With just two weeks until the frenzy begins, news finally begins to leak out about the city council/Business West £70k a year cultural wallah Andrew Kelly’s grand vision for 2008 – our “city of culture” year.
But first let’s reappraise ourselves of what we were promised by Kelly, 100 per cent backed by a Labour administration, back in 2002:
By 2008 Bristol will have changed as much again as it has changed in the past decade. Bristol’s cultural infrastructure, redeveloped over 20 years, will be the envy of most cities – renewed arts organisations, new concert hall, an arena, a new Museum of Bristol, and new swimming pools – will be just some of the facilities available for the 2008 resident and tourist.
On the surface it doesn’t look hopeful does it? It’s unlikely many cities out there are really envying our cultural infrastructure currently tailspinning into disaster. Meanwhile there’s no sign of a new concert hall – just an overpriced and overrated £18m new Colston Hall foyer replacing one of Bristol’s landmark buildings instead; the arena was cancelled this week; the Museum of Bristol is an over budget farce lacking a serious business plan and more swimming pools have been closed or are under threat than have been opened.
So in the face of this maelstrom of disasters what’s Kelly’s big plan? A new website – Bristol Reads – gives us a clue:
Yes folks after all the high falutin’ talk, vacuous promises and cash expended, what we’re actually getting off Kelly and the council is a crappy fucking comic. Well done.