Thursday, February 07, 2008
Good news on Afflecks, Queer up North
So this week two much-loved Manc institutions got a reprieve. First we learned that Queer up North would not have their funding axed by the Arts Council, which is wonderful news for a festival that has made a genuine effort to re-invigorate its programme in the past few years.
All those people who signed the petition online and wrote letters and emails should feel pleased as punch, because the public outcry really did make a difference here. Looking at the other organisations saved from a funding cut, it seems the squeaky wheels got the grease. And remember that the best way to continue to show your support is by actually buying tickets to an event at this year's festival, which I hear is going to be especially good.
Then we got the good word that Afflecks Palace is safe. Honestly, I'm a bit skeptical about whether the threat to it was quite as acute as some local media outlets would have had us believe (the headlines shrieking "Afflecks Palace to Close!", for example). But getting reassurance that it's important to the city is definitely a good thing. A Manchester without Afflecks would be a Manchester with a slightly smaller and less colourful soul.
I just hope new owners Bruntwood understand the importance of allowing the place to stay just as it is: scruffy, quirky and vaguely disreputable - a splendidly ragtag emporium of treasures and tat. No Triangulation on Tib Street, please, or we'll have to kick you with our massive boots.