Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Matthew Street festival

Details for this year's festival have just been published so I am pasting them below. The programmes should be available from the middle of next month


Liverpool will be the UK capital of live music this August Bank Holiday, with a radical new programme for the Mathew Street Music Festival.

For the first time in its 16-year history, the annual event – Europe’s biggest - will feature:

Six outdoor stages across two days in Liverpool city centre
A new main stage near to the Queensway Tunnel
A new Mathew St Fringe Festival - featuring original bands indoors
New themes for all six stages – including Soul, Diva, Brit Pop and New Bands
Huge LED screens on three stages

Over 80 hours of live outdoor music has been programmed for Sunday-Monday, August 24-25 with 95 bands performing from as far as USA, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, Italy, Finland, Poland, Turkey and Scotland.

More than 30 indoor venues have also signed up to host live bands over the weekend from as far as Australia, Chile, Russia and Indonesia.

The outdoor stages will operate from 11am to 6pm on both days, with indoor venues offering live music from 12 noon until the early hours.

Highlights of the weekend will include a 42-piece orchestra from the Czech Republic and a 32-piece military band from Brazil accompanying two Beatles tribute acts.

Cult heroes 'Chas and Dave' will be appearing on the main stage on Sunday, with 90s chart topping band Right Said Fred and award-winning blues legend Connie Lush on the Diva Stage on Monday.

Joining them on the Diva stage, which will be hosted by Liverpool super-club Garlands, will be stars from BBC TV’s Saturday primetime show - The One and Only, including the winner Katy Setterfied as Dusty Springfield.

The ‘08 festival will also be promoting the best of Liverpool’s current music scene from hiphop to indie to psychedelic folk rock at Williamson Square, on both days, and crowd favourites on the Pub Rock and Merseybeat stages on Monday.

And the new Mathew St Fringe Festival will feature nine venues programming original bands from Liverpool.

There will also be a new European dimension thanks to a Streetwaves competition for unsigned bands organised by the Liverpool Culture Company via the Cities on the Edge programme with Marseilles, Bremen, Gdansk, Istanbul and Naples.

Liverpool City Council, working together with the directors of Mathew Street Festival Ltd, have co-programmed the new-look festival for the city’s year as European Capital of Culture.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool city council and Deputy Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ‘’Every festival needs to develop and stay fresh and this year’s Mathew Street Music Festival is no exception.

‘’The plans we have laid out, such as the new fringe festival and new bands stage, gives it an exciting, new direction and the platform to grow over the years to come. In terms of variety and quality this year’s festival has more to offer than ever before. Like our culture year, there’ll something for everyone to enjoy. ’’

Bill Heckle, one of the directors of Mathew Street Festival Ltd, said: ‘’We’ve listened to the public, the bands and the venues to programme this year and I believe we’ve got the perfect balance for a fantastic music festival that celebrates Liverpool and music in all forms.

‘’One of the main reasons for Mathew Street Music Festival was to showcase new Merseyside talent and I’m delighted we’ve been able to go back to those roots in our European Capital of Culture year.’’

The outdoor stages on Sunday for the 2008 Mathew Street Music Festival are:

Main Stage – located on Byrom Street - by Queensway Tunnel entrance
Beatles Stage – located on Derby Square
Streetwaves Stage – located on Williamson Square
Pub Rock Stage – located on Tithebarn Street (at Avril Robarts JMU building)
Merseybeat Stage – located on Exchange Street
Guitar Hero Stage – located on Water Street – (at Drury Lane)

On Monday, the Pub Rock will become the Blues/Soul Stage; Merseybeat will become Brit Pop; Guitar Hero will be Diva; and Streetwaves will be themed as New Bands.

The official programme for the Mathew Street Music Festival 2008 is due out by the second week of August.