Roll up, roll up and be part of Sgt Pepper celebrations
Calling all musicians and entertainers!
The team behind the incredible 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 – are on the hunt for local musicians and performers to be part of one of the biggest and most ambitious events in the festival programme.
Mr Kite’s MUSICIRCUS! is inspired by the album track Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite and will see the largest ever musicircus take over Aintree Racecourse on Sunday 4 June.
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.
The Aintree spectacular will be completely dedicated to the Beatles, and so the team are on the lookout for musicians, vocalists, circus performers, dancers and poets who can perform, or perform to, any Beatles track (not just those from the Sgt Pepper album) to volunteer to be part of this world premiere event.
It is hoped that a variety of people will apply to be part of the extravaganza – amateur or professional. It’s open to church groups, choirs, cadets, bands, soloists, family groups, music which covers classical, jazz, brass, pop, experimental and world music genres, as well as dancers, circus acts, music hall, vaudeville, spoken word and any other performance artists who can come together to create an atmosphere of fun and anarchic spirit
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.
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.
Producer of the overall Sgt. Pepper programme, Culture Liverpool’s Alicia Smith, said: “This is an incredibly ambitious piece of work which pushes the creative boundaries and is without a doubt a once in a lifetime opportunity for the performer and the audience.
“Mr Kite’s MUSICIRCUS! is not a simple concept to get your head around, but we know that Merseyside is full of talented musicians and performers, and with their help this will quite simply be a mind-blowing experience for everyone involved.
“We wanted to pay homage to one of the most influential albums of all time with a series of events befitting of such a well-respected and art-influenced piece of work, and with more than two weeks of eclectic activities taking place in the city which brings together international and local talent, we are incredibly proud of Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home.
“I encourage as many people as possible to volunteer to play a role in what we hope will be the biggest-ever musicircus and a landmark event in this region’s cultural history.”
Anyone interested in being part of this free event should log on to www.sgtpepperat50.com/mr-kites-musicircus and fill in the online form which details what tracks can be performed, what instruments can be played, how may performers in your act etc.
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