It’s the last chance for musicians and performers across Liverpool and the wider region to be part of a never-before-seen Musicircus.
So far, more than 400 people have signed up to be part of Mr Kite’s MUSICIRCUS! – an event inspired by the Sgt Pepper album track Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite and will see a huge group of people come together at Aintree Racecourse, to play or perform different extracts from different Beatles songs simultaneously – creating an unforgettable cacophony of sound.
Those who have already volunteered to be part of the FREE unique event on Sunday 4 June include guitarists, drummers, the Chinese Youth, dancers, choirs, poets, orators, rock ‘n’ roll bands and aerialists. And there is also some four-legged support as horses from the Aintree Equestrian School will also be taking part.
However, the deadline to sign up is looming – 5pm Monday 8 May – and the team behind the event are still on the hunt for brass bands, jazz and classical instrumentalists, Irish ceilidh performers, mariachi bands, circus acts, marching bands and even opera singers!
The spectacular is dedicated to the Beatles, so anyone who volunteers must be able to perform, or perform to, any Beatles track.
Sarah Vasey, Arts and Participation Manager for Mr Kite’s Musicircus!,said: “We are delighted with the take-up so far, and the reaction from groups and individuals across the city and beyond extremely positive and they can’t wait to be part of this world premiere event.
“We want to make sure visitors to Aintree Racecourse on 4 June have an unforgettable, fun family day out and we’re keen to attract a diverse range of performers who can give an interpretation of tracks we know and love.
“It really will be a once in the lifetime opportunity and I encourage as many people as possible to sign up and be part of this landmark cultural moment.”
Pagoda Arts has signed up to take part and the youth orchestra and dancers will be at Aintree in June. Director of, Zi Lan Liao said: “We are so pleased to be part of the Sgt Pepper event – the fusion of Beatles songs being played on Chinese musical instruments will be incredibly special, and we’ll also give a Chinese dance and taichi performance.”
All volunteers are encouraged to come in costume or simply come dressed colourfully, and although there will be no rehearsal, acts will be contacted ahead of the event to confirm what they are playing/performing on the day, and where in the racecourse they will be located.
The spectacular is part of Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home – a series of celebrations marking 50 years since the release of iconic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is set to be a fantastic experience not only for the performers but for the audience as well. The Musicircus will run from 2pm – 5.50pm on Sunday 4 June at Aintree Racecourse, accessible from Aintree Rail Station.
Musicircus is the brainchild of legendary American music experimentalist John Cage, and in its simplest form, sees a huge group of people come together in a large space, and play different extracts from different songs simultaneously – creating an unforgettable cacophony of sound.
Based on who volunteers and what tracks people can play, a brand new score will be created by the New York-based John Cage Trust, and this composition will be performed on the day.
Audiences can expect to hear a large number of tracks, just not necessarily the entire song, or in any particular order – for example, walk in to Aintree Racecourse and you may be greeted by a brass band playing the chorus of Hey Jude, follow the route and come across a poet reading the second verse of I am the Walrus, followed by people dancing to the opening bars of Penny Lane.
The key is to expect the unexpected.
Performers must be 16 years or older, if not in a supervised or family group. Under 16s can still perform but must apply and attend as part of a supervised group e.g. Scouts, Cadets, Youth Orchestra, family group etc
Performers need to stay for the entire program on Sunday 4 June – from artist registration at 1pm to the end of the show at 5.50pm
Performers need to be as self-sufficient as possible i.e. bring own music stands, music, chairs, instruments – there will be no backline provided and no allocated dressing rooms
There will be no opportunity to have access to power, unless previously arranged with the team
The event will be performed mostly in the open air, weather permitting. If covered space is an essential you must let the team know when applying
Liverpool City Council is curating a unique festival which brings together world renowned artists and Liverpool-based talent, to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of what is widely regarded as the best rock and roll album of all time. Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Homewill use each track on the iconic Beatles album as the creative springboard for 13 brand new events. The world premiere commissions reimagine the original track, which will evolve into a mixture of large and intimate events covering the worlds of art, dance, music, poetry and theatre.
For more than two weeks, there will be performances, installations, live spectacle and moments of surprise across the city, as the spotlight will fall on Liverpool to celebrate their most famous sons in a way befitting of a record which broke the mould and changed music forever.
Conceptually driven by notable Artistic Directors Sean Doran and Liam Browne, the festival runs from Thursday 25 May until Friday 16 June and will see the involvement of international names such as GroupeF (the organisation behind several Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies), Mark Morris Dance Group (one of the world’s leading dance companies), Judy Chicago (iconic American feminist artist), John Cage (one of the American greats of experimental music), Jeremy Deller (Turner Prize winning conceptual artist), author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, DJ Spooky (American composer) as well some of the very best Indian musicians in the world such as Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.
The events will take place at locations across the city, including Liverpool’s Royal Court, Hope Street, Woolton Picture House, Camp Hill, Tate Liverpool, St George’s Hall and Aintree Racecourse.
The festival has been made possible with National Lottery investment of £750,000 from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme.
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/