Sir Paul McCartney returns to his native city to headline â€˜The Liverpool Soundâ€™ concert at Anfield Stadium on June 1 while fellow ex Beatle Ringo Starr and Eurythmic Dave Stewart will head up â€˜Liverpool The Musicalâ€™ at the opening of the brand new Liverpool Echo Arena on January 12 2008.
The programme revealed today sees collaboration between the Liverpool Culture Company and major cultural institutions, artists, performers and venues throughout Liverpool, Merseyside, and beyond. Todayâ€™s announcement coincided with the launch of a ticket ballot (full details on separate press release), for a number of major events including the official opening event of the 2008 programme at the Liverpool Echo Arena and The Liverpool Sound at Anfield Stadium.
The Liverpool Sound
This once-in-a-lifetime concert to celebrate Liverpoolâ€™s unrivalled status as the Worldâ€™s Capital of pop, rock and contemporary music will be a global event. It will be a multi-artist concert in front of 35,000 people at the world famous Anfield Football Stadium headlined by Sir Paul McCartney and his band and will also feature, live on stage, global superstars of popular music, to be announced at a later date. Millions of viewers will also see this celebration of Liverpool on television and online as it will be broadcast live to a worldwide audience. This will be the first and last global concert ever to be staged at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club, before it relocates. It is well documented that world famous artists and musicians cite the Liverpool music scene as an inspiration to them and their music, and now, that music has travelled around the world and will, in 2008 at The Liverpool Sound, come back home to be redefined in the place it was born.
Sir Paul McCartney said â€œIâ€™m very excited about Liverpool being the European Capital of Culture in 2008. We have a fantastic series of events which are sure to get you excited too. Iâ€™m very proud of the city and I look forward to welcoming you all and showing you a good time. Itâ€™s going to be a great year!â€
The Official Opening Event
Taking place over three days (11 â€“ 13 January) the opening weekend will feature a series of public events and concerts. Overseeing the proceedings is dynamic duo Nigel Jamieson whose credits include the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics and the unforgettable closing ceremony in the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and Jayne Casey, one of the driving forces behind Liverpoolâ€™s world famous Cream and the cityâ€™s newly formed Independent District. The weekend will begin on Friday 11 January with a free open air show on St Georgeâ€™s Plateau animating familiar landmarks and including the most remarkable aerial spectacle and theatrical effects the city has ever seen.
Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, No Fakin DJâ€™s, Echo and the Bunnymen, Pete Wylie, Ian Brodie, Shack, and The Christians will be some of the stars celebrating the official opening of the Liverpool Echo Arena, on Saturday 12 January, with an exclusive one off performance of â€˜Liverpool The Musicalâ€™. This evening to remember, will be brought to life by probably the most unusual line up ever to set foot on one stage. With special guests plus a cast of poets, singers, aerialists, comedians, construction workers, gardeners, and sailorsâ€¦
Along with specially commissioned film and rare archive footage, Liverpool The Musical will feature music composed by: Elgar, John Newton, The Real Thing, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Beatles, The Laâ€™s, The Wombats, The Farm, The Zutons, Stravinsky, and Space, rearranged by The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with No Fakin DJs conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
On Sunday 13 January the celebration continues when many of the cityâ€™s major arts venues open their doors. The weekend will also pay homage to the Bluecoat ahead of its re opening after a Â£12.5 million refurbishment.
The current programme for 2008 is available to download at www.liverpool08.com