A new music festival will hit the streets of Liverpool this summer.
Liverpool International Music Festival will replace the Mathew Street Festival, which has taken place for the last 20 years. That festival, which had strong links to The Beatles ‒ Mathew Street is home to the legendary Cavern Club ‒ regularly attracted 500,000 people to Liverpool over the August bank holiday weekend (24-26 August this year) and would see musicians perform mainly in pubs and clubs around the city centre.
Part of the reasoning behind the new festival is to save money and the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has said that this year’s venture will save the city £320,000, meaning the city will spend 40% less than was spent on last year’s Mathew Street Festival.
The new festival will also have much broader appeal and will involve the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Concerts will take place on temporary stages at the Pier Head, in front of Liverpool’s famous waterfront buildings, and at Sefton Park in Liverpool’s southern suburbs. The public will be able to attend the concerts free of charge. Full details of the new festival will be released in May.
‘We are pleased to be a partner with Liverpool City Council in this new approach to staging a music festival in two fantastic locations, the iconic Pier Head and one of the city’s most popular green spaces, Sefton Park,’ says Michael Eakin, chief executive of the RLPO. ‘The new-look festival looks set to maintain the best of the original event while introducing new elements that better reflect Liverpool’s vibrant and diverse musical culture.’
According to Mayor Anderson, the costs of staging the original festival escalated as the event’s profile grew. ‘It simply isn’t affordable to continue funding this event when we are facing cuts of more than £149m over the next four years,’ he said. ‘Liverpool International Music Festival will combine the best of the original event with live music on three outdoor stages. At the same time we’re working with the private sector to stage new and exciting events which tap into diverse musical tastes and widen the appeal.’
The Mayor’s views were echoed by Vasily Petrenko, chief conductor of the RLPO. ‘We are delighted to be part of this exciting new approach to staging a festival that celebrates every kind of music in one of the world’s great music cities, set in two of its most beautiful locations.’