Friday, January 20, 2012

Courting the Cyclists

As part of my continuing series of occasional posts about how hip cyclists are, I offer this link about a hipster-targetted concert Saturday night by the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Unusually for a BFO concert, this event is starting at 11:30 p.m. and is staged not in the hoity-toity Palace of Arts on Soroksari ut but at a venue that normally hosts shows by pop and folk bands and rock stars from the dark and distant past.

Also unusually for a BFO concert, the playbill features a picture of someone wearing a sleeveless denim vest, over-ear headphones and a big furry wolf's head. This plus the bold, paint-brush font for the lettering tells you straight away that the event is not targeted at the usual conservative crowd.

The cycling angle comes from a post on the Hungarian Cyclists Club website, where BFO Conductor Iván Fischer makes a direct invitation to the hipster elite. Fischer made his last splash in the cycling world in the fall, when he conducted a free concert at Heroes' Square on the occasion of the European Car-Free Day Critical Mass. 

Now he's doing another concert just for cyclists -- apparently he really loves us. Either that, or he wants people to believe he really loves us, which, of course, is only natural. Fischer writes this on the cycling club's site:

Dear Budapest cyclists,
When at Heroes' Square, I saw the raised bicycles and thought, it would be nice to hold a concert just for young people, late at night, when older people are asleep, and when, for a few minutes, there aren't so many cars on the streets, and it's possible to bike to the concert hall. Now it's a reality -- for you - on the night of Jan. 21 at the Millenáris Teatrum. Come one and all to Midnight Music. Tickets will be very cheap, only for a small contribution to the costs.
The tickets are extremely cheap by BFO standards -- just HUF 1,200. And if you belong the cyclists' club or come by bike, you get a further 30 percent discount.

So, along with the concessionaires at Liszt Ferenc Airport and the fabric store at Jaszai Mari ter, Iván Fischer joins the queue of Hungarian opinion leaders who are desperately trying to ingratiate themselves with cyclists just because we're so cool.

Good luck to you, maestro.

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