Monday, January 31, 2011

Proms gone

We're going to hear a lot of this sort of thing over the next few years: the BBC has axed the Electric Proms as the government's licence fee settlement doesn't leave the money for them:

[Radio 2 controller Bob] Shennan said: "In the current climate, we are faced with making difficult decisions, including how best to deliver high-quality live music programming throughout the year in light of continuing efficiency savings.

"I feel that Radio 2 can achieve the same impact of the Electric Proms in an alternative, more cost-effective way. I'm disappointed that the lifetime of Electric Proms has come to an end, but very proud of its fantastically rewarding run of creating new moments in music for the past five years."
Radio 2's head of music Jeff Smith has stressed how the network will still be doing lots of live music, just not this.

To be fair, the Electric Proms had become a little showy - what had started out as a range of events with lots of interesting, newer and smaller acts had, by last year, turned into a production number with the sort of names you can see from space. Which must have been a nightmare to organise. I'd suspect that the costs of just lowering Elton John into place could fund an entire month of Friday Night Is Music Night. I'm not sure the Electric Proms will be especially missed, or mourned.