It seems the Arts Council Wales has launched the application process for the Festival UK*2022 but is this not B Johnson's BREXIT FESTIVAL? ?
As 95% of the creative industries did not vote for Brexit who wants this Festival?
By the time this festival happens, if it goes ahead, we may well find that touring in Europe will be very difficult and very expensive. Admin will increase and extra expenses for the carnet system will make it almost impossible for small companies to make a tour pay. Also European bookers will be discouraged from using UK / Welsh companies and won't want to afford absorbing these extra costs. It will also be harder for European companies and individual artists to apply to perform here. As well as paying the extra fees for an individual performers licences. So what is there to celebrate.
There are some critics saying that the UK's aesthetic standards are very low as a result of continued cuts in funding and the uk governments latent hostility to the arts because of our critical voice. This does not bode well for presenting "The best of Britain" with Wales tacked on the side too.
Of course in this time of anxiety and genuine fear of imminent demise of theatre companies, and associated artists, technicians, freelancers and musicians the pressure to take part in this festival must tempt many to apply to take the £100,000 and survive while trying to dissociate from the clustered flack that leaving Europe without grown up arrangements in place will leave us dodging.
Not having looked at the application process I'm unsure what UK government really want to promote with this festival, but as they are prime promoters of chaos they may well like to support content that is critical of their acknowledged incompetence, who knows? (not likely)
I am wondering what, if any, other theatre companies, directors, performers are thinking about this BREXIT festival as it is already being characterised as. I can only imagine the multi clauses in the contracts and the restrictions and compliance mechanisms that need adhering to, and the reams of paper one must sign to take part in corporate UK's expression of the STATE of the Nation would be exhausting. We also have to consider the designated role that Wales will be obliged to play in these 10 expressions of creativity.
As you can see I am not impressed with the concept and do not wish to be dangling on a zip wire waving the union jack but others may have a different take on FESTIVAL UK * 2022
The organisers are already saying this.."this is going to be a great and valuable world-beating project.” so we can guess where this may be heading. ............... And the contract for security goes to..... Serco
Why on earth would you hold the best of Britain festival...in Britain.. the only proof of this pudding is if it were to staged in 10 European capitals. That may actually show how well Brexit is working. Too brave?
ps . I believe the asterisk after UK* indicates that have no idea what they want from it artistically.
Who do you think will get a look in?
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