Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialCulture.

Village round-up 18/01/08

Wayne Clews considers the Queer up North crisis and gives some recommendations

Published on January 18th 2008.


Village round-up 18/01/08

Over the last fifteen years, Queer Up North has become very much part of Manchester ’s cultural scene, bringing innovative, groundbreaking and often challenging queer art from around the world. This year’s festival was all set to go ahead later this spring, until Queer up North received some rather unwelcome news from the Arts Council.

The Arts Council is presenting old figures and we take serious issue with that. It is bewildering, it really is.

“Arts Council North West is planning to cease all funding to QUN from March 31,” explains Jonathan Best, the festival’s artistic director. “They informed us of this on December 13, so it’s short notice. Nationally, the Arts Council is cutting funding to 194 companies and doing this in the context of having more money to spend than ever before. They got a settlement from the government that was an inflationary increase of £50 million. So these are not cuts to save money, they are choices they are making about who they think is worth funding. This is a recommendation at the moment, the final decision will be taken on January 25, but if our funding is cut, we will close down.”

The abrupt decision by the Arts Council is, according to Best, based on two factors; they argue that the festival fails to deliver value for money and that audience figures are too low. “Our issue is not with the timescale of events, even though that is outrageous,” he adds. “Our issue is with bad evidence, out-dated statistics and speculation. They haven’t made a sound case and we will be demonstrating that in our appeal. What they also don’t acknowledge is that the audience numbers rose from 5500 seats in 2006 to 17500 in 2006. The Arts Council is presenting old figures and we take serious issue with that. It is bewildering, it really is.”

In the meantime, Queer up North exists in a state of limbo, still planning this year’s festival but unable to say whether it will ever take place. Their plight has been taken up by the artistic directors and CEOs of the Contact, the Library Theatre, the Royal Exchange, the Lowry, the Bridgewater Hall and the Cornerhouse, all of whom have written a letter of support to the Arts Council. All of this rumpus comes on the back of one of Queer Up North’s biggest success stories: a play about gay bullying in schools seen by thousands of children which they had hoped to record on DVD and send to every school in the country. Is it work like this that Best thinks makes Queer up North still a relevant artistic force to this day?

“Absolutely,” he says. “Schools are crying out for this work, no-one else is doing it at such a high level and quality: we are working in partnership with Stonewall on the project. At the 2008 festival, over 75% of the programme will be unique to Manchester and will not be seen elsewhere. We believe that is precious and worth holding on to.”

If you want to lend your support to Queer Up North’s on-going fight against the cuts, visit www.queerupnorth.com and sign up to their petition.

Confidential Choice

Holocaust Memorial Day Film Screening
Lest we forget, tens of thousands of gay people died during the Second World War Holocaust. Tonight the LGF will be screening Paragraph 175, a documentary recording survivor’s accounts of Nazi oppression, and will be followed by a discussion and memorial service.
Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Princess Street, Jan 27, 7pm, free

Boom Bang-A-Bang
Spirit gets into Eurovision mood a tad early (the contest isn’t until May) with this night of quizzes, competitions, music and general silliness. Wave your flags and fondly recall last year’s valiant effort by Scooch to make the UK the laughing stock of Eurovision.
Sprit, Canal Street, Jan 31, 7.30pm, £6.50, £5.50 adv

Demo
Vanilla, Tuesdays, 9pm-lateThe award-winning women’s bar revamps its Tuesday night shindigs with this night for devotees of emo, indie and guitar pop with DJ Golden warming up the punters for Poptastic.
Vanilla, Richmond Street, off Sackville Street, Tuesdays, 9pm-late

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

WillJanuary 18th 2008.

Dear Queer as folk. Having just read your posting it does not surprise me that you chose not to reveal your name. It's rare to read such a comical yet completely inaccurate rant on here. Seems like 5 out of 10 people in Manchester are gay?? Utter rubbish. Yes, we have a large gay community but surely that is not something to get yourself so upset about?

some of my best friends belong to minority groupsJanuary 18th 2008.

