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Matthew Street Festival Goes Ahead August 9, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in 2008, Capital of Culture 2008, Culture, Events, News.
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Matthew Street Festival - Image courtesy of BBC Following a series of high level meetings at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool City Council announced today that the Mathew Street festival WILL be taking place in its original format.

Acts are will be staged at venues across the city centre this August Bank Holiday.

Details of the weekend’s activities can be found on the Visit Liverpool website.

David Wade-Smith, Chairman of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, commented: “The Mathew Street Festival is one of the showpiece events in Liverpool’s calendar and makes a massive contribution to the economy of the city.

“I am extremely heartened that by working together in partnership we have devised an alternative proposal which deals with the public safety issues and enables people to come out and party.”

Liverpool city council Chief Executive Colin Hilton said: “We have been working closely with Cavern City Tours, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Merseyside Police, and numerous other partners, to come up with alternative plans for the Mathew Street Festival which address the public safety risks. Their support this week has been invaluable.’’

Acts scheduled to perform on outdoor stages on Sunday and Monday, August 26 and 27 will get the chance to play at more than 40 key city centre indoor venues to satisfy concerns over public safety.

It follows an independent report by leading health and safety experts Capita Symonds Limited, which stated the outdoor stages posed significant risks to the public.

The past few days of intensive discussions has resulted in:

  • 40 city centre venues offering to stage acts
  • A further 20 are being approached
  • Of the acts scheduled to play, many already have an alternative venue
  • All 10 Streetwaves acts will play at The Barfly on Bank Holiday Monday
  • Key venues with a large capacity that have expressed interest, include: The Krazy House, Mood, Walkabout, Rat and Parrott, University of Liverpool’s Mountford Hall
  • Talks are to be held with other interested key venues including: The Picket, Zanzibar, Korova, Heebie-Jeebies, Pan-M, Babycream, Blue, Society, La Bateau, Bar L1 Reflex, Varsity, Metro.
  • Creamfields festival have offered to take acts on Saturday

A full list of venues with listings will be published next week

Lots of family entertainment will also be provided within the city centre as the two-day event aims to cater for people of all ages.

There will also be a full programme of activities for families visiting the city centre on the 26th and 27th August which will lead into the city’s 800th birthday celebrations on Tuesday 28th August.

The annual Liverpool International Beatles Week, organised by Cavern City Tours, will also run from August 22-26, kick starting with a special concert to launch the Cavern album marking the 50th anniversary of the world famous club. There will also be a programme of guest talks, concerts and Beatles-related auctions.

Now in its 15th year, the festival began at The Cavern with the other clubs and pubs in Mathew Street.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: ” I’ve been hugely impressed by the spirit of co-operation between the public and private sectors to try and solve the problem – but the safety issue around the outdoor stages has proved to be too complex to resolve for this year and I’m extremely disappointed.

‘’The result of those efforts is a plan which provides the acts and the public with a festival which I believe retains the spirit of Mathew Street, while ensuring there is minimal risk to visitors to the city centre.’’

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ‘’By moving the acts indoors, people will still be able to enjoy the fantastic entertainment that the Mathew Street Festival is famous for in safety.’’

Bill Heckle from Cavern City Tours and a Director of the Mathew Street Festival Ltd company, who along with three other directors originally set up the Mathew Street Festival, said: ‘’The feel of the event will echo earlier Mathew Street Festivals, which some people actually prefer.

‘’There will be dozens of bars and restaurants staging live music events and we implore stakeholders, who perhaps have not hosted live music in their bars during the Festival before will now find a way of providing such entertainment to satisfy the huge demand that will be evident over the whole weekend. We applaud the initiative taken by many already to do just that.’’

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