The final performance was beautiful. Loud, colourful and passionate with humour and drama. Fireworks, drums and dancing lit up the crowd. The audience was a mixed crowd, from widely varying backgrounds. Many were clearly new to Stoke, others betrayed by their accents as Stokies through and through but all were wowed. As much as culture and exactly what it is have been - and will be, the subject of much debate this was a fascinating experience for many; perhaps the first time they had seen the city "letting its hair down". This new Stoke, the Stoke that has stopped apologising, the Stoke that says 'we can', the Stoke that understands that investment is critical - but isn't the be all and end all; this new Stoke is a great place, and it's ours to enjoy.