This weekend Artsfest 2009 is upon us bringing its usual mix of eclectic musical tastes and drip feed of theatre.
Free for all public events is what makes a city in my opinion; it gives you a reason to live or visit somewhere and, credit where its due, Birmingham City Council do make proactive strides to ensure Birmingham is regularly updated with municipal events.
Frankfurt German Market, Taste of Birmingham, International Food Market, the list goes on. Every month or so an event worth attending rears its head, not only that, a (usually) free event. Music (or perhaps arts) and food seem to be the common themes and, although not particularly varied, they are themes worth persuing.
Art representation grows year on year in Birmingham with Digbeth as its cradle and champion, while food has unexpectedly put Birmingham on the map, with its newly awarded Michelin star restaurants as its flagship. Perhaps food shouldn’t be such a surprise, Birmingham is after all the birth place of Cadbury’s.
So get down to Artsfest, enjoy free, high quality music, because few other places offer it and few others do it at such quality.
And for once let’s doff our caps to the people at BCC who are helping to bring a new identity to the city’s public areas.
Written by Anthony Tattum on 26 Aug 09 at 10:20am
I am no expert on film making. There, I have said it, so my following comments are based on observations and research. Film making is changing. More specifically: how to make a living from it as a small indie.
Nora playing the piano
I was participating in a conference, Hello Digital, a screen and digital media conference and festival which we [Big Cat] helped organise last year. Film makers were asking a guy from Channel 4 how to make money from film making any more when people download them for free?
The internet has forced a lot of traditional industries to rethink their business models. The media, high street retail and insurance to name but a few have seen revenues decimated by online competition.
There may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Rupert Neate reported in the Telegraph today that the Google owned website YouTube has extended a scheme to share advertising revenues with prolific creators to include one-off video which “goes viral” and proves very popular. The notion of employing global social platforms to distribute content and gain infamy or money is nothing new.
Lauren Luke, a 27-year old from Newcastle-upon-Tyne has dropped out of school and become Britain’s most successful YouTube video creator offering beauty how-to tips.
At present only US-based users will be able to participate, but YouTube has said it intends to extend the scheme internationally. But does this mean that to make a living our highly creative film makers will have to “sell out” and produce piano-playing kitten videos or film their friends doing death defying stunts?
I’m sure anyone that has walked around the Bullring in the last week or so will have noticed a Statue of Liberty and a mock up yellow taxi just outside the Selfridges building.
I don’t know if this is a marketing ploy or stunt (although I assume it is) but it doesn’t half look out of place. Firstly, they’re not particularly evocative; it doesn’t grab the eye and whisk you over the mental pond to the land of steaming grills and Christmas movies. Secondly, and this maybe over the top, it is right next to Birmingham’s biggest landmark and symbol.
New York wouldn’t have a mock up Bullring, Custard Factory or ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’, it doesn’t need to because it’s a well established, world class city.
So is Birmingham, we’re not New York (yet) but we have unique landmarks and a distinctive culture. That means we no longer have to rely on basking in the glory of other cities. Our re-invention from industrial powerhouse to cultural and creative hotbed in little over 10 years is remarkable, and there is a genuine community and life force growing within the city.
Selfridges and the NEC give us an immediate draw and the beauty of the Council Building, Town Hall, and Centenary Square provide the city with a scenic dignity comparable with any European city.
I’m probably wrong, they’re probably a littlebit of fun but I think Birmingham has enough of a grounding and culture to not need to decorate our town with trinkets from New York or Paris.
Our 4th and final departmental blog is up and running. Its author, Daniel Webb, has just come back from holiday and so was unable to get the blog live as early as the others.
Big Cat Strategy is the marketing arm of the company and thus the blog will contain questions, comment and features on the world of marketing.
Check it out and see, it should be a hit.
Big Cat Idea
This is starting to become quite commonplace but our very own Jason Hannon, who has sired posts on this blog, has officially started his design blog.
Jason will be discussing branding, graphic design and advertising as well as offering opinion, industry insight and examples of great design.
All hail Leila Campbell, our newest recruit and latest blogger. The Big Cat Experience blog is now live and I demand all and sundry read it every day!
Leila will be streaming footage and images of Big Cat’s events from The Custard Factory and other external venues.
She will also be providing valuable insight into the events industry as well as comment features and general musings.
Events, dear boy, events!