Manchester City Council

Only in Manchester

It's Sunday at 7.30am and I'm back in the ‘tent’, constructed for last year's first Manchester International Festival, currently parked in Cathedral Gardens outside Urbis, and this weekend the home for the Tony Wilson Experience.

That means I've made it back from Bristol but the journey, in particular going down, was even more unpleasant than the journey earlier in the week to Newcastle, with lots of people standing all the way from Birmingham to Bristol and it wasn't even at peak times.

Even having spent several hours at the TWE yesterday, indeed  'officially' opening it, it is still difficult to describe. It is an event commemorating the contribution Tony Wilson made to this city but it is in no way a memorial. Tony always encouraged young people with talent and so the basic idea is to take 200 talented and creative young people from Manchester, Salford and around and give them an opportunity to interact with and learn from people who have been successful in all aspects of the Arts and Cultural Industries. There are sessions with people from the music business, composers, poets, painters, graphic designers, broadcasters, TV and film producers, and even a Professor of Physics. I'm amazed at how many of the young people taking part are still awake for the 7am session currently on with two music moguls, and what had started off at noon yesterday in a rather stiff and formal way has become very lively. I'm doing a session at 8am - see how many people that sends to sleep. The event is being streamed live so we have people from all over the world logging in to an event shambolic enough to be useful. Only in Manchester!

The Council's support for the event is not entirely altruistic. The future of this city depends on us doing new things, different things, doing things better i.e. on innovation and creativity. If out of the TWE only a dozen of the young people taking part get the motivation to use their talents to do things that help them but also help grow the development of the city, that will be a real result.

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There are 2 responses to “Only in Manchester”

  1. Alan Cameron Says:

    I would welcome the imposition of the congestion charge but I would prefer to call it a pollution charge.
    Too late for my children they have grown up. We live smack bang between 2 of the cummuter spokes of the city Hyde rd and Ashton old road. If you can afford to live in suburbia then either work there or pay us compensation for poisoning our children with your exhaust emmissions. Or alternatively pay for one of those snotty apartments in areas of manchester renamed with london names because some idiot thinks it sounds posher than ancoats or beswick or wherever to wipe out our northern culture. go ahead charge to enter city of manchester though just charging at peak times will only encourage an alteration of working times

  2. Barrie Says:

    Alan, New Islington is the historical name for that area, it's easy to hava a knee jerk reaction against "posh" redevelopment but the area was a mess before & if we didn't move forward we'd all still be living in caves.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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