Author Topic: Bowl Concerts 2011  (Read 6716 times)

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Drone

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Bowl Concerts 2011
« on: May 14, 2011, 11:34:17 AM »
The line ups are announced and the tickets are on sale:

http://www.swindon.gov.uk/Events/Pages/EventsListing.aspx?v=Old%20Town%20Bowl

What do people think of the acts? (3/7 of S Club and 2/5ive, but a decent classical and songwriter programme)

And more to the point, the ticket prices (£55 for a family ticket!!!)

And how do local residents feel?



Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 01:09:09 PM »
As they do every year, 2011's schedule represents a squandered opportunity, sadly. The type of acts booked reflect a very blatant, 'anything will do' attitude. It's time for the Council to let someone who knows what they're doing take charge of these shows, make far better use of what is/could be a fantastic resource and turn the Bowl Concert series into events that people (not just in Swindon) could really look forward to each year.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 04:28:34 PM by 20Eyes »
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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 02:15:31 PM »
Same as with regeneration--very lacking.
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Drone

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 11:52:31 AM »
The cost is pretty offputting, though, particularly if the council is running the events. Who are they aimed at? if people can afford to pay £55, shouldn't we leave it to the private sector to take the risk?

Offline moley

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 01:23:03 PM »
The cost is pretty offputting, though, particularly if the council is running the events. Who are they aimed at? if people can afford to pay £55, shouldn't we leave it to the private sector to take the risk?

As a fairly keen music fan, there is nothing on that list that would remotely tempt me to go to it at £15 let alone £55.

£55 is a fairly high end price for (IMO) a B-list set of artists (I wasn't previously aware of the costs?)

Moley

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 03:31:41 PM »
Seeing as 10cc were likely to be the only lot likely doing this as part of a tour I did a quick google and the price for the bowl concert seems to be around the going rate for their concerts.

As for the 80's night, the website alleges that it'll be the "Ultimate 80s music experience!" :o. Well with Limahl, Sonia and Hazel Dean it's certainly will be an experience, a particularly unpleasant one I should imagine.

I almost feel sorry for SBC, no matter how hard they try they always seem to be able to muck things-up somehow.


Offline moley

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2011, 03:48:18 PM »
Seeing as 10cc were likely to be the only lot likely doing this as part of a tour I did a quick google and the price for the bowl concert seems to be around the going rate for their concerts.

As for the 80's night, the website alleges that it'll be the "Ultimate 80s music experience!" :o. Well with Limahl, Sonia and Hazel Dean it's certainly will be an experience, a particularly unpleasant one I should imagine.

I almost feel sorry for SBC, no matter how hard they try they always seem to be able to muck things-up somehow.

I wonder could they be done under Trade Descriptions?  I'd expect the original lineup of Marillion, the Sisters of Mercy and Japan to get the ultimate 80s experience....

Offline Chav

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2011, 03:53:50 PM »
I fancies a trip to the 80's night. Big hair and shoulder pads.
I could go as the poisoned dwarf from Dallas. Rember that programme  >:D

I also see there is a punk fest at the MECA- sham 69 here we come ! Although I do think my days of jumping up and down in the mosh pit are over. With everything going south too much bounce is a no no ;D
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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2011, 04:13:32 PM »
Chav--don't worry about it; enjoy jigging around and have fun; that is if it is not cancelled as they have not done well there so far. :)
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline Chav

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2011, 05:24:35 PM »
Chav--don't worry about it; enjoy jigging around and have fun; that is if it is not cancelled as they have not done well there so far. :)

Oh I do enjoy myself when I am out.
Mind you the last outdoor music event I went to I was a bit overwhelmed or rather worse for ware, and missed the act I was waiting to see. I think Aligator and tig remembers the event.  ;D
I had to go out of the tent  :o
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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 05:37:55 PM »
Did you ever do Glastonbury Chav?
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 12:33:43 PM »
Dismal turnout for the most recent Bowl Concert - 300 people (on a warm, sunny Saturday evening). Given that the capacity is c.1500, that's pretty dire. Why do SBC insist on putting these shows on when it's clear they don't know what they're doing?
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Drone

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 06:20:32 AM »
Agreed. And if they only sold a 5th of the tickets, then SBC would have made a pretty substantial loss of money on it, too. Is it worth the financial risk?

Offline Rochelle

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 08:28:59 AM »
I don't know who is in charge of bookings and I'm not casting aspersions but they suggest that someone or other has been sold packages because they have little experience and few contacts in the business...
These sorts of packages (Ultimate 80's etc.) are a bit like buying "takeaways" from asda instead of going to a proper Indian takeaway or whatever...and they're prone to having their line-ups altered.
Go to a few festivals, and smallish venues, you'll find plenty of great bands, who are cheaper and will put on a better show.
I would have thought there were more than enough techies in the area to deal with lighting, sound systems and so on so why not put together something bespoke instead of settling for some management company's idea of a good night out?
Crucially you need to know your market and know the business, both these elements seem to be missing, no idea why.
As for the MECA, was there to see The Buzzcocks we all thought it was a cracking venue, very "old school" and we had a great time, it was particularly entertaining watching the 16 year old being chatted up increasingly ineptly by more than one happily tipsy bloke, clearly unaware that mum and step dad were close by!
I reckon Meca is well worth supporting and if ever anyone wants to let me have a crack at the Bowl concerts I'd jump at the chance, I still have my contacts!

Offline Muggins

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 08:54:54 AM »
The family went to the concert on Saturday, I haven't heard how they got on but the youngun's were really looking forward to their first outdoor concert.   

