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July 31, 2006

Hub 2006 - Otterspool Promenade

hub06-1.jpg hub06-2.jpg

Report by Sean Kenny Jnr.
Photographs by Moira Kenny (email)

The Hub 2006 July 22/23rd at Otterspool Promenade, Liverpool

I went on the Saturday, the first day of the 2006 hub festival . Getting there the weather was lovely, hot as usual but as soon as we entered the prom the rain starting coming down. It didn’t lower the amazing atmosphere that was buzzing all around..

First place I went to was the dj’ing, the sound of booming voices and exciting ’scratching’ pulled me over. The graffiti was amazing, big faces an cool writing. Soon there was an open mic’ going, mc’s from all round where showing off their bit. The crowd went wild when Nikki Blaze stepped up, ( tar for the CD Nikki!!).

Over to the BMX and Skatebording part I saw a well known face, Neil Danns(Family friend brag brag....) The biking and boarding was cancelled for a short while thanks to the rain, but kicked up again very fast. This side of the festival there was the rocking rock music pumping down my ears. Bands well known and some not that well known. Excellent.

Loads of culture this week went up the tower and met the Olympic officials.
And even more fireworks!

Sean Kenny Jnr

Check out flickr for more pictures:

hub06-4.jpg hub06-3.jpg

July 29, 2006

Philip Pullman here in 2008

philip-pullman.jpgMore good news...
Via Cheshire Chronicle

Cult author Philip Pullman is to head the bill at a Liverpool literary festival to celebrate Capital of Culture year.

The writer of the His Dark Materials trilogy is the first big name to be signed up to the Liverpool University event. The festival is due to take place in November 2008 and will include local and national names taking part in readings, discussions and debates.

Dinah Birch, head of the university's school of English, says it is the first time in many years - if ever - that the department has held anything similar.

The festival, likely to be titled Shipping Lines in homage to Liverpool's history as one of the world's greatest ports, is one of a number of ideas the department has to mark Capital of Culture year.

But Prof Birch has emphasised it is still in the early stages of development and the final programme will be dictated by funding available.

Clipper Race Ends in the Rain

liverpool08 clipper yacht clippers welcomed in the rain

liverpool08 yacht finishes in 4th place

After so many days of baking heat and dry weather it was odds-on it would rain just as thousands of people arrived at the Pier Head and Albert Dock to greet the yachts and crews of the Clipper 05-06 Round The World Yacht Race.

Still it didn't rain all day, the sun shone on the liverpool08 yacht as it sailed past having finished in 4th place overall. won the race, Durban were 2nd and New York finished just ahead of Liverpool08 to claim 3rd place.

There was plenty of other entertainment to keep people amused (lets face it, boats are pretty boring really aren't they) with the Chinese lion dancers, jet-ski demos and an air display.

Lots of great pictures on the BBC Liverpool website.

See the Clipper Ventures website for the full details.

 liverpool chinese lion dance

Contacting the Culture Company

I should point out that I am not connected to the Liverpool Culture Company or any other organisation. I noticed recently that the liverpool08 contact page has improved since I last looked.

There's more email addresses there now. I never had any success with the catch-all contact@...
Maybe the new more specific ones such will be better. There's also the snail-mail address and the 'hotline' number as well as links to the FAQ pages.

July 28, 2006

Big Improvement in Perceptions of Liverpool

According to a recent Ipsos MORI poll Liverpool's image along with the whole North West has improved greatly over the last few years.

Significantly more British residents who live outside the Northwest describe the region as a 'success' in 2006 than did in 2001 (35% now think of success when thinking of the Northwest compared with 22% in 2001).

Associations with high unemployment have fallen since 2001. Traditional images of the region as an industrial location are still present to an extent, mostly amongst audiences from overseas.

Perceptions of Liverpool have improved significantly from 2001, with views of Blackpool deteriorating slightly. Opinion leaders are far more positive about Manchester and Liverpool than residents, with opinion formers from overseas particularly likely to see them as strengths of the region.

Awareness of Liverpool's designation as the 2008 European Capital of Culture is still high among Northwest residents. Since 2003 there has been a slight drop in numbers saying the designation will benefit the region but this will be due, in part, to the initial positive feelings and publicity associated with winning the designation dying down before the practical improvements and investment has fed through. However, on the whole, the majority still feel the role will be good for the region.

