I want to let you know how pleased we are that we chose Bartons as our venue for the charity event we organised last October.
We considered several venues in Nottingham including places in the middle of Nottingham. We made the best decision in coming to you. Not only were you and Cathy so accommodating and welcoming you were efficient prompt and reliable. Your cheeky sense of humour was invaluable at times of stress.
Our evening was a huge success not least because of the magical Tardis that your premises offers. We could and did let our imaginations run and were able to create the illusion of a big top with clever lights and drapes.
A wonderful space with huge potential to be what ever anyone wants it to be. I can't wait to use you again.
We made loads of money too!
Thank you again
When I first walked through the many industrial spaces at Bartons with Simon Barton, MD of Bartons Plc, I knew there was something special about the site, something it's hard to put your finger on. It's not the size of the spaces, although they are impressive, or the facilities Bartons has (from the recently renovated Gallery, the car parking, the amount of buildings there) it's something else. Bartons has what many venues can never have: A history that connects deeply with the local area, spaces that still radiate character and a light that complemented the art to perfection.
When we opened the doors on the 15th and people from Beeston, Chilwell, Nottingham and further afield began to stream through the doors everyone was captivated, not just by the vast collection of inspiring contemporary art there was on show but also by the place itself. When you take time out to visit an Modern Art Gallery it can often feel like the atmosphere leaves you unable to talk in anything but a whisper, to feel tense, to feel disconnected from the pieces you've gone to see.... at Bartons there was none of that. There was none of the 'standoffish reverence' you get from many galleries, there was just the chance to enjoy the work in a truly unique venue. Families would walk around with their children getting right up close to the work on show and in many cases (like the Tardis and the 'Wrong Pong') interacting with it, chatting, discussing, pointing and laughing... it was magical.
We don't have an exact number, although the invigilators were taking down approximate numbers and those added to the Black History event, the Big Draw and Oxjam pushed footfall at The Carnival of Monsters 2011 over the two weeks to around the 4000 mark. As the person who came up with the idea in the first place and as one of the main organisers of the event I'd hoped to get 1000, so to get four times that amount is staggering and a testament to all those who put time, effort and faith in the project. The fact that we had newspaper, radio and television throughout the 2 weeks proves what impact and interest the festival generated.
I think the depth and breadth of the festival is only really beginning to sink in now it's over. When we conceived this idea back in March it was designed to benefit local artists in the first instance, and to help provide a platform to raise awareness of how great the art scene is in the East Midlands. As the festival took shape over the two weeks I think we all realised that it became much more than that. Aside from the great art that was exhibited, and the performances from the likes of MissImp, Chris McDonald and Oxjam, it became about the local community and the people living there. What I don't think any of us had planned was that the festival presented art in a far more accessible way than any other exhibition I have ever attended.
Next year we hope to make the festival larger and further reaching than this year, and know that once again providing the much needed platform for artists in the East Midlands will draw an even larger audience than before.
The Carnival of Monsters 2011 - A great art festival in an inspiring venue.