diamond geezer

 Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What are you doing in 2012? Boris would like to know.

He's set up a Culture Diary so that anybody planning an event in London during 2012 can make it known to the authorities. The idea is that 2012 will be an incredibly busy year for the capital, what with the Olympics and the Queen's Big 60, so it would be wise to make a big list to stop too many big events clashing. Organisers simply need to sign up and tell the website what their event is and when, and London's then guaranteed a smooth and thrill-packed year. That's the intention anyway.

The year's major highlights are already known. There'll be some bigger than usual spectacles at the start of January to welcome in this momentous year. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated at the start of June with an additional bank holiday and much royal celebration (assuming Liz survives that long, of course). An Olympic-related arts bonanza called Festival 2012 kicks off on June 21st and spreads itself over the next 12 weeks. And then there's the Olympics themselves from July 27th, and the Paralympics in early September. What chance has a jumble sale in Dalston against that lot, not unless you stick it in The Diary?

2012's oncoming gala juggernaut must be particularly galling for organisers of London's regular major summer events. The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival will have to adapt to the imminent Olympics or go under. The London Triathlon will need to shift from early August if it's not to be be completely overshadowed. And the Epsom Derby is already thinking of shifting to a Jubilee Bank Holiday rather than dying a royally-smothered death at the weekend. If The Diary helps to identify 2012's pile-ups and less-busy weekends, that's got to be to everyone's advantage.

There are several benefits to inclusion, apparently. Marketers at Visit London might pick up your cause and start promoting you to an extended audience of global tourists. The Cultural Olympiad might decide it likes the look of you and welcome your event under its mighty wing. Other jumble sales in the Dalston area could band together to create the Hackney Olympic Rummage-a-rama, with all the cross-promotional benefits that might bring. And the police will be able to say "ooh no, we can't let you hold a summer fĂȘte that weekend, all our officers are committed elsewhere, had you considered February instead?"

No event is too small for inclusion, it seems. "The Culture Diary is designed to be inclusive of all activities/events, of all scales, for individuals or organisations, whether commercial, subsidised or voluntary, from diverse cultural sectors and industries." So I thought I might enter some events of my own. There's my 47th birthday drinks in March, and my final random jamjar visit in April, and then I'm thinking of going birdwatching on the top of Primrose Hill in November and you're all invited.

Perhaps you'd like to submit an event to the 2012 Cultural Diary too. Here are a few suggestions...
Monday 6th February 2012: The Queen's Actual Diamond Jubilee Tea Party (just in case she doesn't make it to June) [Hyde Park]
Sunday 31st March 2012: Neasden Vuvuzela Festival [Neasden]
Monday 23rd April 2012: St George's Day Egg and Spoon Race (& stoning of the immigrants) [Dagenham]
Friday 4th May 2012: "Boris is no longer Mayor" Spontaneous Rejoicings [City Hall]
Saturday 14th July 2012: Bastille Day Celebrations (because we've got the Olympics starting in a fortnight, and Paris hasn't) [Trafalgar Square, obviously]
Saturday 21st July 2012: Hackney Olympic Rummage-a-rama (because it's an excellent idea) [Shoreditch Park]
Monday 10th September 2012: The "Oh Thank God The Olympics Have Finished" Festival [Stratford Old High Street]
Friday 21st December 2012: Armageddon - sponsored by the Ancient Mayan Civilisation (could be a supernova, could be cataclysmic tectonic activity, could be an invasion by vampire space unicorns) [all over London]
You'll have better ideas for 2012 events, I'm sure. And if you're serious about them, make sure they're in the Cultural Diary by the end of this year. Or watch them drown.

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