Big night tomorrow night. Kinda. I’ve already received one embargoed press release about the BBC Proms (I haven’t read it yet by the way).
So, assuming I might receive another before midnight (unlikely), I figured I’d list my aspirations for this year’s season. They don’t care, obviously. It’s too late to change anything anyway. They’ve not only gone to print but the printers have almost certainly gone to bed.
This year, I’d like the BBC Proms to …
1. Be like it used to be in the Kenyon days
Surprise me. Delight me. Challenge me. Give me stuff to rail against. Don’t make it easy.
2. Not do any cheap tie-ins with record labels or BBC properties
The Proms shouldn’t be about cheap promotion.
3. Tell inspirational stories about the value of classical music
Don’t just say it’s amazing, show how it is. Journalism not marketing. Marketing is boring.
4. Introduce me to something niche
Go on. I dare you.
5. Stop overlooking the likes of me because you think the only way to secure the next generation is to put the next generation on screen
Maturity has value. Heritage counts for something. You saw the Briduct/Baker doc didn’t you?
6. Restyle the Last Night
It’s an embarrassing own goal. An anachronism.
7. Make me feel a part of the Proms again
This one is difficult for the Proms. It’s not all them. It’s partly me too. But for a few years now I’ve felt like a kind of an irrelevance. It’s made me wonder whether you’ve lost touch.
8. Stop assuming that criticism of you as a brand is personal criticism of your team
This. Isn’t. New. Only last week a ‘BBC REPRESENTATIVE ON THE PAYROLL’ took me to task about a tweet I published. I was mortified. It was a very awkward conversation. And it’s the second conversation I’ve had of that ilk. The one behind was about my comments concerning the Eurovision. I shit you not.
The stuff the Proms puts on is not about the people who put it on, it’s about the art. And the art should be open to comment. Because if it isn’t, it’s not really art.
9. Know that the wine (when it’s free) can be mediocre, because that’s not important
Spend the money on the artists. That’s what’s important.