Belfast Telegraph

Do we all have to be so festive?

By Nuala McKeever

So, what did you get up to this weekend? Chances are, if you ventured out at all, you took part in a festival, whether you wanted to or not.

Y’can’t help it these days.

Any event that comprises more than one thing is now classed as a festival.

What used to be a Sunday run out to a local seaside town for a poke and a stroll is now participation in an organised, funded, advertised, marketed, evaluated and photographed festival.

No-one does a concert anymore — it has to be part of a festival.

Off the top of my head right now, we’ve got the Trans, the Belsonic, the Open House, The Mela and the West Belfast.

Then there’s the Aspects, the Cathedral Quarter, The Belfast, the Craft and — let’s not forget — the Maritimes ...

I could go on but space is running out.

What’s going on? Enough already!

We’re totally devaluing the word festival by attaching it to anything that moves in the one space over a weekend.

It’s like the word Quarter. How many Quarters do we now have in Belfast?

I make it five and counting. Putting the word Quarter after something makes it sound sophisticated so we latch on and end up with ubiquitous overkill.

It can’t be sustained.

Remember when we first got excited about pesto?

I rest my case...

Belfast Telegraph


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