Penny for your thoughts on the Cultural Olympiad

According to Tony Hall, Chair of the cultural wing of the London Olympics,the penny hasn’t quite dropped yet with the general public that the Cultural Olympiad kicks off tonight (see article in today’s Guardian).

Reading the very first events highlighted in the introductory paragraph to the article, though, I suspect that the penny has dropped – and the public simply isn’t all that moved.

Apparently, according to the events it lists at the start,

The waters of Windermere will burn in the Lake District, Jeremy Deller’s bouncy castle Stonehenge will pop up in the National Botanic Garden of Wales and a peace message from Yoko Ono in 24 languages will be played on all the giant screens installed for the Olympics.

If the quality of the whole cultural festival accompanying the Olympics can be judged from these events, the public aren’t all that excited about a bouncy Stonehenge (which will ring some bells for all fans of Spinal Tap) and a message from Yoko Ono, who is not interesting in herself and therefore can hardly be expected to enthuse the Great British Public.

We are aware of it; as I observed previously with regard to the damp squib that has been New Music 20×12, it’s just failed to set us alight. Disappointment rather than lack of awareness, I’m afraid, Tony…


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