I turned up at Morecambe Town Hall last Wednesday, for the first meeting of the new Festivals Working Group.
I wasn’t sure what to expect and was thrilled when I saw the turnout. The Town Hall was packed and was buzzing with people from all areas of the community, all wanting to have their say on Morecambe’s Event Season.
After two and a half hours of discussion the meeting established a number of proposals which will be put before the next full council meeting for ratification.
Surprisingly enough, these are not a million miles away from the current system.
The main difference is that the application process will be easier and people will be given the opportunity to discuss and develop their ideas before doing a presentation and, very importantly, there won’t be anyone timing them to make sure they don’t go over three minutes.
It’s important that what money there is, is spent appropriately and on events which entertain residents and visitors alike and add to the town’s reputation.
It’s also important that events try to develop and grow and generate other funding streams.
In this way, other new events can be supported and nurtured and added to our event season.
The group touched on accountability: each event needs to have some sort of final appraisal to judge whether it has been a success or not and, if not, why not.
This can be the mechanism for developing events, constantly determining how things can be done better.
I think that all the event organisers who were present were in agreement that this group could act almost like a mentoring service for new organisers.
I know that when I first raised the idea of the 2014 carnival there wasn’t anywhere to go for advice or assistance.
I was lucky because I knew Steve Middlesbrough and Ivan Harrison who were already event organisers and I’d worked with The Bay through my business.
There must be many people that have ideas about events in Morecambe but don’t have the contacts to move forward.
Well, pretty soon they will have and, this must be a good thing for the town’s event season.
New, invigorating, diverse, entertaining and exciting times ahead.