Oh for God's sake QAF attitudes like yours are one of many reasons why we need queer up north to continue.As a straight woman my sexuality/lifestyle is celebrated and encouraged by society,just switch on your TV or open a magazine for proof of that. Unfortunately not everyone can say that. One wonders if you would have similar opinions of those who happen to have been born black or Muslim or disabled

INTERESTEDJanuary 18th 2008.

how can you possibly make such sweeping statements about one section of society? i get the impression you are the type of person who reads the daily mail, twitches when an asian person sits on the train next to you (cause you know all muslims are terrorist) and we should send all refugees "home" to risk being killed in opressive societies-because its not YOUR problem. i fully appreciate what you're saying. but please explain why and how this affects you, in the big scheme of things? i really do worry for you gay friends. one day they may come across someone with similar views to you, who feels it necessary to make them aware of this in a violent way. no, homosexuality isnt a crime anymore, well not in this country, but in various countries around the world peole are still sentenced to death for this "crime". please think about this, i mean really think about it. that gay experience you had, someone taking your life for that?! can you imagine the humiliation of being asked to leave a pub/restaurant for being gay? yes that has happened to me a number of times. which is illegal. the same as if you went to a gay pub and you were asked to leave for being straight would be. no, young people shouldn't get bullied in school for being gay and most of the time young people dont disclose their status, because of this. however it is often clear to the bully who the "puff" is. it is commendable that you should keep your sex life to yourself. However, it isnt just gay people who discuss sex in a public forum. it isnt someones sexuality that makes them want to discuss sex. do i want to listen to the "straight" men in my office talking about "F***ing Stacey", not particularly? are they gay, no? have you ever been to notting hill carnival, how many straight men and women are dressing up/semi naked, having what is more commonly known as fun, a hell of a lot!! Can you clarify one thing, what is a non-gay part of the city? would that be the arndale centre..no there's gay people there, would it be manchester uni...no no i think there must be some gay people there, is it the town hall..no no no there are loads of gayers there, i'm really struggling to work this one out!! im pondering your notion that we insist on defining ourselves by our sexuality...mmm interesting. another sweeping statement. am i defining my sexuality by having short hair. NO NOT A WOMAN WITH SHORT HAIR!!! am i defining my sexuality because i love going to the cinema, or because i go to the gym 4 times a week, or because i like vegatables, that i adore my job (a million things represent me before my sexuality)......or is it just your presumption that by me walking down the street holding another womans hand i'm trying to rub it in your face that i'm gay? could i just want to be free to show affection to my partner? how do you represent yourself in public? do you wear skirts, make up, kiss men in night club...oh im feeling nauseous at the thought of your blatant hetrosexuality! you should really keep it behind closed doors? maybe you aren't "homophobic", but maybe you shouldn't be focusing on the lives and times of gay people, but more on your understand and tolerance of people as a whole. its been interesting concidering your thoughts.

EmmaJanuary 18th 2008.

if everyone is allowed to express themselves then occasionally everyone is going to see things that they don't particularly want to see. that's across the board. personally, i think freedom is worth more than personal taste, and i also hope that we see some sort of turnaround soon from a far too passive arts council. great feature though. and QAF, you do know that the teddies on your bed don't count as 'gay friends'?

Queer as folkJanuary 18th 2008.

maybe we should meet for a drink? I'll put my dungarees on even?! lol.

Queer as folkJanuary 18th 2008.

