Perpetuating Annoyances

If there is to be a revolution in classical music journalism, it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

The ecosystem remains still fairly firmly in place.

Mainstream media is still regarded by the management of boutique festivals as the ultimate goal. Highly-prized. Badges of honour. Euch.

I shouldn’t complain too much. Spitalfields posted a link to a blog post I wrote about one of their events last week. I appreciated that.

Sure, one shouldn’t really bite the hand that feeds you. But, discovering a tweet trumpeting five star reviews from the Telegraph and the Guardian left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. The implicit message was ‘Aren’t we amazing … the Guardian and the Telegraph said so. Look.’

Don’t get me wrong. I get why mainstream media coverage is an achievement. It’s kudos. Such brands are valuable – potent illustrations of success.

But be careful. Spitalfields’ distinctiveness is at odds with the mainstream – that’s exactly the Festival’s appeal.

If you court the niche but amplify the mainstream, then you’re aligning yourself with the latter whilst alienating the former. A cynical strategy.

Maybe that was always the intention.

A word in your ear if that is the case. If you remained true to your core proposition then reviews from the mainstream press wouldn’t matter. Stars wouldn’t matter.

Disappointingly, it appears they do.

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