Some time ago I wrote a blog post about what might be the future of the Custard Factory, claiming that its capacity as a music venue had somewhat reached its terminal velocity. Every big night is full but you can’t expand financially until you expand physically.
- Time for the Custard Factory to fulfil its potential
The answer to the conundrum may be answered by the forthcoming Bodies Revealed exhibition and similar events. Bodies Revealed is open all day, six days a week and is expected to bring 6,500 people through the doors of Custard Factory’s Space 2. That is a consistent number that doing big club nights simply can’t compete with. In addition to that, every visitor will no doubt drop into ‘Yumm’ for their lunch, The Old Crown for a pint and do some shopping in the flea market or COW. The knock on effects for the local economy could be profound.
It also provides invaluable PR for the Custard Factory. A new breed of customer will be taken into the creative beehive and see what everyone gets so excited about. It could inspire bigger exhibitions or events to use the Custard Factory, in turn perpetuating more business to the complex and its neighboring amenities.
The Gallery, Old Library, Theatre and Factory Club could all benefit from the extra exposure and visitor footfall. The potential of the Custard Factory has been the talk of creative Birmingham for some time, maybe now it is the chance to fulfil it.
With the departure of Clive Dutton, who has been so instrumental in securing the future of the city, thoughts turn to ‘what do we do next?’.
Do we carry on as we are, or do we introspect a bit and refine our strategy? These are tough questions and it proves what we should already know; town planning is not easy.
Our glorious leader, Anthony Tattum, said so eloquently in the Birmingham Post‘s ‘Pen Portrait’ (Sorry Alun) that Birmingham ‘needs a single vision’. I didn’t know he harboured this opinion until I read it in the paper, and I have to say I agree.
There is a relentless tug-of-war between seperate sectors on how the future of the city should look and feel.
One side would prefer to capitalise on Birmingham’s burgeoning creative industry and Digbeth based online innovation, whilst the other side would rather a more urbane, modern chic. See it as BrindleyPlace versus The Custard Factory.
But here is the problem, it is difficult to achieve both and I can’t see the council favouring post-industrial developments such as Fazeley Studios over slick new builds like The Library and New Street Station.
Is there a middle ground or should we develop Digbeth and Eastside in the creative mould whilst cleaning up the city centre with modern designs?
Personally I think the creative industries are the future of this city and it gives a unique selling point; it would make sense to invest in these areas.
The only thing we do know is that we need to pick a direction and run in it.
Please welcome yet another guest blogger, the beautiful and lovely, Jason Hannon.
Much like the cult classic, Fight Club, ‘Secret Wars’ battles are set up and promoted through word of mouth (Although you are allowed to tell people about it).
Artists are given the task of creating their own unique illustrations within a certain time frame; there is no preparation time, there is no time to think, it is purely to create there and then.
This creative battle network grows bigger by the day, every month or so they add more battle locations while new and exciting artists enter the frame.
According to the Secret Wars website, “Secret Wars is on a global mission to turn live art into a recognised sport.”
The Semi final for this years Secret Wars happens in Birmingham’s prime location for creativity, Digbeth.
If anyone fancies taking a look, it takes place in The Rainbow Pub in Digbeth on the 21st of February, This SATURDAY, starting at 9 o’clock. I think this just shows how diverse a city Birmingham is that it can host an event like this.
I have added a cool link to showcase what they actually do in Secret Wars from the 2008 final, which also took place in Birmingham.
Filed under Big News, Design