|The sad decline of Boston's First Night
||[Dec. 27th, 2015|05:52 pm]
The Boston Community
New Year's Eve is coming up, which means it will be time for Boston's annual First Night celebration. Here's this year's schedule ... but wait, what happened to the Hynes Family Festival, opera, classical music, dance, indoor rock bands, jazz, improv, comedy, film festivals, experimental visual art, etc. etc??
There will still be 7 pm fireworks on the Common and midnight fireworks on the Harbor. There will still be some sort of parade down Boylston Street this year, but only four blocks long, starting at Copley Square instead of at the Hynes. Instead of a "Grand Procession", this year's is called just a "People's Procession".
No buttons will be sold this year, since there are almost no indoor events anymore.
For comparison, here are the previous four years' schedules: First Night 2015 | First Night 2014 | First Night 2013 | First Night 2012. ("First Night 2015" was on 12/31/2014, "First Night 2014" on 12/31/2013, etc.)
The 2012 and 2013 events were run by the private non-profit First Night organization, which had produced the event since it started in 1976. That organization disbanded in mid-2103, so the City of Boston, with help from the Highland Street Foundation, put on the 2014 and 2015 events. Tom Menino didn't want the event to die while he was finishing his last year as Mayor, and Mayor Walsh continued what Menino started -- by only for one year. This year, he turned the event over to Conventures, who have demonstrated that they can run a Tall Ships event but know nothing at all about art or culture.
How is it that tiny Northampton and Rockport can do this properly but Boston no longer can?
(It's been 23 months since anyone posted anything substantial here other than spam or Sunday Night Film Club announcements. Let's see if this kicks some life back into b0st0n.)