Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A few final thoughts on the Summer Sensational

Temple Bar Cultural Trust are to be congratulated on continuing to try out new ideas. I very much enjoyed the festival, although that's partly out of sheer self-interest; the festival organisers really did an excellent job in supporting on-line commentary about the festival.

So what was good? The events: they were varied and of a high quality. Lords of Strut in particular were wonderful. I also enjoyed Cirque de Legume, the Julie Feeney concert and Summer Lightning. Oh, and the walking tour of public art was a revelation - walking through Temple Bar will never be quite the same again.

What was bad? The weather. Apart from Sunday, the weather really let the side down. July is the new June. The organisers were well prepared for the rain, and it did produce a sense of camaraderie, but a festival that's called Summer Sensational is always going to suffer if it rains.

And that leaves just one final thought. There's no doubt that Temple Bar can organise one damn fine festival and draw in quality acts. The big question for the organisers now is, is the Summer Sensational the right format? By being so inclusive and having such a wide variety of events, does the Summer Sensational risk trying - and failing - to be all things to all people? Should they split the festival into two or more smaller but more focused festivals? I can't answer those questions: all I can say is that I enjoyed the festival, and I hope that whatever festival format(s) is used next year will be just as enjoyable.

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