Sunday, 30 January 2011

Lessons from the W G Sebald Book Event at Aldeburgh

This W G Sebald tribute book event has been an enormous success - all three parts (the Grant Gee film on Friday evening; the symposium on Saturday 11-5.30pm; Patti Smith concert 7.30pm-9.0pm) a deserved sell-out . So - what lessons have I learned which might be transfered to our own Moffat Book Events enterprise? First, the focus is on an exceptional writer, WGS, in an exceptional place - the place where he lived and the setting for his masterpiece The Rings of Saturn. Aldeburgh and The Maltings are exceptional venues. The presenters and speakers/performers were of the highest calibre. The audience was sophisticated and serious. ArtEvents, the organisers, have a quality national mission - see their website - to explore the nature of our relation with place. Practical points I have picked up: various local retailers have sponsored events by paying for their business details on the back of each ticket; Saturday's proceedings started at 11am (?is 10am for our event too early??); the audience wants to be in dialogue with the platform and at my suggestion the panel adopted the Russian practice of inviting questions on paper which could therefore all be considered and gave everyone a chance to put theirs; having an international rock/arts star can't do an event any harm. Patti Smith is a protean phenomenon, a legend in her own time, and I was very glad to have heard her remarkable set, designed as a tribute to WGS, readings from his long poem After Nature to musical accompaniment interspersed with her own songs

No comments:

Post a Comment