Link to MORI report

Lightning Seeds to Play Mathew St Festival


Pop legends The Lightning Seeds are to headline Europe's biggest free city centre music festival.

Led by Ian Broudie, the band famous for hits such as 'Life of Riley', 'Pure', 'Lucky You' and 'Three Lions', will perform at the four-day Mathew Street Music Festival on Sunday, August 27.

The special one-hour greatest hits gig will be their first in Liverpool since the millennium and will be played at the world famous Pier Head in front of an estimated 20,000 people.

Broudie, who has not toured for seven years until this summer to promote the recently released 'Very Best Of' album, is preparing for an emotional homecoming. This is their final gig of the year and ''the last for some time''.

He said: ''I can't wait for this one. Mathew Street is where I got my musical education, borrowing records off the owner of Eric's club, then helping bands unload their gear to eventually DJ-ing there and then joining Big In Japan. For our final gig of the tour to be at this festival means I'll be coming full circle.''

Currently producing The Coral's new album and with plans on making his next album for 2007, Broudie added: ''To play on the shores of the Mersey in front of a home crowd of thousands is special. I'm really excited. We'll be playing a selection of our biggest hits with some covers and hopefully the sun will shine to make it an unforgettable day.''

A self-confessed Beatles-fan who can uniquely claim have been born on Penny Lane and grew up in Menlove Avenue - childhood home of John Lennon, Broudie added he's be hoping to catch some of the Beatles tribute acts over the weekend.

As well as The Lightning Seeds, festival organisers - the Liverpool Culture Company - have focused on showcasing home-grown talent, from the famous to the unsigned, to celebrate the 2006 Capital of Culture themed year - Liverpool Performs.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will open the festival for the first time with an open-air concert on the Pier Head at 7.30pm on Friday, August 25.

And from Saturday to Monday there will be a dedicated new band stage at the Pier Head which will feature 31 new or unsigned Liverpool bands.

The first hour on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-12noon, will be dedicated to the winners of an X-factor style music competition called Streetwaves, held across the city's seven neighbourhoods.

July 25, 2006

Drama Workshops for Children & Young People

Altru Drama are offering chidlren and young people in Liverpool and the surrounding areas the chance to take part in a week of drama, games, fun and creativity across the summer at Knowsley Community College, Huyton.

Week 1 is for children aged 7 - 11 and will focus on telling a story through drama.

Week 2 is for young people aged 12 - 15 and will focus on scripted work and creating and developing character.

The weeks are an ideal opportunity for children and young people with a keen interest in drama and a desire to do something fun to get involved. We hope they will build confidence and selfesteem, forge new friendhsip and allow participants to uncover talents.

Costs �45 for the whole week - 10am - 3:30pm each day (chidlren should bring a packed lunch). Early bird and late leaver sessions are available (at an extra cost) for parents who have extra childcare requirements.

Booking is essential. Please call Kate on 0151 702 9293 or email More info about the company is available on the website -

Clipper Race Returns - Saturday, Albert Dock

clipper-boat-06.JPGRiver Mersey, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Date(s): 29/7/2006 - 29/7/2006
[t]:0151 233 2008

Thousands of spectators thronged the Mersey waterfront for the start of the 05-06 Clipper Round-the-World Yacht Race and now you can see it return.

The 10 yachts set sail last September on an 11-month ocean adventure competing for the Clipper Cup and after 35,000 miles they’re almost home.

The excitement will be building as Race 13 is the final, and deciding race of the whole 11-month adventure, counting for half of the points its result could easily determine the overall winner.

Find out if the Liverpool crew which includes local residents Claire Daley, Peter Mulcahy and David Dowling can make it home first on Saturday 29 July, 12.30pm at Albert Dock.

What’s on:

12.10 – Jet Ski demonstrations
12.30 – Clipper yachts finish Liverpool 08 Dash at Duke’s Mast – South side of Albert Dock
13.00 – Air Display by Gold Wing
13.25 – Jet Ski demonstrations
14.20 – Air Display by Gold Wing
16.00 – 17.30 – Prize giving on floating stage at Salt House Dock, adjacent to Albert Dock

As well as all of the maritime entertainment there will be street theatre and bands in and around the dock all day.