Never said i was a life coach. That I aint and don't aspire to be! I am entitled to an opinion however just like the next man, shame it makes you so upset but hey thats life. You make your opinion, i make mine. I dont see the people i know as being gay first, they are people first and i dont give a crap what they sleep with, just keep it to yourself i DONT NEED TO KNOW! But queers insist on defining themselves by their sexuality constantly then wonder why they get homophobic responses from people!! Believe it or not, not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of two men "at it" so its no surprise you chose to call that bigoted or narrow minded etc. Thats a typical response isnt it. Yes the moderator is to be congratulated for allowing both sides of the coin, something those at the council seem to whitewash over cos many would have you believe that being gay is something to be proud of or congratulated for. Its irrelevant isnt it? Im not proud to be hetero ive had gay experiences by the way and did feel confused at 14 and??but its hardly a crime these days is it? Why should you be bullied for being queer at school say? Surely youd just keep quiet about your sex life anyway as i do at work anyway??? Regarding the Pride festival why should the whole parade go into non gay parts of the city with males clad in tight leather with their bare arses hanging out in full view of children and others who may not want to see this or find it offensive? I suppose you are going to tell me they/we are all homophobic next??? ha! I dont have an issue with it. There are always quirks in society. Its strange though how you call it being queer! Yet you seem comfortable with such a tag! Why would you need my name? Maybe you'll report me to Pat Karney eh!? lol!

INTERESTEDJanuary 18th 2008.

GOOD MORO YOUNG QUEER AS FOLK. I'VE JUST BEEN PERUSING OVER YOUR INTERESTING RANT, WHILST SAT IN MY DM'S N DUNGAREES SURROUNDED BY MY CATS! WHAT A SMALL MINDED VIEW YOU HOLD OF LGBT PEOPLE AND SOCIETY IN GENERAL. I THINK YOU MAY FIND THAT IT IS THE FUNDERS WHO ARE CAUSING PROBLEMS. TO BE CREATIVE, TO OPEN DOORS TO NEW IDEAS, TO BE OPEN TO THE WORLD AND WHAT IT CAN OFFER, IT OFTEN NEEDS SOME LEVEL OF FINANCIAL BACKING TO DO THAT. SORRY IF I'M PATRONISING YOU BUT IN THE MAIN FUNDERS WILL ONLY FUND THINGS THAT TICK THE BOX OF THOSE POOR MISUNDERSTOOD AND PUT UPON MEMBERS OF SOCIETY. FOR EXAMPLE THE HOMO'S, THOSE POOR CHILDREN IN WHEELCHAIRS AND PROBABLY A BREED THAT IS DYING OUT- THE SMALL MINDED, ARROGANT, LESSER SPOTTED STRAIGHT FEMALE. SO UNFORTUNATELY A LOT OF THE TIME WE MUST PUT THINGS UNDER A HEADING THAT MAY NOT FIT RIGHT WITH EVERYONE E.G QUEER UP NORTH. SO ALL THE COUNCIL OFFFICER CAN MINCE AROUND AT COMEDY SHOWS AND THE THEATRE THAT, I DONT KNOW, SAY SOMETHING TO THEM AND DISCUSS DIFFERENCES IN SOCIETY. THEN THERE’S THE POSSIBILITY THAT A STRAY HETRO MIGHT STUMBLE UPON ONE OF THESE WEIRD AND OUTLANDISH SHOWS AND POSSIBLY ENJOY THEMSELVES, MAYBE EVEN LEARN SOMETHING. THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE ARTS MAY CREATE SOME HAPPINESS SOMEWHERE.. I AM QUITE CORRECTLY DISTURBED BY YOUR VIEWS. HAVE YOU EVER PONDERED THE FACT THAT LGBT PEOPLE ARE STILL DEMONISED AND REPRESSED? IMAGINE THE FEELING YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL WHEN THEY REGISTER AT 13,14,15,16 WHENEVER, THAT THEY MIGHT BE DIFFERENT. WHAT A LUXURY IT WOULD BE IF WE COULD ALL BE STRAIGHT, YOUR POOR GAY FRIENDS, PINING FOR HETROSEXUALITY. BUT THAT ISNT AN OPTION, SO WHERE DO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE GO, IT IS PEOPLE LIKE QUN AND THE LESBAIN COMMUNITY CENTRE THAT SUPPORT NOT ONLY YOUNG PEOPLE BUT AID IN A WHOLE VARIETY OF SETTINGS WITH IN OUR COMMUNITY. WITH OUT THESE TYPES OF CHARITIES AND COMMUNITY GROUPS A HELL OF A LOT OF PEOPLE (YES THOSE WHO ARE MOST VUNERABLE IN SOCIETY) WOULD FIND LIFE A LOT HARDER. YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE YOUNG QUEER AS FOLK. NOBODY IS PORPORTING THAT MANCHESTER IS A “GAY CITY”, THAT IS RIFE WITH “BUMMERS” LIKE RATS IN A SEWER OR THE GOOD OLDE DYKES LOITERING AROUND ON CORNERS SING THE PRAISES OF DIY AND KD LANG. THE REASON PEOPLE CELEBRATE THEIR SEXUALITY IS BECAUSE FOR CENTURIES PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BEAT, ABUSED AND KILLED FOR LOVING SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX. I ALSO THINK YOU ARE PROBABLY A BIT EMBARRASSED THAT YOU DIDN’T THINK OF HAVING A GOOD OLD PARTY TO CELEBRATE YOUR SEXUALITY FIRST. THERE THERE, I THINK YOU MAY FIND THAT QUN AND PRIDE FESTIVAL (WHICH YOU MAY NOTICE HAS DROPPED THE “GAY” PART FROM ITS TITLE) ARE OPEN TO EVERYONE, FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE. A CELEBRATION OF ALL LIFE! WHAT THOSE BUM BOYS AT THE COUNCIL UNDERSTAND IS THAT TO CREATE A TOLERANT AND UNDERSTANDING COMMUNITY WITH IN MANCHESTER ALLOWS US ALL TO SUSTAIN HAPPIER LIVES. SIMPLE AS THAT! IF YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO PROCRASTINATE IN A PUBLIC FORUM, PLEASE CONCIDER THE DRIVEL YOU ARE WRITING BEFORE YOU PRESS THE SEND BUTTON.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2008.

