Over the course of eight years and 91 issues, Bido Lito! has had two Editors. It’s time for a change.
Change is coming in the form of our brand-new editorial team, who we’re delighted to welcome on board to the good ship Bido Lito! Features Editor Niloo and Live Editor Elliot, ably assisted by our new digital guru, Alannah, will be in charge of the next phase of the Big Pink Adventure. I, for one, am massively thrilled by the whole prospect. Passing over the Editor’s reins is an exciting, if slightly terrifying step: exciting because the people picking them up will take the magazine in all-new directions, bringing about a new lease of life for the pink pages; and slightly terrifying because not even I’m sure which way we’re going next! Once the initial wave of control-freakery dies down, however, I’ll no doubt settle on a feeling of curiosity and intrigue about what gems and stories our new editorial team will unearth.
This change is coming because it is necessary, because it is healthy, and because it is a whole lot of fun. Change is also a vital part of our DNA, and we must respect that: it prevents us from becoming prisoners of history.
We see change all the time in the stories we highlight come across in the magazine, and there is so much we can learn from its effects. We see it in the set of photography of a seaside resort, taken from three different perspectives over a period of three decades. We see it in the evolution of a group of musicians, growing from buzz band to scene stalwarts, from first support slot review to front cover artists. We see it in a dissident group with a revolving cast of members who stay true to a revolutionary message, and in the continuation of a Discordian ethos, passed down from father to daughter. Sometimes the location stays the same and the people and customs alter over time; sometimes the people stay the same and the passage of time changes them; sometimes it’s the message that stands the test of time while the mouths speaking it differ. Whichever way the story unfolds, we can learn a lot from change and the way we respond to it. And it’s a subject that’s never going to get boring.
It is also with a pang of sadness that we see change being visited on Constellations. Their situation – the expiry of their lease and the decision of the landlord to sell the land on – is a shitty one, like having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It’s a similar situation to the one The Kazimier and Nation faced in 2015 when their tenancies were cut short by another, more lucrative development deal. This is something I’m reminded of every day as I walk through the concrete jungle that is left of Wolstenholme Square, once the epicentre of our community, now presided over by apartment blocks. The reminder is also there in the Cream logo painted on the wall of the office we now occupy, and in the faded Kazimier sticker on the long-defunct buzzer on the wall beside the door. These visual cues don’t cause me to gnash my teeth at the injustices visited upon these much-loved institutions, though. Venues come and go all the time, changing name, changing location, even changing which trendy part of town to settle in; it has ever been thus. Instead, they serve as reminders that change is just part of the process, and that it needn’t always be a barrier to success. Let’s hope that this is true for Constellations – in fact, you can help make sure that their upheaval is relatively unpainful and short by helping to support them in their crowdfunder, which goes live on 6th August.
Although I’m cautious about too much reminiscing about the way things were, we can – and should – rally against unnecessary disruptions to our creative environment that threaten any future development. There’s only so long the creative and artistic community can take being booted from one undesirable part of town to the next before people just bugger off. In writing this, I looked back at the first editorial I wrote in 2014, and I found a line that is as true now as it was then: “What is without doubt is that there are an awful lot of creative oddballs doing their own thing in this small corner of the world, not cowed by the weight of the past, and forging their own paths. Perhaps this is our greatest export.”
If Liverpool is to remain at the forefront of creativity and excitement around all forms of culture, it is my view that Bido Lito! needs to still be around in eight years’ time, and another eight years after that. Why? Because this amazing place is going to continue nurturing talented people with great stories who make and dream up and do great stuff, and there needs to be a way of documenting it. To be in with a chance of publishing another 91 issues of comment and analysis of this weird and wonderful place; to continue to inspire and challenge and profile the next generation of Kazimiers and Stealing Sheeps; to truly understand what it is that drives the amazing people who make up this rich and diversely talented place – we need to embrace change, as part our own desire to stay, if not ahead of the curve, then at least to keep up with it. Whoever’s hand is on the tiller, we owe it to the people of this fiercely talented city to make sure that Bido Lito! remains a critical voice and a vital resource.
In another of my early editorials, I said that putting together a record collection was a form of storytelling, in that the selections and omissions you make from the vast amount of art out there forms a narrative that is unique to you. (And having just alphabetised my own record collection, I’m acutely aware of how many curious twists and turns these tales have.) Putting together a magazine is a very similar process, and it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing immensely; it has led me down various unexpected paths of discovery, and I’ve learned so much about the environment around us and how we each cultivate a different relationship with it. I also look forward to seeing what stories our new Editors are going to tell through the pages of Bido Lito! – and I’m positive that you will too.