Please note times may vary based on prevailing weather conditions

2012 Roadshow in Liverpool - Thursday

The London 2012 Roadshow ends its national tour in Liverpool's Williamson Square with a host of entertainment and sporting stars. The Roadshow marks the 6th anniversary countdown to the official opening of the London Games. The Liverpool Culture Company will also present the city centre heat of Streetwaves

Williamson Square, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Date(s): 27/7/2006 - 27/7/2006
[t]:0151 233 2008

July 19, 2006

Brouhaha Website

brouhaha06-150.jpgThe brouhaha international street festival 2006 website is now up and running. It was a bit late in my opinion but everything's there now and you can even email your photos into a competition.
Its the big opening ceremony on Friday

July 15, 2006

Mathew St .Festival to be opened by RLPO


Mathew Street Music Festival First for the Liverpool Phil

The Phil's new principal conductor, 30 year-old Russian, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will open Liverpool's world famous Mathew Street Music Festival on Friday 25 August, the beginning of the Bank Holiday weekend, with a free open-air concert on the City's historic waterfront, at Liverpool Pier Head.

The spectacular event will be the Phil's debut at what has become Europe's biggest annual, outdoor city centre music festival, which last year attracted record-breaking crowds of 300,000 to the weekend musical bonanza. 10,000 people are expected to watch the Phil's concert at the Pier Head.

Petrenko will lead the RLPO in a sensational programme of classical music gems including Shostakovich's Festival Overture and March and Football from Russian River; Jupiter from Holst's Planet Suite, Rossini's William Tell Overture, Strauss's Radetsky, and The Great Gate of Kiev from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

The RLPO will also be joined on stage by top names from the Liverpool music scene; Garry Christian of The Christians will sing his poignant ballad Father; Pete Wylie of The Mighty Wah will perform his epic Heart as Big as Liverpool and Jennifer John and Thomas Lang will duet on the anthemic You'll Never Walk Alone.

Vasily Petrenko, who opens his first season as principal conductor at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 14 September, said: "I'm thrilled to lead the orchestra in opening the festival and for us to be part of an event that's so full of energy and exuberance, and which and says so much about how important music of all kinds is to Liverpool."

Michael Elliott, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been invited by Liverpool Culture Company to open this year's festival and what a way to introduce our new Principal Conductor to the City! The Liverpool Phil is an incredibly versatile orchestra, with a very broad repertoire, and Vasily will now play a pivotal role in our ambition to be at the heart of all the City's musical celebrations as we prepare to showcase our Capital of Culture year on a world stage."

Chief Executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, Jason Harborow said: "The number of people coming to Liverpool for the Mathew Street Music Festival is just amazing and keeps growing, year after year. Its popularity is due to the wide range of music that's on offer and the Liverpool Phil are playing a crucial role in that."

He added: "We're so pleased that the Phil is joining us to give the widest possible choice of entertainment for people visiting Liverpool. They will leave with a fantastic view of the city and its culture."

Friday 25 August 7.30pm, FREE
Mathew Street Festival - Liverpool Pier Head Stage
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, conductor
There will be no seating at the stage at the Pier Head. Members of the audience will however be able to bring their own seating, (e.g. garden chairs) and should aim to be seated by 7.00pm.

July 14, 2006

08 Update Now Available

There's copies in the 08 place and elsewhere or you can download from the 08 website

Issue four of the 08 Update newsletter can be downloaded via this link
Features in this edition include:

* Summer Pops returns with a host of big names from the world of rock, pop, soul and jazz from 29 June to 23 July.
* The Clipper returns to the Mersey on 29 July after 35,000 gruelling miles and more than ten months at sea.
* All Aboard! saw Liverpool hosting a selection of Tall Ships over the weekend of 1-2 July as a taster to the start of the Tall Ships race in 2008.

