RECORD CROWDS FLOCKING TO CULTURE CITY
Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations are building momentum and on course to break the 3 million visitor barrier this week.
In the first four months of ’08, the latest figures show more than 2.75 million people attended a cultural event or venue across the city – a staggering 25% up on 2007, with some recording more than 50% growth.
And with ‘08 highlights such as Art in the Age of Steam attracting records crowds at The Walker, it is estimated the three million barrier for cultural visits will be breached over the next few days.
Since January 1 Liverpool’s award winning tourist information centres (The ‘08 place, Albert Dock and John Lennon airport) had more than 180,000 visitors with enquires up over 70% on last year.
The city is also receiving unprecedented media coverage. It has already hosted over 600 journalists, with more than 4,200 articles in UK print media alone – including rave reviews of ‘08 artistic productions.
Liverpool ‘08 is also generating extensive international print and broadcast coverage in titles such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Le Figaro, Stern Magazine, National Geographic, Sydney Morning Herald and Kuwait Times.
Bryan Gray, chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ‘’The impact of Capital of Culture is having an impact on our cultural and tourism sectors in a way that few if any previous culture cities have experienced. To have these figures at this stage of the year is truly amazing and surpasses all our expectations.’’
Visitor figures are expected to keep on rising with the onset of summer blockbusters, with the Streets Ahead weekend (May 24-26) and the Gustav Klimt exhibition at Tate Liverpool (opening May 30) imminent.
More than 350 events, many of them free, are being staged for the city’s 08 celebrations. Other blockbusters still to come include the Liverpool Sound concert at Anfield on June 1, Go Superlambananas from June 16-August 25, The Tall Ships Races on July 18-21 and the MTV Europe Music Awards in November.
Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council and Deputy Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ‘’Liverpool is enjoying a huge boom on the back of ‘08 and is putting the city back on the global stage. These latest figures are the strongest indication yet that the city will benefit from being Capital of Culture for years to come.’’
Phil Redmond, Creative Director of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ‘’These figures are a huge vote of confidence in our ‘08 programme and proves that people want to be – and are – at the heart of the city’s cultural offering. With so much on offer there’s no excuse for not being part of the year – and I’m delighted people have got the message.”
LIVERPOOL ‘08 CULTURAL VISITORS:
Below are visitor records for 20 selected cultural events/attractions from January 1 – April 30 2008 (% comparison to 07):
National Museums Liverpool – 768,799 visitors (up 28%)
NOTE: The Merseyside Maritime Museum is up 57% on ’07 with 240,257 visitors
Tate Liverpool – 234,958 (up 53.5%)
Empire Theatre – 193,044 (up 19%)
Anglican Cathedral – 148,644 (up 33%)
FACT – 132,145 (up 10%)
Arena & Convention Centre – 128,450 (n/a)
08 Place – 104,395 (up 60%)
Metropolitan Cathedral – 70,491 (up 27.5%) to March 31
Liverpool Philharmonic – 84,261 (*sales up 17%)
The Bluecoat – 81,200 (n/a) – venue opened on March 15 2008)
The Cavern – 80,600 (up 11%)
Royal Court – 63,563 (up 55%)
Beatles Story – 57,339 (up 27%)
LFC Museum – 58,063 (up 33%)
St George’s Hall – 45,173 (n/a)
The People’s Opening – 40,000 (n/a)
Everyman & Playhouse – 36,000 (up 33%)
Sefton Park Palm House – 25,348 (up 25%)
Chinese New Year – 23,000 – (up 40%)
Yellow Duckmarine Tour – 19,155 (up 41%)