Centralised entertainment?

Blimey! A quick mention of budgets and money and like a newborn carbuncle up pops Mareel!

As the towering brutalist presence starts to dominate Hay’s Dock so do the rather fantastical figures of expected attendees to our newest venue. An annual estimate of 177 concerts/events at an average of 200 paying punters per performance, still rather takes the breath away.

I say this as one of the approximately 25 attendees of John Etheridge at Busta House recently and also a similar number at a recent cinema trip. An immediate question by my partner and I is how on earth are these outer lying gigs going to survive when business starts in earnest at Mareel? In fact how will the Clickimin keep its concerts, or the Garrison, or all the Halls “specials” that we see around Shetland? It has a feeling that within a year or two we will all be centralised to “Da Toon” for our entertainment.

And then there is the impact that the “beverages” estimates might have on other town establishments and on collective drink related issues!

With the need for “up front” costs to be covered it would also be interesting to hear how trips to the architects in Glasgow (surely too late!) were funded and if required, was “sir” staying at the Paisley Road Travelodge or somewhere rather less budget orientated. They will be talking of trips to China next! I hope the already warm amenity/arts trust credit cards can cope.

Guy Nightingale


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