The 08 Update includes news on our latest community projects and a useful guide to forthcoming events over the summer

Theatre in the Parks - Saturdays 15th & 22nd

All the park's a stage

Professional actors are now in rehearsals with community members under the direction of Spike Theatre Company, to stage the show on the grassy plains of Otterspool and Stadt Moers parks. Tickets are now on sale from the Unity Theatre box office on 0151 709 4988 priced £6/£4, with parental supervision required for children.

Performances will be in Otterspool Park on Jericho Lane in Liverpool on Saturday 15 July and Sunday 16 July then moving to Stadt Moers Park in Knowsley on 22 and 23 July, Saturday performances at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday performances at 2pm and 6pm. The drama, funded by the Liverpool Culture Company and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Arts Council NW, will take audience members on an action-packed walk around the green spaces.

Plans for 2007 Liverpool Birthday Party Unveiled

800thlogo.jpgSo now I have 3 badges to wear. My original 08 badge which is looking a bit old now, my recent 08 Ambassador badge and now this very nice 800th Birthday badge which I picked up at the media launch at St George's Hall this morning. (the small concert room is looking good after the recent makeover, I saw a few gigs there in the '70s)
Also this logo is free to use but you still have to get permission (oops).
So we're all going to party like crazy during 2007 before our culture binge in 2008. Thank God I don't need to go out to work in an office or factory every day, there's no way I'd have the time for all this.

Here's just a few highlights, there's more on the 08 website and lots more details to follow.

A mammoth party featuring one of the world's biggest fireworks displays will be held to celebrate Liverpool's 800th anniversary next year.

The city today (July 14) unveiled a master plan to be the world party capital in 2007 and is looking to the internet to help fuel a global celebration.

An invitation is now open to anyone with a Liverpool connection to join in the festivities and log on to to tell the world of their plans. They can also use a special 2007 logo, launched today and free to download from the 08 website, to publicise their event.

The centrepiece of the 800th anniversary is a four-day party extravaganza over August Bank Holiday, to mark the granting of Liverpool's first charter, by King John on August 28, in 1207.

The 800th birthday weekend will centre on six key events:

· Street Parties - communities will be offered free party kits to re-create a jubilee atmosphere
· The annual Mathew Street Music Festival (Fri-Mon, August 24-27) will focus on a retro/heritage theme and is set to attract 400,000 people

· 800th birthday civic service at St Nicholas Parish Church
· The service will be followed by a Historical Pageant and Procession through the city centre to echo the 700th anniversary celebrations in 1907

· All major public squares will host festivities on August 28 from 12noon to 3pm.
· The birthday finale: Europe's largest fireworks display, fired off several key buildings

Details of almost 300 events, involving dozens of cultural and historical organisations across Merseyside, to celebrate Liverpool's Year of Heritage were announced at the special 2007 curtain raiser in St George's Hall. Celebrations will focus on achievements in public health, medicine and transport to the invention of Meccano and the rise of Beatlemania.

2007launch.jpgWorld leaders are also being invited to send their birthday wishes to the city as it prepares for a year-long programme of concerts, conferences, exhibitions, fairs, festivals, flower shows, gala openings, processions, re-enactments, talks and walks.

Today's 2007 showcase included the premiere of a new film featuring some of the earliest footage of the city and a rare public display of the King John 1207 Charter. It also provided a preview of the stunning Small Concert Room in St George's Hall, whose re-opening on St George's Day after a £23m makeover, will be a highlight of 2007.

Another key theme of 2007 is the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery, with National Museums Liverpool opening a new £10m International Slavery Museum on August 23rd.

The definitive 2007 programme will be announced in September, when the first official history of the city in almost a century - entitled Liverpool 800: Culture, Character and History - will also be published.

To aid the celebrations the Liverpool Culture Company has put aside a £200,000 grants programme to help fund community projects that celebrate the Year of Heritage theme. Applications will be accepted from October.

Schools will also be getting in on the act with a day-long party across the city at the end of the school year with a commemorative souvenir being designed for pupils. Plans are also in place for a special series of Lord Mayor 800th anniversary parties throughout the year, with guests nominated by their community.

Liverpool's Year of Heritage, co-ordinated by the Liverpool Culture Company, is supported by all five Merseyside boroughs and key national institutions such as the National Trust, English Heritage and the Civic Trust.

