Sunday, 22 July 2012

Getting started

So, we're pretty sure we've vented about this one previously on Twitter, but we (I should be probably use the singular here),... I... find myself looking at some situations and wondering whether or not this really is the limit of what we (scooping in wider humanity at this point, so I'm happy with the plural) can achieve.

It's tough not to quote specific examples here - maybe that's the future direction of the blog, but for now, let's not.  The people who are charged with looking after Warrington and it's creative direction are a constant source of this frustration.  Yes, it's harsh, but we need some larger vision.  Something more aspirational to really drive home that message of what it's all about.  While local festivals are core to providing a sense of community, can we not think bigger?  Can we not really aim higher?

It's really easy to write this stuff but it's equally easy to get involved.  Why aren't the streets cleaned more often?  Why do we see derelict buildings falling further and further into disrepair?  Who, fundametally, is accountable for all of this?  We're not just taking potshots at Warrington here, this is endemic of Manchester and Salford too at the moment.  These are supposedly beacons of what can be done in the north-west.  Let's start by getting the small things sorted out.

Back to Warrington - we know all that's been going on with the changes to Charitable Trusts takes time, but let's really start to aim for a big bang.  Let's start putting things on the map and see where we end up.

We've seen some awesome successes (and spectacular failures) over the last few months.  And in this case, we're going to take a pop.

Bringing the Stone Roses to Warrington was a massive achievment - no-one can question that.  We had the focus of the nation on us, albeit briefly, with the likes of Radio 1 delivering the instructions for what to do to get tickets.  Good times.

I'm not one who spends hours emailing to complain.  I'm not someone who regularly gets annoyed or frustrated...  However, in this instance, the communication was pittiful.  Follow-up on what was going to be a massive event was woeful.  We understand the need to keep the number of people who knew about the "secret" gig down to a minimum, but the fact that various bar owners were making comments on social-media earlier in the day and were clearly in on the act was just not right.  Especially when WBC had representatives presenting at a creative industries meetup that very night - who had to leave early to work at the event.  Standing up and walking out whilst the second presentation was taking place - not cool.

Where was the follow-up, where was the promotion of creative events in the town and more importantly, where was the message ramming home the fact that people were in the Cultural Quarter?  This was sorely missed and by engaging a select, core, group within the town could well have thrown these questions up earlier and delivered a more rounded package.

If we are to succeed as a town, we need to ensure that polish is applied to every event, regardless of how long we had to prepare. 

Changes in direction across the town are to be encouraged and we've been seeing some truly excellent projects but could we not just focus on the short-term wins.  By working together, we can produce magic.  Siloed working and internal elitism (especially the unfounded sort) is going to achieve nothing.

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