It’s scarcely believable that we’re entering the breathless month of May already. Bound up in constantly-unfolding (and depressing) news cycles and the looming threat of World War III, it’s actually quite surprising that this year has rattled along as quickly as it has. Thanks, 2017, for not lingering.
May in Liverpool is traditionally a pinch point in the calendar, a fecund period that sees the region’s creativity really start to blossom – and it’s an exhausting time for us at Bido Lito! just to keep up with everything that’s going on. It’s the time of year when this city of doers really kicks into gear, and pretty much every weekend in May is taken up with some cultural event or music festival. Perennial fixtures Sound City, LightNight and Writing On The Wall bring a slew of such activity our way this month, which you can read all about in our May 2017 issue, along with a load of other highlights. It is, too, the end of the football season which brings with it the dreaded play-offs… but we won’t go there.
There’s also the matter of the GIT Award Final on 13th May, which will see one artist crowned as the overall winner for 2017. Following the success of past GIT Award winners such as Bill Ryder-Jones, All We Are and Forest Swords, this year, Aystar, Baltic Fleet, Louis Berry, The Coral, God Colony, Immix Ensemble, Ohmns, Or:la, She Drew The Gun, Suedebrown, XamVolo and The Vryll Society, are all in the running. As a judge on the GIT panel, I’m not particularly looking forward to having to pick one victorious act from that list – especially when it was hard enough whittling it down from 400 acts to a shortlist of 12 in the first place. I can foresee another long night of discussions and arguments and pizza on the horizon for that final meeting – and it’s a credit to the great strength and diversity of the musicians we have in our midst that the decision is so tough. I’ll quite gladly take that one on the chin though, just so long as I don’t get hauled up on stage on the Award night and mock-sacrificed – again (thanks Impropriety).
On Thursday 4th May we go to the polls for our first ever Liverpool City Region Mayoral election, which could well be a watershed moment for the region. With devolution seemingly just around the corner, this is a great opportunity for us to shape the future of our city region – not merely into some soundbite-friendly Northern Powerhouse, but into a truly global hub, with us citizens at the heart of it. There is no set structure about what a Metro Mayor actually does, but by holding them to account every step of the way we can make sure we have a strong say in what it is they bring to the region.
On the same day as this election, we’re hosting our Liverpool, Music City? consultation event at Constellations, off the back of the article we ran in our April edition. In many ways, the conversation around that event – advocating the need for a Liverpool City Music Office, to bolster and fully represent the infrastructure around music in the city – parallels the conversations around the Metro Mayoral election. Just as the city wants to be a player on the world stages of commerce and industry, so do we want Liverpool to be a truly global music city, by creating a network that attracts big inward investment as much as it offers support and value to the city’s grassroots music community. The time to have your say is now.
It might not feel like it at the moment, but May is just the beginning – the cultural activity carries on in much the same vein in Liverpool throughout the summer (and on into November). Writing this as I am in the middle of April, May isn’t actually here yet, so I’m being rather elastic with my notion of time. Working on a shifted timetable is a by-product of working with print deadlines – we’re always looking around six weeks into the future to what’s coming up. This came home to roost with a couple of conversations we had in this month’s issue – with Forest Swords on language, and with artist Jonathan Raisin on time. With all the distractions we have today, we can sometimes forget to enjoy the time we have, right in front of ourselves. Personally, I find it quite hard to keep track of time, even though I’m an anxious clock-watcher – which is probably part of what the anxiety is tied up in.
So, if you learn anything from this month’s issue, please, let it be this: take the time to appreciate the passage of time. Don’t fret it away looking at the clock – enjoy the moment you’re in, because that’s the only one that matters. As we enter the whirlwind months of Liverpool’s cultural calendar, we think this will be the best kind of mantra to clutch onto. Wish us luck.