July 11, 2006

'Business as Usual'


Well, not really business as usual though is it because we don't have an Artistic Director now.
Sue Woodward, the Managing Director of the Culture Company went on to say that there will be no dramatic changes, they are very happy with the fantastic artistic team led by Fiona Gasper that Robyn Archer has left behind.

At present they will not be appointing a replacement for Archer but in line with many other European cities there may at some point in the future be a new Artistic Director post to be filled.

The Director of Tate Liverpool, Christoph Grunenberg announced the (already leaked) news that the Turner Prize will be held here in 2007 as part of the lead up to 08 and cited this as just one of many examples of the commitment of major arts institutions to be a part of the Capital of Culture.
Jason Harborow expanded on this theme to say that negotiations are ongoing with many big names, some of which will be announced in November, others later next year.

I thought the format of the press conference was a bit odd. Instead of announcing the outcome of the two and a half hour meeting they immediately opened it up to questions from the floor. So, naturally, the weasels (sorry, er, 'reporters') from the Echo, BBC etc. launched into their usual negative, antagonistic questioning. All these people who I've never seen at a single grassroots artistic event in this city going on about the perception of the people as if they actually ever talk to 'the people'.

One of them asked if Robyn Archer had been sacked, Sue Woodward said 'No, she wasn't sacked' So then the reporter asked 'Are you sure?' At this point if I'd been in Sue Woodward's seat I would have said 'Ah no, actually, now you come to ask me a second time. I'm not so sure. Perhaps she was sacked, I'll check and get back to you ok?' or maybe I'd have just put two fingers up.

July 09, 2006

Liverpool's history to go online

The entire history of Liverpool is to be placed online in a unique project which will go live during the city's 800th birthday year.

The city council's Record Office and the University of Liverpool have been awarded £335k by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to build the "Liverpool in Print" website.

At its heart will be 156,000 references, including newspaper articles, documents and other print material from the city's local studies catalogue, of which there is only one increasingly fragile copy. A worldwide search will be undertaken top locate additional material held in libraries and repositories elsewhere.

It includes details of the launch of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway in 1830, playbills for Liverpool theatres from the 1770's onwards and rare copies of 'Merseybeat' magazine, which captured the explosion of pop music in the city at the height of Beatlemania.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "Liverpool has a rich and varied history and is famous thanks to its period as second city of the British Empire and gateway to the new world.

"Liverpool in Print will enable people from Garston to Goa to find out more about the city's unrivalled heritage, at the click of a mouse.

"The website will create an extremely valuable resource that will be the definitive guide for anyone wanting to know more about Liverpool's past."

The site will be developed into a significant online resource and will also include reader guides, descriptions of the items and essays on key themes.

David Stoker, Head of the Liverpool Record Office, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to create the most comprehensive and indispensable portal to Liverpool's unique history.

"It will enable worldwide access to our current major resources and will complement the online access to the city's extensive manuscript archives which are held here."

The project is the result of a long standing partnership between the city council and the University of Liverpool to create a book to mark Liverpool's 800th birthday in 2007.

Professor John Belcham from the University of Liverpool's School of History said: "Building upon the knowledge and expertise acquired during the research for the book 'Liverpool 800', Liverpool in Print will become the indispensable point of reference for all aspects of Liverpool's remarkable culture, character and history."

The grant will be used to fund five staff, who will spend the next two and a half years building the website and scanning and uploading information.

The whole project will take three years to complete, but a significant amount will be placed on the website next year, the 800th anniversary of Liverpool being awarded its charter.

Theatre in the Parks


Otterspool Park, Liverpool and Stadsmore Park, Knowsley.
Date(s): 15/7/2006 - 28/7/2006
[t]:0151 233 2008

Building on the success of Jason and the Argonauts in Otterspool Park and Stadsmore Park, Knowsley in 2005, Spike Theatre and community groups will animate and entertain.

Bring a picnic and a waterproof!

Adventures of Baron Munchausen takes place at Otterspool on 15 and 16 July and Stadsmore Park on 22 and 23 July. Saturday performances start at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday performances at 2pm and 6pm, both weekends.