I have to say that I thought it a bit unwise, knowing how crowded these places are and the youth of the kids - 10 and 7, so I was relieved when I heard it was not so crowded.

They didn't pay the full price, the tickets were reduced in the end, I think or maybe someone who couldn't go, sold them on to Coo. She said there was no way she would have taken the gamble on a good night and the weather with two kids in tow, at the full price.

I suppose you could look on it at a practice place for hardening up concert go-ers of the future?  The more there are, the more chance you have of getting that concert hall of the future. So look at it as a deposit down on better things to come.




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Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 09:19:32 AM »
I'm not sure the Council should be let off so easily, or have excuses made for them.

The fact is that the Bowl is an amazing resource in one of the very few relatively pleasant areas of the town. It is perfectly suited to staging live music shows that should, by now, have evolved into a serious of summertime events that people actively look forward to.

It's telling that Invincible (run by private promoters, with negligible/no Council involvement in the actual running of it) has become such an event within just a couple of years. The Bowl Concerts themselves are still a wildly underperforming, and underwhelming, series of shows for which the Council is wholly responsible.

Rochelle has hit the nail on the head. The person (I know who it used to be and never quite understood how anyone thought that was going to end well - not sure if they still do it) booking these shows clearly has no idea what people want to see and is taking 'off the shelf' packages that, in all probability, are marketed out to other Councils around the country who similarly have very little clue about what they're doing.

The thing is, I'm not knocking the Council staff themselves - as I don't believe the Council should be employing full-time music event promoters - but I am questioning why the Council seem to refuse to pass over the booking and general running of these events to people with proven track records who could do far better without even trying.

I belive Invincible had a capacity of c.1500. For the type of bands that should be playing the Bowl concerts, it'd be a fairly simply process to sell-out that many tickets at around the £20 per ticket mark, giving £30,000 as a starting budget (obviously sponsorship and beer/food concessions should pay for the majority of op cost) - that gets you into the territory of some quite interesting possibilities. Certainly a lot more interesting than 2/5 of Five.

Regardless of anything anyone says, when you only sell 300 tickets out of 1500 for an early summer event during a run of unseasonably good weather, something is very, very wrong.
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Offline Tobes

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 11:37:33 AM »
The choice of acts is totally bizarre. I know we're not exactly on the cutting edge of culture here in Swine-town - but 80s throwbacks (and the B-listers at that) only appeal to a very small element of the community: After all, those of us who were young at the time they were successful have realised how crap they were - and many of the kids who might give them a listen now will never of heard of them.... That leaves those amongst us who might like a 'cheesy night out'. Not a big audience, I'd hazard to venture - not when Swindon is already chock full of cheesy tribute bands and karaoke.

Seems to me, that given that overtly amplified pop, rock and DJ acts always face problems with noise pollution up at the bowl. Wouldn't the obvious choice of acts to appear there in the summer (all the more so since the advent of the Meca) would be blues, jazz, world music, string quartets - and maybe even some light opera and drama? The things you can't get much of elsewhere?
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Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2011, 11:58:24 AM »
The choice of acts is totally bizarre. I know we're not exactly on the cutting edge of culture here in Swine-town

Hmm, I'm not so sure. OK, MECA has proved to be a damp squib - I notice their latest 'big' event is, er, Hot Chocolate - but there's been a significant increase in the quality and amount of truly interesting and impressive shows at The Victoria, 12 Bar and The Furnace, plus the Beehive continues to put on some unusual but top drawer stuff. For the first time in a long time, it's pretty good for live music fans in the town, it's just that it's at the grassroots and mid-sized level. There are also some really excellent young local bands coming through the ranks, some already doing full European tours and the like.

Seems to me, that given that overtly amplified pop, rock and DJ acts always face problems with noise pollution up at the bowl. Wouldn't the obvious choice of acts to appear there in the summer (all the more so since the advent of the Meca) would be blues, jazz, world music, string quartets - and maybe even some light opera and drama? The things you can't get much of elsewhere?

I can see your point, but I'm fairly sure that blues, jazz and world music is already catered for by the Bowl concerts, maybe too much, some might say. It's also the case that much of what you've mentioned has a fairly small audience in Swindon. Can't say I agree about the noise levels either, I've seen local bands play just as loud as bigger acts and even the kind of cheese that the Council is putting on will be using venue appropriate PAs.

And, frankly, it is actually (or certainly should be) a bit irrelevant what 50 or so local residents say about events that only happen 5 or 6 days a year and are over by about 10.30pm on Saturday nights in any case.
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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2011, 12:34:24 PM »
Realistically the overriding feature of Swindon is that we do not attract the top current acts.
We do have a good pub culture with some great new and local bands and Riffs Bar has led that field for a number of years. What we lack is a multi purpose venue to attract the mix of top acts. Could it be that is due to lack of interest by local people? Top acts attract visitors from other towns and cities and the closest we have reached was the much hyped MECA which
has not yet fulfilled that promise. Look how the Pilton festival started and how it is now; one of the biggest and best. Look at all the land around us; yet there is nothing to attract major sport or entertainment. Then we wonder why our town is the butt of all jokes. We do have it all; sadly no-one knows what to do with it?
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Bowl Concerts 2011
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2011, 01:41:24 PM »
The geographical location of Swindon is part of the problem, which we'd have to overcome even if we have the facilities.

Swindon is an hours drive from Reading, Bristol/Bath and Oxford, which should be good news, trouble is all three of these places have factors that might sway a concert promoter.

Reading - next door to London (with lots of towns in between)
Bristol - well there's the very large combined population of the Bristol/Bath urban area plus South Wales is just across the bridge
Oxford - slightly closer to London and a big student population (otherwise very similar to Swindon).