Each year there are a variety of festivals and events in the city, ranging from the Boat Show and Common People to smaller ethnic and cultural celebrations. The core of the programme is a number of community-based events such as the Mela, Film Week, and Music in the City. These events have a number of common and shared problems from raising funds, lack of capacity, and sustainability to marketing and building profile. As a result the city does not receive maximum benefit from its Festivals in terms of civic pride, profile, tourism or economic benefits.
The city is taking a significant cultural step forward. The opening of Studio 144 and Gods House Tower are being matched by developments in the cultural fabric of the city such as the new professional orchestra, the BAS8 Southampton Fringe, Pride of Place, and the growing confidence of the creative community. The challenge is now to capitalise on these developments through our festivals and events, move to the next level, and secure the benefits in the way other cities have.
The consortium project proposal
To establish a project that brings together community-based events in Southampton into a consortium that can address the shared issues they face, helping them develop and grow together into a sustainable annual programme – through learning, support, sharing resources, and stronger emphasis on fundraising, programme and audience development, and marketing.
The proposal looks to deliver a number of benefits to the city as a whole. These include:
- a properly co-ordinated programme of activity across the year;
- higher profile marketing of festivals and events in the city;
- increased opportunities for graduate retention, apprenticeships and placements, volunteers, and artists.
- contribution to the city’s pride of place
- a stronger offer to support business recruitment and investment in the city.