Monday, August 25, 2008

The End of Summer?

Most in Britain might reasonably tell you that 2008 was the summer that didn't happen. The weather was fairly rubbish, the credit crunch suddenly seemed more real than anyone realised, and then there would be that disappointment that comes around only every fourth year...
The first two came to pass but Team GB in the Olympics, something that we tend to regard as an affirmation of our poor record in sport, proved anything but that and a launch pad for London 2012.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, accepted the Olympic flag and he is possibly the only recipient who, had he felt inclined to do so, could have quite easily made his acceptance speech in classical Greek!
You might well ask why I mention this here and also 'What does that have to do with music?' It has a lot in common - music has for years usually been regarded as a team GB thing, regardless of where the artists come from or their ethnic background and now sport has, apparently quite suddenly, become seen in much the same light. That the Olympians were played off-stage in Beijing by Leona Lewis, only for her to arrive back in her home city in the midst of the Notting Hill Carnival - the world's largest Carribean festival - is something of which both London, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in general, can be justifiably proud.

The thing is that, despite all the global uncertainties, Britain seems more comfortable with its place in the world. I don't think that music is going to let us down between now and 2012 - innovate, adopt, adapt and export will probably accelerate the recent trends, but I suspect that we will also become more receptive to those from overseas.
The main festivals have now come to an end, with Leeds/Reading this weekend, but the pre-sales for 2009 are now on offer, except for those for which the limited allocation has already sold out, and that is most of them.
If one thing is certain, despite several summers of poor weather, Britons remain in thrall to outdoor live music and now there are some out-of-season indoor festivals too. I''m planning to go to S
ŵn 2008.

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