July 07, 2006

Olympic Hero makes a Splash

LIVERPOOL'S Olympic medallist Stephen Parry is helping the city council teach 2,000 school children to swim in just two weeks.

The 29-year-old bronze medallist is supporting the project, which is the biggest scheme of its kind in the country and was initiated by Liverpool's School Sports Partnership.

The Top Up Programme started on July 3rd and is taking place until July 14th at five pools across the city.

The aim is to improve the percentage of youngsters in the area who can swim before they start secondary school. The national average of 11 year olds unable to swim is 17%, but in Liverpool that figure is around 60%.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "This is a central part of the city council's campaign to try to improve children's health.

"Swimming is an essential life skill and we are determined to ensure all young people in Liverpool can maximise their swimming potential and enjoy the sport for life as a result of this programme.

"The youngsters are also able to get access to all Lifestyles centres thanks to our free leisure passes scheme, and will be able to make full use of the pools when they learn how to swim."

The initiative has been funded by Lifestyles leisure centres and the government and is a partnership between the city council and Stephen Parry's company Total Swimming, which is providing the tuition. Knowsley based YOUR TRAVEL based is providing the transport to the swimming pools for pupils with their fleet of coaches and minibuses.

Stephen Parry said: "A lot of schools go swimming once a week for a term and kids forget a lot of what they have been taught. But this is a 30-minute session every day for two weeks.

"It can save lives and there are knock on effects in terms of tackling asthma and it also opens up sports like wind surfing and water skiing and is a brilliant life skill.

"In terms of fitness, just being able to go down to the pool and do a few lengths is fantastic. I feel it is so important that everyone has the right to learn to swim."

Schools across the city were invited to sign up to the scheme, putting forward youngsters in Year 6 who cannot swim 25 metres.

Over the course of the fortnight, youngsters will receive a 30-minute session each day with one coach for every eight pupils.

Austin Rawlinson, Peter Lloyd, Ellergreen, Everton Park and the large pool at Park Road Lifestyles will be out of use on weekdays from 9-12noon and 1-3pm until Friday July 14th while tuition takes place.

July 06, 2006

Cultural Figures Awarded Honorary Degrees

Via Daily Post...

A POET, a politician, and a musician were among those to be awarded honorary degrees at Liverpool University yesterday.

Brian Patten received a doctorate at the Philharmonic Hall for his contribution to arts and culture.

Together with Roger McGough - who received his doctorate earlier in the week - and the late Adrian Henri, Mr Patten became well-known in the 1960s by making poetry immediate and accessible to new audiences through joint anthologies such as The Mersey Sound (1967).

Mr Patten is also renowned for his best-selling poetry for children, such as the famous Gargling with Jelly collection.

He was awarded the Cholmondley Award for services to poetry in 2002, in the same year that both he and Mr McGough were honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.

The university also recognised the achievements of those who have had a positive impact on society, both locally and nationally.

Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead, was awarded a doctorate for his work in social and pension reform.

In music, internationally acclaimed organist Professor Ian Tracey was honoured.


Hub Festival Returns Soon

HUB06.jpgHUB 2006 to feature biggest skate park yet

New dirt track is one of only two in UK for 2006

£4000 prize money up for grabs in the HUB Open competitions

The UK's biggest free urban culture festival returns to Liverpool later this month.

HUB 2006 is set to be the biggest yet, with the Liverpool Culture Company promising a weekend packed with music and extreme sports, attracting thousands of visitors.

The jewel in HUB's crown is a brand new dirt jump - making the festival one of only two chances to see one in the UK this year. The jump will be used to perform some of the world's most daring BMX stunts, as well as giving amateurs a chance to prove themselves on a professional surface.

Also new for 2006 is a professional break dancing competition. Dance acts from as far afield as the Caribbean and Turkey will battle it out to be named the ultimate bboy crew, and take a share of this year's HUB Open prize pot of £4000.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "What marks Liverpool out from other cities is our determination to actively embrace all types of culture, and celebrate the contribution that a huge variety of diverse groups make to the rich cultural tapestry of the city.

"HUB is a unique event, showcasing the very best of urban culture, and attracting thousands of young people every year. We have continued to build and develop the festival over the past four years, working with industry professionals to ensure that we're delivering something really relevant and up-to-date."

