Innovation and the new paradigm of Niche

You know what they say, time’s arrow marches on. Well, they do in BoJack Horesman, which I wrote about here some time ago. It’s a totally healthy relationship, honest.

Festivals and events (and let’s face it, the entire world…) is becoming niche-based. Just getting a load of people into a field and within earshot of a subwoofer isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. We want to see specific themes, causes and celebrations. I say it’s great. We’ve had specific festivals for years - car shows, cider festivals, country shows, vintage shows, military shows, you name it. But what happened when music festivals became mainstream (and relatively speaking they definitely did…..) was that the attendees realised they wanted more.

Following on (sort of) from my excitement about Arcadia’s latest creation, other specific offerings are worthy of an eyebrow-raise this year.

First example is the Peaky Blinders festival. I’m a huge fan of that show (I really do other things apart from watching TV - like writing emails) and it’s reviews from last year look great. Huge participation in the costumes and the real feel of a ‘pilgrimage’. Some might say that the event and the show itself glamourise violence and crime. That may be. It may also be that it’s popularity is a sign of the times we are in. As a Londoner, I grew up with the tales of the Kray twins and I remember very clearly the mystique and theatre collected like dry-ice around those figures. Perfect backdrop for this kind of event, whatever your feelings.

At least the creator is from Birmingham and has some kind of actual relationship with the story. Which we can’t always say in this situation whether we’re talking about events, music, movies or headwear.

Next is Hear Her. I try to be as inclusive as my straight, white, middle class male brain allows me to be (despite efforts and challenges to the contrary, it will always be a work in progress). So this is really great thing.

Female and non-binary performers are still woefully under-represented on event lineups around the world. I’m not pointing the blame finger (it’s not my place) but it’s without doubt that this redressing of the balance is worthwhile.

My only disappointment around this one is that it seems to mostly take place indoors meaning getting a big top in there would be challenging to sway the least.

I might go anyway. I never quite recovered from seeing KT Tunstall in a tiny venue underneath a pub in about 2005……

If you can think of any other particularly envelope-pushing events in the UK then please do hi8t ‘reply’ and tell me. At the very least we can give them a bit of a social media lift.

Celebrate the differences.

Until next time,

Arif

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