Letting the dust settle a little and then looking at who has come to review or interview is always an important factor in any media campaign and Liverpool Biennial is no exception. It’s been over a week since the media descended on Liverpool and on the whole I’ve had some pretty positive feedback.
I spent Wednesday making sure that Rachel Campbell Johnston saw as much of the Biennial as she could in a day – exhausting but a necessity as her review was out in Friday’s issue of The Times. This was great timing for us as that was the day all the arts professionals arrive in the city. I have also finely honed my radar for where to find parking meters or even free parking (thank you Anglican Cathedral!) as I drove her about to try and cut down on the minutes walking.
Thursday is D Day as we accredit over 80 media. This seems to go very smoothly despite one member of the press being delayed at London Bridge meaning he misses the train at Euston. He makes it later in the day and catches up with the Biennial and even fits in a football match!
BBC North West Tonight plan a series of vignettes on different commissions and have chosen to film Lee Mingwei, Daniel Boshkov at The Bluecoat and Laura Belèm’s Temple of a Thousand Bells. By Friday the news editor decides they would also like to run a montage of what visitors can expect to see using vox pops from lots of our visiting guests. Granada Reports run an overview with Andy Bonner posting his ‘Director’s Cut’ online that evening – he’s even been tweeting along the way as he and his cameraman film!
BBC Radio 4 Front Row ran Thursday evening – it was a tight edit for producer Helen Roberts as they recorded right up to the wire with Mark Lawson doing all the programme links from different parts of the Biennial. We have lots of comments the next day as the Biennial piece took up most of the programme – brilliant exposure for all featured.
The BBC’s imminent move up to Salford has also proved beneficial with national arts and entertainment online and BBC Radio 2’s arts show both covering the Biennial in depth. (link).
It was great to see both arts editors from Post & Echo at John Moores Painting Prize. Catherine Jones and Laura Davis have supported the Biennial with some amazing coverage in the run up to the launch, managing to get their heads around the vastness and complexities of the Festival as a whole.
It’s early Friday morning and I have to go on BBC Radio Merseyside breakfast show where they are running a debate on their Facebook page about “Is It Art?” I’m happy to say that Tony Snell was very much of the opinion that it is, especially when it’s Liverpool Biennial time!
Still plenty of critics from broadsheets and magazines out and about and Creative Times turn up to film Rosa Barba and Lorenzo in the Marx Lounge. Lorenzo manages to looks as if he has had a full night’s sleep even though he hasn’t, as it was the artists’ dinner the night before!
BBC Radio Merseyside have fallen in love with the visitor centre and its enchanted forest feel so Billy Butler’s show comes live from there in the afternoon. Lots of artists and curators are interviewed but Billy is really taken with Lee Mingwei and his project declaring it to make a lot of sense to him. Catching up with Mingwei this week and it seems plenty of Butler fans have turned up to participate in the Mending Project.
Meanwhile Tania Bruguera and Lorenzo with a host of artists and curators carry out Allan Kaprow’s action Transfer during Lewis’s speech at St George’s Hall. Bob Dickinson from BBC Radio 4 is part way through making a documentary about art happenings and ends up helping out too.
Saturday breakfast at Novotel where many media and artists are staying which gives me the opportunity to catch up with a few writers about their experience over the past few days. Lots of positive reactions so keeping my fingers crossed about the reviews. It might be the weekend but the requests still flow in…plus more press visiting – from Russia, China and even Creative Tourist from down the road in Manchester.