Olympiad"

I was just listening to the BBC's Music Matters on the Cultural Olympiad. You can listen to it for the rest of this week on
My frustration is how they make out that this is bringing something special, almost to making one feel that the alternatives are not good enough.
I understand how journalists love the buzz of a festival. I am often asked why the Vortex doesn't do more festivals by some, almost because they feel it would be better 'copy' than just the fact that there's a great day-to-day programme on at the club. It's also good that it's bringing in extra resources to the area.
But almost to the expense of making people feel that the alternative of the year-round buzz of the area isn't up to scratch. I also feel that resources that might otherwise be given to a place like the Vortex is being sucked away. Much of the programming of music around that time is linked to the "River of Music" celebration or the Radio 1 Big Weekend in Hackney Marshes.
Meanwhile, the money being made available for the Torch Relay procession on 21 July is relatively derisory, and we have struggled to get enough to have a good celebration in Gillett Square for that day. And yet we are just 2 miles or so from the Olympics itself.
I also want to hope that there will be a proper legacy for those venues in East London to help us continue beyond September. Though I expect much of it will be about trying to make sure that the buildings in Stratford don't collapse.

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