CiB Year in Review: September

A daily look at the last 12 months

September and the Heat was Felt in the most surprising of places.

The manager of Midas went on the record about that SIM card charts thing that no-one really understood.

The Moseley Folk Festival happened and I did the Collective Memory thing. Personally speaking it was a rather wonderful thing, something Birmingham should be very proud of.

Gary Corbett did his 10 Strangers photography project.

Station, a photography exhibition at Curzon St Station, opened and had an ulterior motive – to make the case for the building to house a permanent Photography Museum, something Birmingham sorely lacks. The Post followed this up.

Feel the Heat launched, Marketing Birmingham’s long term campaign to promote the city’s arts and music across the country and the world. CiB provided a forum for critique in the comments. The rest is unwritten history, but it certainly put this blog on the map.

And then The City Council’s B1 CD hit the fan where it emerged things hadn’t quite been done properly regarding licensing them for the website. A website that didn’t really work. Oops.

Damian Ortega’s Being was the final installation at the IKON’s Eastside warehouse, using massive sheets of copper found around Digbeth.

Skeleton Crew Productions took over gig promotions at the Actress and Bishop.

The Artsfest Program went online one whole week before the event took place.

The MAC was in trouble after a summer of flooding and faced a financial crisis resulting in them Axing 182 staff and canceling their proposed off-site program during the 18 month refurb.

With Artsfest seemingly doomed before it happened there were reports of a new bi-annual music festival being planned.

The Birmingham Comedy Festival was announced. Even with Jimmy Carr headlining and BRMB sponsoring there were some excellent shows on. Personal fave: Stuart Lee.

The Plus+ Design Festival was getting closer…

The VTP aka VerTiPlex aka Vertical Theme Park was announced – essentially a big cock of a tower in Eastside. Excellent!

Boy Wonder Records launched and soon joined the blogosphere.

After a rather big 07 the 7inch kids decided to take a year off from the Flatpack Festival. It’ll return in 09.

Project X was approaching.

BLAST happened and was absolutely fantastic. I noted that it was of an international standard yet could only happen in Birmingham and that publicity for the event had been sadly lacking. If it had been a Tate London event it would have been all over the media. But on the whole, WOW!

Artsfest was hailed “a huge success” and saved for another year. Apparently over 200,000 attended. They weren’t spread that evenly though. Cue musings on how you count those sort of numbers and what “success” ultimately means. I asked for personal stories and got some nice ones particularly from bands and volunteers.

Feel the Heat continued with Dave Hodgson of Marketing Birmingham defending the campaign in The Post. The comments thread on that post went on for a while…

Stourbridge got itself a Mask Festival.

The Charles Parker archive at the Library was unveiled.

The Crowd 6 galley in Bearwood started appearing on my radar.

Stats for the Artsfest Ticket Booth sales generated a lot of comments, not all about the ticket booth sales…

Gigbeth was a’coming and Robin Valk did a special podcast for it.

Soweto Kinch won a MOBO Award but failed miserably in the Brummie of the Year award later in the year.

The Festival of Xtreme Building ended after 4 months of experimental building and art. Rain dampened this outdoor event quite substantially but it’s on the map now and due to return in 2009.

The Binary Oppositions launch crept up on me and I didn’t realise the significance until the last minute. A very inspiring and important project this.

Ben Waddington did a number of his walks around Birmingham including type-specific ones for the Plus+ Festival.

Light House in Wolvs celebrated 21 years of existence.

And finally, UCE became BCU. How exciting.

Did I really only profile two people this month? It appears so. Ben Calvert and Jane Anderson were they.


  1. The Tartan Hornplayer

    I’ve really enjoyed reading the review of the year but please, where information is repeated, please ensure it’s correct.

    mac is not looking to axe staff because of a financial crisis; the centre will close in April for an incredibly exciting £13.6m refurbishment and, sadly, people will have to be laid off during the closure period as without visitors, there is not a need for the majority of mac staff.

  2. Fair enough, but I was under the impression that the original plan was to keep a MAC-lite running in Cannon Hill Park putting on events in tents and the like. This would have required people to run it and, from what I heard it was cancelled.

    The big point here is I never saw anything to the contrary on this point, only articles in the press. Now if MAC had a blog / news feed on the website it could all have been cleared up by the primary source nice and quickly.

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