THE sun has been shining and spring is definitely in the air, which means summer is just around the corner, which in turn means more gigs and more festivals, and we certainly aren’t short of any of those on Merseyside. The best way to describe just how well we do festivals here in Liverpool is to tell you the nominations for last years UK Festival Awards. So, take a deep breath, here we go… Creamfields won the award for Best Major Festival, up against the likes of Glastonbury. LIMF and African Oyé were both nominated in the Best Medium Sized Festival and Best Family Festival categories, with LIMF also being nominated for The Grass Roots Festival category. The Best Small Festival category included Liverpool Music Week, Sound City and Threshold Festival, with Sound City also winning Best Festival for Emerging Talent. The Liverpool-based festival of reggae that is Positive Vibration was nominated in five categories; Best Small Festival, Best Family Festival, Best Metropolitan Festival, the Grass Roots Festival Award and was the winner of the Best New Festival Category. We are smashing it terms of high quality events and as you can see we cover pretty much every genre of music but also every aspect of life when it comes to these festivals. From gin festivals to poetry festivals, dance festivals to cheese festivals – it not just the music we like to celebrate. So to get you ready for the onslaught of mass scale events on Merseyside I thought I would give you a handy little rundown of what you need to add to your diary. Steam on the Dock, Albert Dock, 6/7 May Last year the Albert Dock welcomed a record breaking 6.3 million people, this number was higher than normal due to the amazing line up of events on our famous Dock. Folk, Heritage, Pirate & Vintage festivals throughout the summer, kicking off with Steam on the Dock at the start of May which is the UK’s only inner-city steam rally. Trains, boats and engines of the industrial age make Albert Dock their home for a weekend of toots, whistles and fun for all the family Sound City 2017, Liverpool Waters, 25-28 May Celebrating its 10th anniversary in a brand new home on Clarence Dock, the Sound City team are promising a bigger and better event than ever before with the likes of Human League, The Kooks, Metronomy & White Lies all taking to its now famous dockland stage. The setting is literally out of this world, the atmosphere is electric and whether you think the line-up is for you or not I promise you that you WILL find your next favourite band. New Brighton Seaside Festival, NB Prom, 27-29 May Now this one is a new one, celebrating the best of what the Wirral has to offer in terms of food, drink and seaside fun, New Brighton prom will be transformed into a hub of summery festivities with great entertainment for the kids and adults alike. Some of the best folk musicians in the area including our one to watch Eleanor Nelly and on the Monday they even have a ‘dressed up dog’ parade. What’s not to love! Sgt Pepper 50, Various venues 25 May – 16 June This will be HUGE, it’s 50 years since the release of that iconic album and Liverpool will celebrate by using each track on the album as the creative springboard for 13 brand new events, all world premieres, all events completely different with locations including Aintree Race Course, Stanley Dock and the Royal Court. Whether you love music, art, dance or just a general party then there will be something for you. Millions are expected from all over the world for what will be one of the city’s biggest ever set of events. Don’t be the one that cries when you’ve missed it. Africa Oye, Sefton Park, 16/17 June This one is one of my favourites, Sefton Park comes alive for a celebration of African culture – great music, delicious food, a huge African market and fingers crossed a bit of sunshine too. This year Oye turns 25 so expect even more fun in the park for the UK’s largest celebration of African music and culture. British Style Collective, Various venues, 7-9 July Taking place from 7-9 July, British Style Collective will embrace some of Liverpool’s most iconic landmarks as part of a citywide event, boasting trend-led catwalks, unrivalled shopping and exclusive stage content featuring some of the most sought-after names in fashion, beauty and entertainment. LIMF 2017, Sefton Park, 20-23 July This is the big one – The Liverpool International Music Festival or LIMF as we like to call it, is back for its fifth anniversary. Taking place between Thursday 20th and Sunday 23rd July 2017 and bringing with it some of the biggest names in music and literally ever genre under the sun. The line-up features everyone from dance titans, Gorgon City, pop diva, Fleur East, Liverpool lad Louis Berry and even Rn’B legend Trevor Nelson all taking to the stage in Sefton Park. Best of all it is completely and utterly free, all you have to do is pack a picnic, turn up and dance your socks off This year it will be down to me to look after proceedings on the main stage, hosting Friday- Sunday, so give us a wave and I will see you there for a little boogie.