Culture Boss Robyn Archer Quits

Well it looks like I’m going to have to take over the job and see it through. Its amazing how often this sort of thing happens. Robyn Archer has resigned for personal reasons, I don’t think its fair to speculate any further. It appears to me as an outsider that everything seems to be falling into place on the artistic programme quite nicely so whoever takes over shouldn’t find it too difficult to complete the job.

Why on earth does the Echo have a headline ‘Controversial art director stands down’? What’s controversial about her? It was a perfectly straight forward appointment and I can’t think of any controversial decisions.

Downtown Liverpool in Business is already campaigning for Phil Redmond to be appointed.

Full Press Release…


The Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company today announced that it’s Artistic Director, Robyn Archer, has resigned from her post for personal reasons.

Ms Archer joined the Culture Company as a consultant in the spring of 2004 to lead the delivery of artistic events leading up to and including Liverpool’s 800th anniversary in 2007 and European Capital of Culture in 2008. She is currently on leave in Australia and will not be returning to her post in Liverpool.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: “Robyn Archer is one of the world’s most foremost and respected festival directors with more than 10 years’ experience in arranging large-scale international events. It is a matter of great regret that she has decided that she can no longer continue in her role here for personal reasons. I would like to thank her for her work in Liverpool and wish her well for the future.”

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: “Robyn has worked very hard in collaboration with the cultural organisations throughout Liverpool to create an innovative artistic programme not just for 2008 but for the years leading up to Capital of Culture status. We will all miss her exceptional drive and enthusiasm.”

Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: “Robyn has worked tirelessly on behalf of Liverpool, leading a very talented and committed artistic team. I am very sad to see her go but fully understand her reasons. The priority now is to build on the foundations laid by Robyn and ensure that we deliver the best ever European Capital of Culture.”

Robyn Archer said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with a great artistic team at the Culture Company and I would also particularly like to thank all the major cultural and community organisations who are at the heart of delivering a great Capital of Culture in 2008. I very much regret leaving Liverpool at this stage but I know that there is a fantastic depth of creative talent in the city who will remain in place. I am certain that Liverpool will indeed deliver on its promise of a very special Capital of Culture.”

The Culture Company’s Executive Group has also announced that detailed plans for developing the artistic programme for 2008 will be made in consultation with the major cultural institutions and community arts organisations in Liverpool.

Sue Woodward, Deputy-Chairman and Creative Director of the Culture Company, and Ruth Gould, Executive Group member and Creative Director of the North West Disability Arts Forum, will be meeting key cultural representatives early next week to continue the drive towards 2008.

The highlights programme for 2008 will be unveiled in November as previously announced.


  1. What’s it got to do with DLiB? We’ve lost an internationally renowned festival cordinator. I hope parochialism doesn’t take over.

  2. Some of this ‘confusiuon’ is obviously because no-one is really sure what it’s all ‘for. I have yet to receive a proper answer to the question, ‘How – i.e. by what criteria – will we know that 2007 and 2008 were a success?’ (More on this in my weblog if anyone’s interested?)

    Clarity in that point – and there may well be a number of equally legitimate answers – would at least enable us to see what needs to be done.

    Maybe this latest debacle will result at last in a serious discussion which is not simply centered on playing to the local political gallery?

    It’s really important that in the end we get this right… but it ain’t happened yet.

  3. Nothing “controversial” about Robyn Archer? Play that again. She is no doubt a consummate performer but as an artistic director she lacks the inter-personal skills demanded of such a position. She is on the wrong side of the footlights and has survived thanks to a queer coterie which believes she can do no wrong. But she lacks any ability to make contact with anyone beyond this coterie. And in Melbourne she’ll will be forever remembered as the festival director who had the gall and ego to sing the entire program she was announcing to a very stunned audience. Most left after the first two hours. It seems she tried to tell Liverpool what it needed rather than discover what was needed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here