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“waste of money”
Review of Firstsite

Ranked #37 of 79 things to do in Colchester
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Firstsite is a visual arts organisation based in Colchester, Essex. Firstsite's stunning golden building was designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, and opened in September 2011. The gallery initiates world-class exhibitions by established and emerging artists, produces publications, and has extensive learning opportunities and artists' support initiatives. Over the last fifteen years firstsite has gained a strong reputation by presenting ambitious work to new audiences in the East of England and beyond.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

As i live in the area i decided to fine out how great this place is and what it had to offer as we have heard so much about all the time and effort spent on this building..... Good structure nice coffee but filled with pointless exhibits I think i would be enbarrassed to say i ran this place
£28,000000 should have been used to sort the roads out and put the old market back in the high street what a waste of money. The parking charges in Colchester is enough to put and visitors off let alone just to go here

Thank jonesysEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"andy warhol exhibition"
in 12 reviews
"grayson perry"
in 8 reviews
"modern architecture"
in 3 reviews
"gallery space"
in 4 reviews
"current exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"amazing building"
in 3 reviews
"great exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"free admission"
in 3 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"colchester town"
in 3 reviews
"keep up the good work"
in 3 reviews
"coffee shop"
in 4 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 10 reviews
in 10 reviews

194 - 198 of 212 reviews

Reviewed August 29, 2012

Well I toddled along to firstsite a couple of weeks ago now. I was quite surprised at a lot of the exhibits and the use of space and was actually a little underwhelmed. The programme I picked up left something a little lacking, however when I took one of the guided tours I really felt that the exhibits really opened up and the whole experience became much more tactile and thoroughly enjoyable. I would like to thank my guide, Beth for such an insight into the pieces that were on display. I would highly recomend anyone to take the guided tour as it really brings the gallery to life and I was very impressed at how knowledgeable and professional the tour was.

Thank steve4139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

My family and I live in the local area of colchester near the museum, as had vistited the tates around england we expected it to be similar but this was worse. When you entered the room it had one sculpture in a massive room along with a desk up one end. We thought it might get better but it really didnt. We then went into a small cramped room weret there were weird things hanging from ceilings. the next room had a dust sheet in it and a pile of grey lumps and finally a roman mosaic- it was ironic that a boy ran straight to that as that is what people are interested in. That was the extent of the muesum. At the end of the museum there was a MUSA cafe. Do not go in there. The prices were extortionate with a price of £34.95 for a burger 2 salads and some drinks. We at least expected a nice meal. My burger was raw. My sisters salad tasted disgusting and My mum's tuna was hard. My opinion waste of a tax payers money. £17 million pounds was spent on Firsite, I wouldnt spend £10 frankly. Spent 5 minutes inside the place. Pointless dont go here.

1  Thank Vicky T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

We live in the local area and have always thought that the gallery was a bit of a waste of money. Nevertheless, this building is good for promoting local creativity. Unfortunately, this is all it is good for.

My mum, sister and I visited this attraction in August 2012, and, having experience of other Tate-style galleries, weren't expecting much. However, the frankly empty gallery has surpassed our low expectations. The facility, costing £18million of tax-payers money, boasts a lovely building, but with absolutely nothing to fill it. As with most modern art museums, the attractions were a little eccentric - however those at firstsite are few and of little interest to the majority of Colchester residents.

After about 15 minutes of wandering around the vast empty spaces and small exhibitions, we decided to eat in the cafe, MUSA. This cafe has a good reputation in Colchester, however shouldn't - the menu is varied, but the prices are extortionate. For the three of us, two salads and a burger, with drinks, cost £34.95. Very pricey - so we expected good food. We didn't get it - my sister's burger was red raw, both salads were bland and the meat was cold. The food also took around 45 minutes to arrive in a high-speed art cafe.

Yes, Colchester has made use of firstsite as a place to hold meetings, however perhaps the council should have held a questionnaire as to what Colchester residents actually want - it was ironic that a little boy ran excitedly over to the only roman piece in the building and was really interested in it - kids like Colchester castle, and finding out about their home town's history. What firstsite really should have been - with its huge surface area - a museum full of Colchester's roman artefacts - showcasing what we actually have. We don't have a huge art talent in Colchester, and this is shown in the emptiness and unpopularity of firstsite.

If you're not into eccentric modern art - don't bother. Visit the castle or Hollytrees instead. It's a shame that £18 million was wasted on such an empty and characterless attraction.

1  Thank Emma J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 17, 2012

What a total waste of taxpayers money ! don't bother visiting, it's pretty much an empy building that slopes round in a curve and makes you feel giddy, it's basically an empty gallery with a bus station at the back of it with no parking on site. My mother in law visited several weeks ago thinking that it can't be that bad, she has visited many galleries all over the world, she said... what a waste of time and money ! big disapointment and a waste of our taxpayers money, what a joke !

2  Thank horseysarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flatman22, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2012

Thank you for your review and I am sorry to hear that you and your Mother-in-law did not enjoy your visit. Might I suggest you join one of our superb gallery tours, which run on Wednesday's and Fridays between 1 p.m until 2 p.m. Our wondeful gallery assistants will happily take you on a free tour of the building and its current exhibitions, possibly offering you a fresh prespective on our work.

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