This year, HUB moves from its usual Pier Head home to a brand new location at Otterspool Promenade. The action gets underway over the weekend of July 22 and 23, with a packed programme of music and entertainment on both days from noon until 7pm.

Visitors to HUB this year can also look forward to the biggest skate park ever seen at the event, plus a massive 250 metres of graffiti hoardings, created by an international team of street artists.


July 04, 2006

Artistic Director, Robyn Archer, Quits

Well it looks like I'm going to have to take over the job and see it through. Its amazing how often this sort of thing happens. Robyn Archer has resigned for personal reasons, I don't think its fair to speculate any further. It appears to me as an outsider that everything seems to be falling into place on the artistic programme quite nicely so whoever takes over shouldn't find it too difficult to complete the job.

Why on earth does the Echo have a headline 'Controversial art director stands down'? What's controversial about her? It was a perfectly straight forward appointment and I can't think of any controversial decisions.

Downtown Liverpool in Business is already campaigning for Phil Redmond to be appointed.

Full Press Release...


The Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company today announced that it's Artistic Director, Robyn Archer, has resigned from her post for personal reasons.

Ms Archer joined the Culture Company as a consultant in the spring of 2004 to lead the delivery of artistic events leading up to and including Liverpool's 800th anniversary in 2007 and European Capital of Culture in 2008. She is currently on leave in Australia and will not be returning to her post in Liverpool.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Robyn Archer is one of the world's most foremost and respected festival directors with more than 10 years' experience in arranging large-scale international events. It is a matter of great regret that she has decided that she can no longer continue in her role here for personal reasons. I would like to thank her for her work in Liverpool and wish her well for the future."

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "Robyn has worked very hard in collaboration with the cultural organisations throughout Liverpool to create an innovative artistic programme not just for 2008 but for the years leading up to Capital of Culture status. We will all miss her exceptional drive and enthusiasm."

Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "Robyn has worked tirelessly on behalf of Liverpool, leading a very talented and committed artistic team. I am very sad to see her go but fully understand her reasons. The priority now is to build on the foundations laid by Robyn and ensure that we deliver the best ever European Capital of Culture."

Robyn Archer said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with a great artistic team at the Culture Company and I would also particularly like to thank all the major cultural and community organisations who are at the heart of delivering a great Capital of Culture in 2008. I very much regret leaving Liverpool at this stage but I know that there is a fantastic depth of creative talent in the city who will remain in place. I am certain that Liverpool will indeed deliver on its promise of a very special Capital of Culture."

The Culture Company's Executive Group has also announced that detailed plans for developing the artistic programme for 2008 will be made in consultation with the major cultural institutions and community arts organisations in Liverpool.

Sue Woodward, Deputy-Chairman and Creative Director of the Culture Company, and Ruth Gould, Executive Group member and Creative Director of the North West Disability Arts Forum, will be meeting key cultural representatives early next week to continue the drive towards 2008.

The highlights programme for 2008 will be unveiled in November as previously announced.

July 03, 2006

Pet Shop Boys at Summer Pops

pet shop boys at Summer Pops 2006On Thursday afternoon I posted that the Summer Pops was starting and I more or less said it was a load of old rubbish anyway.

So with perfect timing a few hours later I learned that I had won 2 free tickets to see the Pet Shop Boys on Sunday night (thanks to the 08 Ambassador scheme). I did say that this was one of the few acts I might have considered going to so I collected my tickets (people actually pay £42.50 for these!!) and had my first Summer Pops in a Big Tent Experience.

The support band 'Client' were rather boring, seemed promising at first but no variety, lyrically or musically. I spent more time studying my watch and the surroundings than watching the band.

The main act was very good, they put together a great show with excellent visuals, dancers and support vocalists.
We were treated to all the old favourites with an encore of Its a Sin and Go West.
Their more recent stuff is crap though and why do people pay all this money for good seats then insist on standing up, forcing us all to stand up for an hour? And why pay to hear professional singers and then drown them out with your own awful voice? Some people!

On the whole, I eally enjoyed it. The events here are well organised and the facilities (inluding portaloos) are ok.
Allow yourself half an hour to get out of the car park.

