Culture Liverpool produced three major events in 2014, among which were the return of the ‘Mersey River Festival’, ‘Music on the Waterfront’, ‘Liverpool International Music Festival’ and ‘Giant Spectacular: Memories of August 1914’ – together attracting 1.4 million people to the city and generating an economic impact of £55 million.
International Mersey River Festival
The International Mersey River Festival and Music on the Waterfront 2014 took place from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 June, welcoming around 200,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.
Highlights included a fleet of vessels that were open for visitors to explore, including two year old naval vessel HMS Dauntless, the Tall Ship Mercedes, tug Daniel Adamson, historic schooner Kathleen and May, the University of Liverpool Research Vessel, the Border Force’s customs cutter Vigilant and the square-rigger Zebu.
The Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust brought along four Tall Ships crewed by young people aged between 14-25, all of whom were learning about life on the seas aboard the Lady of Avenel, Maybe, Pelican of London and 2041 – The Yacht.
And that’s not all. 12 Dutch barges appeared as part of a special rally which saw the largest convoy on the Leeds-Liverpool canal for many years.
Walking tours, Yakovlev Air Shows, model boat displays, flyboarding, Zapcat racing, have-a-go water sport sessions, the 25th International Canoe Polo Tournament, a special Brouhaha parade and field gun displays made up the extensive roster of activities for visitors to enjoy over three days.
Live music also took place throughout, with Craig Charles, The Christians, Rhydian, Jaki Graham, Esco Williams, the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland, Rat Pack Live and Russell Watson among those artists to perform.
Liverpool International Music Festival
2014 saw the second Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) take place across the city, welcoming over 100,000 people during two weeks of live events.
Rich in diversity, LIMF presented a plethora of co-commissioned events including MTV Brand New (broadcast to 22 million homes across Europe), Black Entertainment Television (televised in December and broadcast to 90 million homes worldwide), ClubMTV and Boy George in St George’s Hall in a collaboration with Grammy award-winning producer Steve Levine. Hosting stellar line-ups to enhance the already extensive programme were local venues Camp and Furnace, East Villages Arts Club, FACT, The Kazimier, The Bluecoat, The Everyman and Sefton Park Palm House.
Sitting alongside these commissions was the free outdoor element of LIMF, Summer Jam. Over four days, 250 artists performed on five stages in Sefton Park throughout the August Bank Holiday weekend. Over 90,000 guests attended the festival to listen to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, DJ Fresh, Foxes, Shaggy, Kid Creole, Ian Broudie, Marsha, Ella Eyre, Lemar, Tim Burgess, Marsha Ambrosius, 2 Many DJs, Goldie, Evian Christ, Rustie, Stylo G, Kate Tempest, The Farm and many more.
Giant Spectacular: Memories of August 1914
Two years after the hugely successful ‘Giant Spectacular: Sea Odyssey’ event in 2012, Culture Liverpool rekindled its collaboration with Royal de Luxe to present ‘Memories of August 1914’.
Marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, the event told the story of the Liverpool Pals and reflected on the period of optimism and patriotism that was felt across the land in August 1914. It was a poignant commemoration with Liverpool as the backdrop to Jean Luc Courcoult’s spectacular stories.
Taking place from 23 July to 27 July, the free event attracted 1 million people to Liverpool, with over 42,000 people alone visiting the Grandmother lying inside St George’s Hall and exploring Newsham Park and Clarence Dock further afield.
Working with 55 partners across the city and beyond, Culture Liverpool brought together 101 international and 27 local artists, as well as 403 volunteers to produce an event spanning 5 days and 25 miles. Royal de Luxe themselves invited 111 people from nine countries representing four continents, who visited Liverpool with a view on seeing how the event was organised.
Overall ‘Memories of August 1914’ was hailed a great success, gaining international acclaim.