Largs did come a-Live

Published: 4 Jul 2012 09:305 comments

Drew Cochrane reckons the inaugural Largs Live festival was a big hit and is here to stay.

CONGRATULATIONS to the Largs business people who came up with a successful first-ever Largs Live Festival at very short notice.

Despite the normal miserable summer weather (no wonder I keep blogging about Western Australia) the town was buzzing over the weekend.

It was like the Greenock Fair of yore when holidaymakers were drawn to the town like moths to a light.

There were pubs which did more business at Largs Live than they do on Christmas Eve and Hogmanay combined!

The smart slogan of 20 venues, 40 bands and 60 gigs actually reached 78 gigs with some musicians moving from pub to pub, cafe to cafe. Bear in mind also that the Kelburn Garden Festival music weekend was rocking simultaneously.

I was on duty at the Eddie Reader show which was a sell-out at Barrfields theatre which is undergoing a revival with the help of a committee I'm involved with, BUG, the Barrfields Users Group.

Bars were set up in the foyer and in the auditorium itself which should be a precursor of more shows to come.

Stephen McDonald of Lounge and Room bars has already booked up the equivalent Friday and Saturday next year for headliner concerts and he expects any venues which didn't take part in Largs Live this time to sign up for the next one.

As a former organiser of Viking and Brisbane Queen Festivals I know well that the promotion and booking of attractions requires funding in place.

So the Largs Matters business group have expressed thanks to sizeable donations from North Ayrshire Council Economic Development Fund (£7,500), North Ayrshire tourism fund (£6000) and Awards for All (£10,000). I know that not only Stephen who was music co-ordinator but chairman Peter Valerio and administrator Sunil Varu are chuffed to bits about the success.

We did receive complaints about the small parade but, unfortunately, the weather prevented the giant caterpillar from being used and the stilt walkers could only join in at certain points, while questions have been asked as to why the Harley Davidson motor bikes, and a majorette group didn't show up. My own group, Largs Players, had to pull out of the procession too as the gusting wind did not allow us to manipulate our huge Comedy Theatre banner and we had visions of a few of us 'taking off' over the rooftops.

The editor soaring skywards like a latter day Peter Pan, never to be seen again? Now, there's something a lot of people would applaud....but not yet.

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  • Jim Corbett
    Unregistered User
    Jul 4, 19:53
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    Never heard so much rubbish in my life and I can only assume that you were not out in Largs on Saturday night. I was out briefly before I soon realised that every pub and street corner had some sort of brawl or fight going on and even at the Taxi rank. Next year the Policing should be paid for by the publicans whom all supported this shambles that brought chaos to the streets of Largs. I watched Police officers running from one incident to another and were clearly not coping.Yes I am sure the bar owners are all smirking smugly whilst sitting counting their ill earned dosh, but before they bank it they should have a little consideration for many of the people whom have been assaulted, verbally abused or even having to clean up the streets from the people that urinated from close to close. Lets ditch this Largs live nonsense on the head before someone gets seriously hurt.

    Note to Editor, ask Inspector Andy Clark just how bad it was on Saturday as there is no point in taking my word for "Saturday night was like fight night"

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  • Drew Cochrane
    Unregistered User
    Jul 5, 12:31
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    According to official police reports given by Inspector Clark there were very few incidents in the town centre for the police to deal with.

    However, if you can list the incidents you witnessed Jim we will revisit it. It is certainly news to us that anyone witnessed more brawls than you would normally get in a town centre at a weekend.

    the Editor

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  • heardit
    Unregistered User
    Jul 5, 17:19
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    super the pubs were busy but did it generate enough business to stand alone without the grants

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  • Alarmed
    Unregistered User
    Jul 6, 14:37
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    Where was the money spent?

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  • Tarquil Cameron
    Unregistered User
    Jul 10, 16:10
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    I make that £23.5 Grand.

    I trust that pubs/publicans weren't subsidised and the "parade"- which was an unavoidable disaster - was on a voluntary basis.

    I take it the Eddi Reader gig paid its way. Surely this made a profit to add to the 23.5K pot?

    I'm all for public money helping to bring sustainable business into the town but I saw no evidence of any common kitty being used in such a manner, last weekend. I'm also delighted local businesses received such a much-needed boost. This should not detract however from explaining where 23.5K was spent in doing so. Surely provisos were put in place regarding accountability and use?

    I'm sure everything is above board and crystal clear but I think it would be beneficial for the public to see how much burden is regularly absorbed by business in staging similar live entertainment events and the futility in same when trying to turn a coin in the booze trade.

    Well done to all who took part.

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