Make it a catalyst for a better future
Last updated at 16:56, Friday, 13 May 2011
Tomorrow more than 1,000 security staff emergency workers and BBC crews, along with 20,000 music fans holding the hottest festival tickets in the country, will pack into a swiftly erected arena at Carlisle Airport for a momentous Big Weekend.
Momentous certainly for Carlisle. Nothing on the scale of this mammoth Radio 1 event has been seen here before. Nothing approaching the buzz, excitement and engagement greeting it has previously been experienced.
The next few days will be good for Carlisle. Whether or not you enjoy pop and rock; whether or not you’d recognise Lady Gaga if you tripped over her in Carlisle market, you’d have to agree.
How could they not be. The Big Weekend has sparked a cultural and economic uplift few in this city – better known for its cautious lugubriousness than spontaneous positivity – could have hoped for.
That most contentious of sites, Carlisle Airport is alive again and thriving at the centre of a phenomenon known to unite millions in shared, common joy – music.
As a consequence, guest houses and hotels, restaurants, pubs and retailers will benefit to the tune of about £4m. Furthermore Carlisle finally has what this city has long needed – its day in the sunshine of national attention. Carlisle is suddenly a showcase for what is possible when a spark ignites something very special in a city in need of new energy.
This weekend will be the city’s springboard for cultural and economic engagement, event planning and hospitality, creativity, imagination, artistic innovation embedded in and promoting new prosperity.
That’s the hope anyway. And frankly if after the profitable – and fun – experience of the last few weeks, we are unable to turn that hope into reality, we will have only ourselves to blame.
First published at 14:08, Friday, 13 May 2011
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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