Tuesday, April 27, 2010
12th Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival
I guess we can all blame the ash cloud from Iceland's spewing volcano which halted air traffic across Europe (some authors and guests speakers were stranded there). However, Ian McGillis from the Gazette Narratives pointed out that there were some other inconveniences. For instance, "The bookstore is one of the few areas where people naturally congregate, and they want to chat, so surely there's a way. And how about closing the door during events in the auditorium, especially those that involve film screenings? Not only does sound from the nearby bookstore leak in, but the light is distracting. Finally, the decision that certain smaller rooms don't require amplification needs a re-think. On Sunday afternoon I attended Devenir ecrivain in the Versailles room and the back few rows could barely hear what the writers were saying. Several people gave up and left before the end."
Mr. McGillis also added, "The hotel itself still seems to have been laid out expressly to prevent spontaneous gatherings. There's a bar and restaurant but not the kind that encourage hanging out. And obviously the Delta can't be blamed for being where it is, but I can't help thinking how different the general festival atmosphere might be if the venue were located a little more in the thick of things. Imagine stepping outside straight into the bustle of Ste-Catherine or St-Denis as opposed to a cold concrete canyon. I wonder how many visiting writers leave without ever knowing how exciting our city can be."
We just hope that the Blue Met organizers pay heed to some of the comments people have made regarding this year's event and implement new ideas for next year's festival.