In Great Britain, the event “The Unboxed: Creativity in the UK” has been renamed the Brexit Festival. And for this initiative that wants to celebrate the best of Britain’s innovations after the country’s exit from the European Union, the government of Boris Johnson ended up.
In fact, the Commons Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – a kind of parliamentary committee – has published a fierce flea-released report for the initiative, which officially began on March 1 from Paisley Abbey and will run through October. As reported by Bloomberg, the document points an accusing finger at a lack of clear guidance and “irresponsible use of public money.”
This initiative was originally introduced in 2018 by Theresa May as the UK Festival 2022, but then when Johnson became Prime Minister, the name was changed. The British government put on the board 120 million pounds, about 142 million euros, with its ambition to evoke the spirit of the Great Exhibition of 1851 or the Festival of Britain in 1951. However, the commission noted that the ideas were not so at the time. Events ensued and the event remained ‘ambiguous and changing’, ‘with a compelling vision’ but without substance.
“Without a Box” is “a once in a lifetime celebration of creativity,” the government wrote in a note. Audiences will experience a majestic multimedia event that uses the latest projection maps, animation, music, poetry, and live performance to celebrate our place in the universe and connect us.”
Art Minister Stephen Parkinson commented, “Unboxed aims to bring people from all over the UK together and is part of a fantastic year of creativity and renewal,” along with Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Specifically, the accompanying three events lead the British CEO to trust that this can unite the entire country just as it happened with the London 2012 Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee. But MPs are skeptical. “Despite ambitious goals and a desire to please everyone, it is a recipe for failure,” is the hardline stance. And the investment of £120 million is an irresponsible use of public money precisely because the government, by its own admission, did not know until recently what this event was. Although individual events can make for memorable moments, we do not see any red thread connecting the events or connecting them to a vision for the future of this country. If the UK is to take full advantage of big events, it needs to unite people at home and abroad around a sense of shared culture.
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