For the next few days I’m in Monte Carlo, blogging, podcasting and tweeting from the Festival Printemps Des Arts De Monte-Carlo. I’m attending four concerts – chamber music and orchestral – and will have some time to explore the city I last visited as a kid with my parents 35 years ago.
I’m a guest of the festival too. What’s known in the trade as a press trip. Travel and accommodation covered in return for some coverage. I explain that because I like the idea of being transparent about it. I spent years reading other people’s blogs wondering how it was they had the money to self-fund trips to various corners of the globe. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve realised Festivals actively seek out people like me to help increase awareness of their work.
I really appreciate these opportunities. I consider myself very lucky when organisations approach me to work on this kind of content. I’m flattered. It gets my creative juices flowing – not just writing but photography and video too. And I love the travel. And, though this might seem odd, I also rather like hotels.
Friends say that such invites are a measure of the success of the Thoroughly Good Blog. I do accept that, but in I’d say feeling and expressing a sense of gratitude for such opportunities is the most important thing first off. That gratitude extends to the people who introduced me to the festival in the first place too.
While I’m here I want to get a sense of what classical music in this seemingly unlikely location feels like. Does it sit in the densely populated city of Monte Carlo with the same charm, ease, and curiosity as say Verbier or Aldeburgh? How will it feel to engage with classical music in a sunny albeit chilly location in amongst millionaire yachts, boutiques, and high-rises? What has ensured the Festival remains part of the town’s annual events for the past thirty four years? What are the Festival’s roots? And, if there’s time, what was Monaco’s identity before the wealth, the gambling and the grand prix arrived?
But first, a doze. Then a bath. Then a concert.
The Festival Printemps Des Arts De Monte-Carlo runs from 16 March – 29 April 2018