Mutual support is the lifeblood of Liverpool’s creative community. This needs to be recognised now more than ever. As we temporarily move online, our output will not lose focus – we will continue to celebrate and support a thriving city of music and creative culture.
For the first time in 10 years and 108 issues, this month will not see a new edition of Bido Lito!. The decision hasn’t come lightly. Producing a monthly magazine celebrating Liverpool’s music and creative culture through original writing, photography and illustration is the central reason why Bido Lito! exists. In normal circumstances, Issue 109 would arrive this coming Thursday. Thoughts would have already turned to 110 and the myriad of activity that May brings. But, right now, this is far from normal territory.
The quickly developing situation surrounding COVID-19 has affected every aspect of Liverpool’s creative community. Some will have felt this more than others so far. Some will know the true cost in the coming weeks.
As an outlet that exists to reflect and inform Liverpool’s creative community, Bido Lito! is a central link in a diverse chain that binds the community together. Comprising of local and touring artists, venues, galleries, promoters, festivals and community action groups, this chain has been forcibly stressed and broken over the course of the last seven days. It’s not irreparable, but there is no immediate fix. Nor any clear answers. For now, there are only hard facts. The coming months will test the restraint of us all deeply invested in Liverpool’s music and creative culture. Bido Lito! needs a thriving creative community to continue to exist in a physical format. Therefore, as much as we’d wish it otherwise, now is the time to adapt.
Mutual support is the lifeblood of Liverpool’s cultural draw. From music and art to community self-determination, without mutual support, little of what Bido Lito! has celebrated over the course of 10 years and 108 issues would have occurred. While much of what makes Liverpool great has been placed on pause, it doesn’t mean it no longer exists. Therefore Bido Lito! is not going anywhere. We’re simply moving online – for the time being.
As an online entity we’ll continue to produce the same quality features, interviews, think pieces, essays, and artist spotlights as we would normally. But we’ll also be committed to reporting on how COVID-19 affects our creative community, offering measured, informed and diverse perspectives from across a landscape that is undoubtedly reeling, but far from beaten.
Perhaps new perspectives will be the most important facet of Bido Lito!’s forthcoming coverage, something which our core team of writers and contributors will strive to continue over the coming months. Just over two weeks ago, I was dismayed at being deprived of the chance to see Liverpool FC lift the Premier League title, the first in my lifetime. Last week I watched almost every gig in the city cancelled; venues and galleries locked their doors with no knowledge of when they’d reopen; pubs, restaurants and shops following suit; musicians’ calendars empty, with zero reassurance from central government that they’d help to pay their rent. Just over two weeks ago Italy were in a similar to position to where we are now. That’s what matters. It’s necessary for perspectives to change, but not to lose hope.
Signing off from 2019, I choose to focus on pre-eminent artistic provocateur Bill Drummond, of The KLF/JAMs, in my final editorial of the year. That June, he’d returned to the city to perform in a new play he’d written where he unveiled a large painting bearing the phrase “GO PLACES, DO THINGS”. Bill’s use of those four words struck me for the limitlessness of their potential. The energy bound up in going places and doing things is not merely confined to tangible form. As a community confined to our homes for the foreseeable, going places, doing things is still very much in our grasp. The way we collectively think and adapt, the way we put an arm around one another – artists, venues, promoters, festivals, galleries, curators – the way Bido Lito! works as hard as ever to document all of this, that is going places, doings things. As a community there’s still so much we can do to bring about our recovery. The hard yards are imminent, but the road ahead will be much easier if we pull each another along, one step at a time.
This intervening period will be tough for us all, but we’re confident that we can pull through as we know how passionately people in this region feel about music, creativity and independence. If you’re able to, please consider supporting us to carry on supporting this creative community, by becoming a Bido Lito! member. Members will receive a weekly email with a first look at upcoming content, which will also feature recommendations from the Bido team on how to keep yourself occupied during the temporary lockdown. Members will exclusively receive a special publication in the post that pulls together a selection of the content we produce during our temporary print hiatus, which will be mailed out in the coming months. Together, we can come out the other side much stronger.
Here’s to going paperless, going online, continuing to go places as a creative community, continuing to do things as a creative community. Let’s keep on supporting one another.
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