An image from Mathew Street Music Festival

New Liverpool music festival announced

Liverpool’s Mathew Street Music Festival is evolving.

Liverpool International Music Festival is to replace the 20 year old event – keeping its very best elements, but introducing new, exciting ingredients which will see the city come together in a celebration of all things music.

Costs of the new-look event will be 40 per cent lower than Mathew Street Music Festival, helping the city council achieve significant savings and balance its budget.

The event will take place in August, with activities catering for a diverse range of tastes.

Part of the new festival will take place during the August bank holiday with events that weekend kicking off in classical style on the Friday as the internationally acclaimed Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and chief conductor Vasily Petrenko take to a brand new stage in Sefton Park for an evening of live music in the stunning surroundings of one of the city’s most popular green spaces. The concerts in the park will continue across the four days (Friday to Monday).

On the Saturday and Sunday, there will also be two outdoor stages located at the Pier Head which will include a tribute to the Beatles and their musical legacy. Programmed by Mathew Street Music Festival Directors Bill Heckle and Dave Jones, it will be a mixture of cover acts and original artists.

The hugely successful Fringe Festival will return for 2013 adding a cutting edge element as the city celebrates its original grassroots musicians in venues which support live music all year round.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “After 20 years of Mathew Street Music Festival it feels right that it evolves into a refreshed event which will have mass appeal.

“Over the years the original festival has become more high-profile and as a result it became one of the most costly to stage. It simply isn’t affordable to continue funding this event when we are facing cuts of more than £149m over the next four years.

“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 put new and exciting events which tap into diverse musical tastes and widen the appeal.

“This fresh approach also gives us the opportunity to look at the format of an outdoor music event and address key issues including that of alcohol which has been a bone of contention in recent years.

“Liverpool City Council is extremely proud of its involvement in the Mathew Street Music Festival, but it feels like the time is right to develop the format and we strongly believe the Liverpool International Music Festival will have broader appeal and will be a popular replacement.”

More events with private sector partners will take place in August, and following collaboration with local, national and international partners the programme is set to be announced in May.

Mathew Street Music Festival cost around £900,000 per year, whereas the budget for Liverpool International Music Festival is around 40 per cent lower than this. The event will be part funded by Arts Council England.

The change comes following consultation with those in Liverpool’s music sector who supported a new format for the festival.

The popular International Beatle Week, organised by Cavern City Tours, will take place from 21-27 August.

Bill Heckle, said: “The old format of the Mathew Street Music Festival has been totally outgrown. Its legacy, after 21 years, is the Liverpool International Music Festival which will be a more mature and all inclusive event fully representing Liverpool’s vibrant music scene.

“In this sense it is a true coming of age for the festival.”

Vasily Petrenko, Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, said: “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, the Pier Head and Sefton Park.”

Liverpool Waterfront