The Tony Wilson Experience - billed as the longest ever intelligent conversation - is a chance for young, talented people with an interest in the creative arts to take part in a non-stop, 24 hour series of workshops with some of the biggest names from the music industry, screenwriting, broadcasting, writing, design, photography and film. Staged in memory of the late broadcaster and cultural entrepreneur, and supported by Manchester City Council, the sessions will be challenging, inspirational and at times experimental.
At noon on 21 June, 2008 some of the biggest names in design, the creative industries, media, and the arts will launch a 24 hour conversation and debate in the centre of Manchester, with a selected audience of two hundred talented and creative young people from across the city and beyond.
The event is designed to stimulate, inspire and engage the next generation of cultural innovators and is being held in memory of the broadcaster, entrepreneur and creative champion, Anthony H Wilson.
It will be a unique occasion – organised and programmed to reflect Tony’s inimitable creative style and the ways in which he engaged the people he met, worked with, played with.
The Tony Wilson Experience is deliberately experimental because that's how Tony would have constructed it. In fact, there are some elements of the event which will remain open to change right up until our launch. We have a carefully considered framework but we want to ensure that there's some freedom in the programme; in short, the event will be structured and managed, but not constrained.
The event is being funded by Manchester City Council. Planning, production, and delivery of the event is through an informal group of some of Tony's former colleagues and friends who are working alongside the Council to make the event happen. Considerable support is also being provided by sponsors - including: MEN Media, Urbis, Adidas and Hard Rock Café.
The two hundred young people – the 'talent' - attending the event will be selected for the potential they show across a broad spectrum of the creative arts. Talented individuals across the region are invited to upload their 'Inspired Moment' at www.tonywilsonexperience.com and will be selected to take part by a panel including some of the event's media supporters, education partners, organisers, and the 24 Experienced speakers themselves. All participants will be over 18.
The Talent will gain unprecedented access to the ‘Experienced’ over the 24 hours as well as having an opportunity to meet other talented creatives based in Manchester in a unique setting. It is also hoped that the event will lead to future mentoring and work experience opportunities for some of those taking part.
In order that those not able to take part can still benefit, the event will be broadcast globally through podcasts and possibly on a big screen outside the venue. It is also hoped that highlights will be broadcast through traditional broadcast media and print media.
The event is intended to act as a catalyst for creative talent to be nurtured and supported by the original and modern city of Manchester.
The organisers, led by the City's Creative Director, Peter Saville, believe this to be a suitably innovative approach to establishing a Creative Arts Summer School that would be an annual and sustainable tribute to Tony Wilson, aimed at the upcoming creative talent that he spent his life nurturing, challenging and supporting.