Thursday, October 23, 2008

A bitter cold SARC ... the Festival postponed the John Cage concert, but did they tell anyone?

Tonight, I’m about to leave the house to head across to the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) on the Malone Road to the concert of John Cage music. Tech Camp visited SARC during the summer, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go back to hear something in their performance space. True surround sound. Above. Below. Front. Back. To the sides. Should be fun, even if 10pm is a late start. Let’s just hope that 4’32” isn't the only piece played. Four and a half minutes of surround sound silence could be too much!

So I drove over to the Malone Road, got parked, and walked up through the freezing cold to SARC. Lights off, gate locked shut. No sign of life. No sign of information. John Cage caged in?

Ticket for tonight's postponed John Cage concert at Belfast Festival

Checked my ticket. Thursday 23-October-2008. Start Time: 10:00 pm. That’s tonight. Went down the road to see if entry would be through the Crossland Building. No sign of life there either.

Checking the festival website on my Blackberry - though my thumbs were having trouble typing in the cold! - the John Cage concert is now listed as Tuesday 28 October. But no mention of a change of time.

I called in the QFT - the Festival’s ticket office - on the way home, and they confirmed that the concert was postponed to Tuesday night. But how was I to know? Having paid a £1.50 transaction charge when I ordered the tickets online on 30th August, would that extend to informing me of a change in date? The box office had my address to post out the original tickets, so did they write to me? Did they email me? No.

A waste of time and petrol.

Now to figure out if I’m even free next Tuesday night. I’ve been holding tonight free for nearly eight weeks now. Making sure that my wife was back in time to look after Littl’un while I would escape over to the late-night concert.

While the previous two Festival events have been enjoyable, tonight was a big let down. The only surround I experienced tonight was surround cold. Above. Below. Front. Back. To the sides.

Update Friday 6pm - The Festival got back this evening (twice!) with kind responses explaining that I'd "... come across the only error in the entire festival brochure. We thought we had contacted all bookers but appear to have neglected you." Trust in Festival restored!


Phil said...

Ive no idea who John Cage is, but the fact that you had to go to the venue to find that it had been postponed isnt really on.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. I went to the Rachel Unthank concert at the Elmwood Hall on Tuesday having gone out of my way to pick three seats on the front row of the balcony as soon as the tickets were put on sale. When we got there we were told they weren't going to open the balcony 'unless you want to insist' as the snotty woman on the door told me. I was forced to sit in the room where the view was more restricted and the sound not as good, surrounded by people who got in free because they advertised the damn thing so badly they had to give tickets away just to fill up the hall. It relly isn't good enough. Now I hear the Michael McIntyre gig has been moved across the road because they sold too many tickets!!!!