Dear Queer As Folk, I find it completely unnecessary for you to mention that some of your gay friends would choose to be straight if they had the choice. How is that at all relevant to the article? It seems you have some rather hard-line views that don't really have a lot to do with the festival, which is what is being discussed in the article. Either the moderator has allowed your post because they are being completely fair to all opinions no matter how extreme or someone is hoping that there will be a huge argument as some of the comments you make are rather inflamatory. I suggest you stick to your day job - life coaching obviously isnt your forte.

Queer as FolkJanuary 18th 2008.

Why should Manchester be known as a gay city and get funding as such??? I do find it a bit much to be honest. It makes out like most people here are gay and they arent! Its like a secret service where manchester has become a mecca for queers. Its getting uncomfortable and im female! Its only cos half the city council is gay really isnt it? lets face facts, they all have their own agendas and get their mates working in the town hall, its a gay jobs for the boys setup! But why is it that queers constantly have to be identified as being such? Its getting to the point now in Manchester whereby you feel as though 5 in 10 people are gay its flaunted that much! im not homophobic im female with gay mates, but even they are getting sick of being pigeonholed with the out and proud brigade, why do we have festivals celebrating the fact that essentially youre putting your willy in another mans bum!? do we celebrate our love of being straight? If you want to do that fine, but essentially thats what being homosexual is about! ou dress it up. Luckily, my gay mates are comfortable enough in their own skin not to have to push it onto others and i respect them for that, and a few of them say if they could change the way they were, they'd be straight. Im sure many out there agree with me. Maybe theres just more drama queens all out there? obsessed with being noticed and seen? lack of attention (or too much maybe?) in childhood perhaps?

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
OR CREATE AN ACCOUNT HERE..
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Anonymous

Depends on the arse.

 Read more
Anonymous

There are no excuses for arse-kissing.

 Read more
Anonymous

It's a good book. So why not, eh? Thank you for your troll-like comments, though. What a wonderful…

 Read more
Paul Soanes

I was born on George Leigh st. I consider myself a true Mancunian and your comments about certain…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2017

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord