A dozen or so musicians have just returned to our fair shores having been away to Austin Texas to attend the annual SXSW (South by South West) music industry jamboree. What you will not deduce from the very “rock n’ roll” style promotional material below is that their attendance there was funded by Belfast City Council.
That’s quite an admirable move on the part of BCC and their creative people but it appears that the creativity doesn’t stop at the music.
Take for example the fact that none of the bands appearing at the “Belfast Rocks” event are actually from Belfast but instead predominately from the Maiden City or its immediate surroundings (Coleraine, Magherafelt) throw into the mix the fact that at least two of the acts are signed to and funded by record labels and one would have to wonder if
a) Belfast bands are so shite they do not merit listening to or supporting / promoting
b) if record labels are in such dire financial straits that they need subsidised (with the help of my fucking taxes I hasten to add) to market their wares.
Either way Belfast appears to be in creative meltdown with funding intended for its citizens being distributed by the capital city to already signed bands from other cities and towns (not to mention certain businesses from other parts of the UK) whist the grass roots of creativity go undernourished because they are neither “hip” nor “sussed” enough to milk the system to their own advantage.
Checks and balances? I don’t think so – certainly not from an NI audit perspective.