SLAP Mag News Roundup May 2020

Bye George 

Many warm tributes have been paid locally to prolific letter-writer George Cowley who’s passed away from natural causes aged 83. George became notorious for his mostly inconsequential almost-daily ramblings which inspired a mix of amusement, boredom, frustration and anger in roughly equal proportions from readers. Often the local paper would print a letter of complaint about George’s musings (usually about his passion for Shirley Bassey) immediately followed by the latest missive from the Bard Of Warndon himself! Pete Unwin of The George Cowley Experience band said ‘they got to know George as a human being who trod lightly on this world, a most humble man who judged nobody – the world has lost another great character…’

Pride and place

Planning for this year’s fourth Worcester Pride is still going ahead with the event due to be held once again at Copenhagen Street car park after relocating to the Cornmarket last year. Chairman Matt Skilbeck said that after seeing so many Pride events cancelled ‘we are hoping more than ever to make this event happen’ – worcestershirepride.org

Artrixic integrity 

While the management team who organise events at Artrix Theatre in Bromsgrove have ceased trading after 15 years of promoting many fine gigs at the quality venue – they hope that this shows that an arts centre in Bromsgrove will ‘rise again after this extraordinary situation’…

Fat Chancellor 

Names including Stephen Fry, Grayson Perry and Nick Cave are among the 400-plus signatories of the Creative Industries Foundation who’ve written to the Chancellor and Culture Secretary asking for extra urgent funding to support arts venues, organisations and workers to prevent the UK becoming ‘a cultural wasteland’. They state that the funds are needed to support creative bodies and professionals who need cash to survive – and they need it now – we couldn’t agree more…

Elgar festival cancelled 

Malvern’s Elgar Festival which was due May 28-31 and showcases the life and music of the composer has been cancelled with organisers saying that their first concern had to be the well-being of performers and audiences, but they’re ‘looking to the future in a hopeful spirit’ – elgarfestival.org

Online antics

While local live and sweaty gigs still seem to be a little way off yet there’s been a feisty contribution from many local artists broadcasting from their bedrooms, garages, back gardens etc – fair play! There’s also a selection of bigger acts such as Talking Heads, Oasis, Bowie, Radiohead, Nirvana to be found on YouTube and the like – why not let us know your favourites?

Goulding Wedding Present

An NHS nurse got a surprise when ex-Herefordshire singer Ellie Goulding treated her to a live performance during her online wedding. The singer performed her hit ‘Love Me Like You Do’ over a Zoom video call as nurse Hayley Pitman shared her first dance with new husband Harvey Skelton, both from Bristol. The couple had been due to get married in Cheltenham but were forced to postpone the ceremony.

Westfestless

Malvern’s family-friendly Westfest which was due to be held on 4 July has been postponed until next year with organisers saying that they’ll ‘get through today’s problems and be back in business in July 2021’. Last year Westfest which features mostly local acts raised over £6000 for worthy causes.

Courtyard creatives

The Courtyard Theatre in Hereford has launched an ‘Isolation Creations’ project to support the local community and to showcase their creative efforts and turn their experiences at this time into art to ‘keep the hearts of local people beating’. Creations can take any form that can be digitised and put onto a website/social media page – more at courtyard.org.uk/isolationcreations

Back on the Mapp

Mappfest founder Andy Mapp is hopeful that the two-day event on Link Ciommon can be held later in the year after being forced to postpone this year’s event. Mappfest started in 2009 and has featured many local acts over the years as well as flypasts from the Red Arrows and the Battle Of Britain memorial aircraft – organisers promise a ‘heck of a party’ in due course – we hope so as well!

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