So the Big Weekend has been and gone and although Spaceman didn’t get an invite it has been very good for the area. It’s brought in people, money, celebrities, music acts and a big blue tent.
I wouldn’t say it has put Carlisle on the map but a few more people might be able to guess that we still don’t have a proper airport but have an airfield, where the Big Weekend took place.
Also, it was a lift for the area in general as Cumbria doesn’t get much in the way of big quality music acts because we have no purpose built venue. The powers that be obviously don’t have it very high on their agenda as the last set of plans to redevelop the local Sands Centre were indefinitely shelved.
Incidentally, many large acts give the Sands Centre a wide berth mainly due to the lack of serious capacity, the acoustics and lack of atmosphere in the old sports hall.
Local’s will be well aware of the Lonsdale Cinema saga, a local campaign to save and redevelop a grade II listed shell as a theatre/music/art’s venue which was mysteriously burned down before the campaign could gain momentum.
So the future appears to be only open air festivals as far as Cumbria is concerned, which is a shame as we deserve alot better.