Mersey-beats through new music festival

It may be a brand new music festival for Liverpool, but there’s definitely a ‘Fab’ theme running throughout.

The Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) is not only a celebration of some of the best current artists, but also pays homage to 20 years of the Mathew Street Music Festival with a strong nod to the city’s favourite sons – the Beatles.

International Beatleweek returns from 21-27 August with bands from over 20 countries and fans from over 40 countries descend on the city to enjoy live gigs, exhibitions, memorabilia sales, guest speakers, video shows, sightseeing tours and a convention.

On the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday weekend, there will be a dedicated Beatles Years Stage in Sefton Park which will see bands perform tracks played from every year the band were together (1962-1970). The bands hail from Mexico, Brazil, USA and of course the UK (including Liverpool).

Directors of Cavern City Tours, Bill Heckle and Dave Jones, have programmed the Beatles Years stage.

Bill said: “We’ve got eight of the best tribute bands around to play tracks from each Beatle year. The Beatles Years show has never been done before in the city and will be a real treat for the Sefton Park audience.”

And if that isn’t enough Beatles, Bill and Dave are also programming The Mathew Street Festival Stage at the Pier Head on Sunday 25 August, which plays host to a variety of tribute acts.

Bill added: “We’re really pleased with the line-up for the festival as we knew how important it was to keep the very best elements of the Mathew Street Music Festival, which would work well alongside a brand new, exciting event which represents how the city has evolved musically.

“And of course when it comes to tribute artists, it’s not just about the Beatles. Party at the Pier on bank holiday Sunday will see Adele, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones and David Bowie tribute acts perform.

“Not to mention the Argentinian Dios Salve a la Reina who are quite simply the best Queen tribute act in the world.

“They were hugely popular when they performed as part of the original festival, they’ll provide a great link between the old and new events. This band defined Mathew Street Festival over the last 20 years and they have even interrupted their European tour just so they can be part of LIMF – if you haven’t seen them before you’re in for a real treat.”

The Beatles theme continues with events including:
• 25 bands playing every day during International Beatleweek at The Cavern Club (tickets available on the door).
• 3 special shows at the Philharmonic Hall on Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Monday 26th. Tickets (£20) available from Liverpool Philharmonic Hall box office.
• Neil Innes & friends perform their Beatles spoof ‘Rutles’ show at O2 Academy Monday 26th. Joining the bill will be Scaffold members Mike McCartney and John Gorman (tickets from www.cavernclub.org).
• A 12 hour Beatles Convention on Sunday 26th at The Adelphi Hotel. 60 bands, guest speakers, videos, memorabilia and more all for £15 (tickets available on the door).
• A special celebration at the Albert Dock on 24/25 August.
• On selected dates throughout August and September there will be a ‘Spotlight on the Beatles’ exhibition at Museum of Liverpool.
• Lathom Hall in Seaforth will showcase Merseybeat memorabilia.
• From 23 August to 14 September the Royal Court will host the production of ‘Lennon’ which will see Liverpool musician John Power take on the role of the late Beatle.

Kevin Fearon, Chief Executive, Royal Court Liverpool and Producer of Lennon, said: “The programming for LIMF has been really impressive so far, reflecting the wide range of music that the city has to offer.

“The Beatles are a massive part of Liverpool’s musical history and by making Lennon a part of the festival we will be bringing some of the best music ever written to the stage. The play is a celebration of a Liverpool icon and, with more than 40 John Lennon and Beatles hits played live, it will add a new dimension to the Festival.”

Both the Beatles Years Stage and the Mathew Street Music Festival Stage have been programmed in partnership with Real Radio.

More about LIMF:

LIMF celebrates greatness, discovers the new and inspires the next. One city, 35 days, more than 250 performances.

It will see some of the biggest names in music descend from 18 August to 22 September.

It kicks off on 18 August as Neil Young & Crazy Horse perform at the Echo Arena.

During bank holiday weekend from 23 to 26 August, acts will take to a new stage in Sefton Park including 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. Throughout the weekend there will be food stalls, a children’s fairground and other family activities

On Saturday 24 August, the Pier Head will play host to the Turn Up the Radio event with headliners JLS being joined by acts including Little Mix, Union J, Stooshe, The Vamps and Eliza Doolittle.

On Sunday 25 August Party at the Pier will see the Juice FM stage playing host to well-known artists including The Saturdays, Texas and Nina Nesbitt. They will perform alongside local stars including KOF, Esco Williams, The Hummingbirds and Chelcee Grimes. There will also be a Mathew Street Festival Stage with Real Radio (programmed by Bill Heckle and Dave Jones from Cavern City Tours) with acts paying homage to artists such as Queen, Adele, Robbie Williams and The Rolling Stones.

Monday 26 August will see The Charlatans headline a special gig in the beautiful surroundings of St George’s Hall.

The Sefton Park events are free, but early bird tickets for Turn Up the Radio cost from £22.50 per person including booking fee plus £2.50 postage per order. Early bird tickets for Party at the Pier will cost from £5 per person plus £2.25 postage fee per order. Tickets for the St George’s Hall event are £32.50 plus booking fee.

Tickets for all events can be bought online at www.limfestival.com.

Alternatively Turn Up the Radio tickets can be bought by calling 08448 24 48 24 or visiting www.axs.com.

Party at the Pier tickets can be bought in person at Ticket Quarter Box Office in Queens Square or by calling 0844 8094620.

Also part of LIMF will be:
• A fringe festival which will see more than 100 events taking place in pubs and clubs across the city.
• The first ever Summercamp festival hosted by Camp and Furnace which combines top acts such as Ghostpoet and Martha Wainwright, with world-class art and mouth-watering food. It takes place on 24 and 25 August.
• The second ever Liverpool Music Awards which feature 16 awards and live performances and is a massive celebration of musical talent from, and inspired by, the city.
• Three events by internationally acclaimed opera and concert singer Bryn Terfel. The first is a night of songs from musicals on 9 September, the second and third will take place on 20 and 22 September with a beautiful performance of Puccini’s Tosca, with Vasily Petrenko as conductor. All these events take place in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
• The LIMF Academy which will work with and inspire young people who are interested in getting into the music business.