Liverpool Loves has been hailed an unprecedented success by organisers, attracting crowds of 27,000 visitors over three days of the inaugural festival.
The exciting weekend of activity took place at Pier Head, Liverpool, set against the stunning backdrop of the Three Graces – which forms part of the city’s prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Liverpool Loves was made up of three key events to celebrate all that is great about this magnificent city – Liverpool Loves Business; Liverpool Loves Ireland; and the headline event – Liverpool Loves festival day.
The event was the brainchild of Liverpool-based Orb CIC, who have a strong proven track record in staging major city events and festivals.
Festival Director Josh Boyd from Orb CIC commented: “Liverpool Loves was born from the idea that this city is forward thinking, independent, and so unique to this country. It’s a city that continues to pioneer in all aspects of life – people, business and culture, and we wanted to create a festival to represent the entire spectrum. The festival became the perfect vehicle to showcase just how much the destination has to offer. Liverpool Loves is for Liverpool, by Liverpool.
“Each of the three days were testament to the bold, ambitious nature of this city. Liverpool Loves was the first large-scale, not-for-profit, public festival run by a Community Interest Company (CIC). And it achieved exactly what we set out to do – championing independent businesses, social enterprise, arts and culture groups, grass roots talent, communities, and charities.”
Liverpool Loves Business (Thursday, 6 August) officially launched the festival at the Cunard Building, one of the iconic Three Graces. Themed seminars, discussion panels and free business advice provided opportunities for business owners and professionals to develop skills, connect with other entrepreneurs, and inspire independents. A total of 16 sessions featured more than 30 speakers. The business event attracted 700 delegates and hosted 18 exhibitors.
Liverpool Loves Ireland (Friday, 7 August) welcomed over 400 concertgoers to a show at the Pier Head featuring traditional music and dance. Six acts from Liverpool and Ireland highlighted links between the city and the Emerald Isle. The event was hosted by Liverpool historian Frank Carlyle, headlined by Cream of the Barley, and featured Eleanor McEvoy, who has the best-selling Irish album in Irish history.
Liverpool Loves festival day (Saturday, 8 August) was the highlight of the weekend, when the Pier Head was transformed into a dazzling landscape of colour and entertainment. A family friendly programme spanning 12 hours included an array workshops; music and dance performances; health and well-being activities; and festival food and drink – keeping 25,000 visitors entertained throughout the day.
Liverpool’s fascinating and diverse world culture was represented through traditional dance, music, and art with performers representing the communities of China, India, the Middle East and Brazil with dragon dancers, Bollywood demonstrations, Arab Arts, and Brazilian samba drum ensembles.
Martin O’Shea from Bold Management and BBC Radio Merseyside’s Dave Monks curated the soundtrack for the festival’s Main Stage, whilst the Dovedale Social and Merseyrail Sound Station provided a host of fantastic grass roots talent across two further stages.
Organisers Orb CIC worked with over 35 organisations and contributors to deliver Saturday’s packed programme. More than 200 other businesses were represented on the day through crafts, food and drink, and over 50 bands/artistes performed.
The festival gained huge levels of support from key partners in its inaugural year, including The North West Fund and Campanile Hotels UK, part of Louvre Hotels Europe. Backing also came from a range of further partners including Mayor Of Liverpool Joe Anderson, It’s Liverpool, Big Lottery Fund, Health @ Work, Mitchell Charlesworth, MSB Solicitors, Click Connect, Love Food Hate Waste, Richmond Fellowship, Shelter, and Legacy Liverpool.
Josh Boyd added: “We are overwhelmed by the level of support given to Liverpool Loves in its first year – not only from our sponsors, partners and contributors, but the support from the general public has been fantastic. Attracting 27,000 visitors is no mean feat for any event, so we cannot thank you all enough for making this festival your own.
“Over £70,000 worth of work was awarded to local organisations – and more than 680 local people were employed to work on Liverpool Loves as a direct result of this investment. We have joined together as a city region to celebrate Liverpool and in doing so we’ve shown the rest of the UK, and indeed the world, that this is the place to work, live, laugh and love.
“Watch this space for announcements about a bigger and better Liverpool Loves 2016, as well as a few surprises in the lead-up to next year’s event – 12 months is a long time to wait! This is ‘The Peoples’ Festival’ – for Liverpool, by Liverpool.”
Keep up to date with the latest announcements at www.liverpoolloves.co.uk
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