Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Capital of Culture Update: Council tax underwrites McCartney's gig

More misery for the people of Liverpool: their council has just signed off a £1.7million commitment to underwriting costs of Paul McCartney's Anfield gig this summer.

Yes, that's right: council tax payers in Knotty Ash and Huyton are going to dig into their pockets to guarantee Paul McCartney's show goes ahead. The BBC has seen a report revealing the details:

The report states: "The alternative of not agreeing to these arrangements is likely to result in the concert being cancelled with significant reputational loss to both the Culture Company Board and the City Council."

We love the idea the Company Board and City Council feel they have sort of reputation left to lose after the Mathew Street disaster and subsequent attempts to avoid blame, much less reputations they think it's worth risking the best part of two million quid to protect. Two million quid of other people's money.

And will the city make it back?
All 25,000 tickets for the event were sold in a ballot last year. A further 11,000 may now be made available.

The extra tickets, which are subject to licence, would generate an extra £200,000 for the concert budget.

So, 11,000 tickets would bring in £200,000, which suggests that the original tickets would have raised about half a million quid. Since the gig is going to cost £1.7million to put on, we're assuming that with a budget like that, it must be being organised as one of the tasks for this year's run of The Apprentice.