July 02, 2006

Batala Samba Band Play in Paris

Voted BEST band at the Lord Mayor's parade in June 2006!

Members of Batala Liverpool went to Paris, France, to play at the international music festival, La Fete de la Musique on Wednesday 21st June 2006.

Batala liverpool joined members of their sister band from Paris to play at various venues throughout the city and parade at night.

In September, 2006, there will be a meeting (or 'Encontro' in Portuguese), of all the Batala bands in Europe (about 150-200 percussionists) here in Liverpool- the first time outside France!! There will be a parade too in Liverpool city centre!!!

July 01, 2006

Liverpool 800 - Order The Book

liverpool800book.jpgI've ordered my copy, should be good.

From Liverpool University Press...


The publication in September this year of Liverpool 800: Culture, Character & History will be a major contribution to marking the City of Liverpool's 800th anniversary in 2007. I attach a flyer about the book, which is written by the foremost experts on the City's history and which is the first major history of the City for almost a century.

The book will be available in three formats, paperback (£14.95), hardback (£35.00) and a limited edition of 800 individually numbered and superbly bound slip case copies (£100.00). Names of purchasers of the limited edition, or a name of their choice, will be included in a list of subscribers in the book.

With over 500 pages and 300 illustrations (many of them rarely seen before) Liverpool 800: Culture, Character & History will be an essential book for anyone with an interest in this truly remarkable city.

Place an order today by completing the form attached. Alternatively you can order via phone (01517942233), fax (01517942235) or email (

If you require any further information on this book or would like to receive regular updates on forthcoming LUP books please don't hesitate to contact us.

Cameras rolling in Liverpool

NEW figures show that film and TV production in Liverpool has trebled this year.

The city council's Film Office - part of North West Vision - organised 240 filming days between January and the end of March compared to 74 last year. The number of productions also trebled - up from 21 to 61 in the first quarter.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "Liverpool has a fantastic reputation within the film industry for providing great locations and expert support for film makers.

"We are seeing unprecedented interest in using the city for making television series and feature films.

"It is a multi-million pound industry sustaining thousands of jobs and providing a vital boost to scores of local business and that is why we do all we can to assist production companies who want to film here."

Productions filmed or lined up so far this year include:

* 'Across the Universe' - a feature film starring Bono and Joe Cocker. It is a romantic musical set in the 1960's told through Beatles songs.

Made by Revolution Films - part of Columbia Pictures - it is the largest scale production ever shot in Liverpool with more than 150 extras

involved in some of the scenes which took place in the docks area, Wavertree and New Brighton.

* Sparkle - a feature film starring Bob Hoskins and Liverpool actor Shaun Evans. It is about an opportunistic young scouser who moves to London and decides to sleep his way to the top. It has been funded by the UK Film Council and North West Vision.

* "Lilies" - an eight-part BBC prime time drama series set in dockland Liverpool in the 1920's, focusing on three girls who live with their father in a terraced house.

* Casualty 1906 - a drama being screened on BBC One in the autumn recreating an accident and emergency ward from a century ago being filmed in the former Liverpool Royal Infirmary building.

* Ruby in the Smoke - a one off period drama for the BBC starring Billie Piper and Julie Walters based upon Phillip Pullman's novel.

* Longford - a drama for Channel Four based on the early political career Lord Langford which filmed at Old Bridewell, Walton Prison, St George's Hall and Canning Street.

Other productions include TV series Grange Hill and Hollyoaks, a pop video for Liz McLarnon and an advertisement for Carlsberg.

Film Office manager Lynn Saunders added: "It has been an amazing start to 2006 for us and I am confident that this is likely to be our busiest year on record.

"We have a number of big productions still lined up to film here later this year and we have seen a jump of a third in the number of calls we are receiving from producers asking about filming in Liverpool.

"Together with our partners at North West Vision, we are also subsidising several productions which are filming locally and this is helping create and sustain jobs."

It's estimated that the Merseyside economy has benefited to the tune of more than £5 million so far, with another £5 million projects in pre-production up until the middle of summer.

In 2005, the Film Office helped attract 180 productions to Liverpool creating 632 film days and generating almost £14 million for the local economy.