A PURPLE upside-down cow-shaped tent is an example of a temporary arts venue which could be erected in Chester according to a city council document.
The paper entitled A Way Forward, compiled by Mike Dix, director of culture and community, is intended to stimulate a debate about how to fill the cultural void.
Mr Dix says erecting a temporary venue next year would make “an exciting and positive statement”.
The Udderbelly tent is described by the company hiring it – as a “flexible temporary structure” that can be used for plays, concerts, comedy shows, music festivals and other events
Holding 400-seats, the tent is based around an aluminium frame covered with modern synthetic materials and can be erected in about a week and in relatively tight spaces.
In the council document, Mr Dix also discusses the option of reopening the Gateway Theatre but raises issues about how quickly that could be done given touring shows and other performers often need to contracted six-12 months in advance. The possibility of converting existing venues such as the former Odeon cinema is also explored.
Other ideas mentioned include:
A 12 month programme of high profile performances in existing venues
Bringing back the popular Summer in the Park
Supporting existing brands, such as Telford Warehouse’s or Alexander’s Jazz Theatre Bar, to put on events in larger venues.
Developing the visual arts by finding suitable venues for art galleries.
Creating a public art programme to deliver more works such as “the jugglers” sculpture at the Bache roundabout.
The document is being circulated to arts groups as well as council and business leaders.