You might have noticed, dear reader, how there’s been a bit of a gap since my last post. In this respect, I’ve committed the ultimate blogging no-no, but what can I say? Days have flown by, filled with stories of Paul the psychic octopus (my favourite silly season story so far this year), political spats (Mr Clegg, you have crossed a bridge too far for the people of Sheffield) and cuts so deep they’re hitting places we’d forgotten existed.
While all this has been whirring away, I’ve thrown myself into work headfirst, not least because I was part of the brilliant team (even if I say so myself!) behind Sheffield’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2013. Our campaign was dynamic, authentic and based on a ‘from the ground up’ philosophy, driven by the thriving DIY cultural landscape which has long existed across the seven hills of the city.
Last week, our bid – shortlisted with our other three contenders, Derry, Birmingham and Norwich – came to a nail-biting crescendo when the announcement of the winning city was made, live on national TV and radio. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Derry clinched the title. Apparently a substantial part of their bid was framed around the idea of culture being a ‘building block to peace.’ Amen to that. I wish them well and look forward to seeing what becomes of their victory…
Naturally, the decision came as a disappointment to Sheffield. But the bounce back from our supporters came quickly and with typical Steel spirit. Sheffield IS a city of culture, title or not, was the resounding response. Undoubtably, the city’s national profile has been raised, especially in the often-complacent eyes of the southern-based media, and the momentum built up in the campaign will carry on. So watch this space!
Here’s a BBC video report about Sheffield, on the night of the announcement, in case you missed it (check me out for a blink of an eye!):
Before I sign off, I’ll be lost in music this coming weekend, when Sheffield’s brilliant FREE (yes, gratis!) music festival Tramlines (http://www.tramlines.org.uk/) surges into life. So expect lots more photos, a couple of reviews and who knows, maybe even a rock ‘n’ roll escapade to share in my next update…
Sheffield, you rock!