Two of Liverpool’s major cultural events have scooped gold and silver prizes after fighting off international competition at a prestigious award ceremony.
The city’s Battle of the Atlantic (BOA) 70th Anniversary commemorations took top spot in Eventex’s Cultural Event of the Year category, with the inaugural Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) taking second place in the same category.
The two Liverpool events pipped a whole host of international nominees to the title – including a free beach library in Bulgaria, a fashion show in Belarus, and a drink promotion event which was held simultaneously in London, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Assistant Mayor and cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We’re delighted to take the top two spots in such a prestigious category and receive the award from an international organisation which recognises event excellence.
“The Battle of the Atlantic commemorations attracted more than 300,000 visitors to the city and for many the four days of activity were a highlight of 2013.
“LIMF was a brand new festival which saw 200,000 enjoy live music across the city and was widely regarded as a massive success.
“These were two very different events, but the knowledge and expertise of the Culture Liverpool teams behind both of them meant that the city maintains its reputation for being one of the best cities when it comes to hosting large-scale, outdoor events.
“I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all those who worked so hard on these two award winning events – and I’m sure with our impressive-looking 2014 programme, we should be in line for some more accolades in the future!”
The Eventex awards honours industry professionals who produce outstanding events which create value for communities and reflect well on the ‘events’ community nationally.
All entries were assessed by judges from all over the world including America, Germany, Italy, Australia, Norway and the UK. They were on the look-out for talented and dedicated teams that showcased creativity and professionalism.
What some of the judges said about BOA:
James McGregor (Australia): The logistics involved in this event, pre to post event were complicated and from the report given, managed extremely well. A great number of visitors and media coverage. An impressive production.
Teresa Matamoros (Mexico): “It required a lot of collaboration and involvement of different organizations and that requires not only good event design but work together and play nice.”
Milos Milovanovic (Serbia): “Highly attended commemorative event, incorporated with community participation programme, covering civil as military aspect, with warships, salutation by Princess Royal, overflight from historical aircraft, all the features that make this anniversary stand out, combined with academic conference and educational programme, live broadcast and substantial media coverage, really do justifies my high vote.”
David Benitez (Ecuador): “I think the involvement of the Liverpool community to share their message is interesting indeed.”
What some of the judges said about LIMF:
Milos Milovanovic (Serbia): “Six week long live music festival, with over 150 000 visitors and 1000 performances, which on original way combines musical heritage with innovation, getting already existing festivals in UK to move their dates to come under LIMF umbrella, with additional focus on the city’s young talented people, truly creates new music platform, and earns my highest vote.”
David Benitez (Ecuador): “Seems like a nicely organised music festival with great international music indeed.”
Battle of the Atlantic 70th Anniversary commemorations:
From the 24-28 May, Liverpool led the national commemorations, with a whole host of waterfront and city centre activities in tribute to the men and women involved in the longest continuous military campaign of World War II.
A packed programme saw veterans parades, Lindy Hop flash mobs, a fly past and action packed displays and more than 20 warships arriving in the city.
The inaugural festival kicked off in style during the August Bank Holiday weekend (23-26). It saw two stages in Sefton Park which played host to internationally acclaimed Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, Soul II Soul, Rebecca Ferguson and The Christians as well as some of the leading stars from the world of reggae, jazz, folk and African music.
On the Saturday, the Pier Head saw the Turn Up the Radio event with headliners JLS being joined by acts including Little Mix, Union J, Stooshe, The Vamps and Eliza Doolittle. The following day, Party at the Pier played host to well-known artists including The Saturdays, Texas and Nina Nesbitt. They performed alongside local stars including KOF, Esco Williams, The Hummingbirds and Chelcee Grimes. A Mathew Street Festival Stage (programmed by Bill Heckle and Dave Jones from Cavern City Tours) payed homage to artists such as Queen, Adele, Robbie Williams and The Rolling Stones.
The festival continued in September with a performance from legendary band The Farm in Stanley Park and a final gig took place in November as rock band The Charlatans took to a stage in St George’s Hall.