One of Liverpool’s most popular maritime events is returning for 2014, bigger and better than ever.
The International Mersey River Festival which includes Music on the Waterfront will take place from the evening of Friday 13 to Sunday 15 June and will be a three day celebration of all things maritime and music.
And for the first time activities will take place across a larger part of the waterfront – stretching from the area outside the Liverpool Echo Arena right up to the end of Princes Parade.
The event will see a number ofTall Ships sail into the city, including Stavros Niarchos, Prolific, Mercedes and Golden Vanity.They will be joined by a brand new Royal Navy Ship – Type 45 Destroyer, Merchant Navy Ship Galatea, narrow boats and nobby boats (an inshore sailing vessel such as a Morecambe Bay prawners), many of which will be open to the public across the weekend.
In a coup for the city, Liverpool will play host to the popular Dutch Barge Rally which will see around 12 to 15 barges in convoy on the Leeds Liverpool canal – the largest number of these vessels to be in procession on that stretch of water for decades.
This year also marks the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines, so there will be a series of Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Sea Cadet displays during Saturday and Sunday.
Music on the Waterfront returns with a bang on Friday night (13 June) with a very special free concert which will launch the weekend’s activities.
BBC Radio 6 Music will host The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Homecoming which they promise will be the funkiest night of music the Liver Birds have ever heard! Kicking off with BBC Radio Merseyside, the evening will start with some classic tunes and special guests as well as appearances from some of the station’s biggest names.
Then as the sun starts to set, Craig Charles will take to the stage for a homecoming show, bringing with him some very special friends to perform live, and of course his trunk of funk to share some of the best funk and soul music around.
And then to make sure the evening ends with a bang, it will be wrapped up with one of Craig’s legendary DJ sets.
The music extravaganza continues during the Saturday and Sunday – with a difference this year – as performances will take place throughout the afternoon, rather than the evening.
On Saturday, Smooth Radio will provide the artists, who are yet to be confirmed, and on Sunday there will be a big band theme with performances form the Royal Marine Band of Scotland, a Bollywood brass band and a Rat Pack tribute act.
Liverpool City Council’s Director of Culture, Claire McColgan, said: “Whenever this city hosts a maritime-themed event it attracts a huge amount of people, as they know this is an area where Liverpool truly excels.
“The River Festival has become a much loved part of the city’s events calendar and it’s no exaggeration to say the 2014 return is massive!
“Throughout the weekend we will showcase our world heritage waterfront, with a huge programme of maritime activities from raft races, Canoe Polo tournaments and walking tours right through to have-a-go water sports and a colourful parade from Brouhaha.
“And on top of this, to have a series of free concerts taking place means there really is something for everyone. It’s the perfect weekend for all the family.”