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Issue:- 4 August 2011

Band Together for Mathew Street

THERE’S one band you won’t want to miss at this year’s Mathew Street Music Festival in Liverpool.  For the first time, residents and visitors will be able to buy a special black and gold wristband which gives them access to special offers and discounts from retailers, restaurants, bars and attractions across Liverpool on the 28 August and 29 August 2011.

Offers include 20% off meals at award winning restaurant Lunya in Liverpool ONE, 20% off the Yellow Boat Tour and 10% off clothes from Resurrection on Bold Street.  The wristbands cost just £3 and can be bought online or at The 08 Place and Liverpool ONE Information Centre.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said:- “Band Together is a fantastic scheme for everyone involved. Not only does it generate some financial support for the event, but thanks to the generosity of many of the city’s retailers, festival-goers will benefit from all the special offers.  As a result of the budget pressures the city council faces we’ve had to think of different ways in which we can encourage people to support the annual event. Mathew Street Music Festival is hugely popular, but is costly to put on so we’re asking for support from those who take part in and enjoy the event. It isn’t feasible for the council to continue to solely fund the event and the level of support we receive this year will shape the future of the event.  The number of benefits people can receive when they pay just £3 wristband are fantastic, and I hope as many people as possible back the initiative and support this much-loved event.”

One of the special offers has been put forward by Liverpool music store Dawsons. The Ranelagh Street store is offering customers discounts on brands the Beatles famously favoured. There will also be 10% off accessories such as drum sticks and guitar strings, and all Beatles related books and souvenirs.

Dawsons Music Manager Kingsley Rich said:- “We think the Band Together concept is a great idea. We thought we’d enter into the spirit of things by offering some great deals on brands that The Beatles used, such as Gretsch and Epiphone guitars, and Vox amps. We will also offering special discounts on accessories and our range of Beatles music books.  And it makes sense to encourage more people in this great music city to pick up an instrument and show off their talent.”

There are other firsts for the festival this year – a VIP bar and terrace which offers an oasis of calm in the heart of all the action.  The stylish VIP area offers complimentary drinks and snacks, comfy sofas, free hair and make-up repairs, private loos and live entertainment. Tickets for this exclusive marquee cost £25 and include the official Band Together wristband. For more information visit

There’s also an online competition run by top Midlands brewer Marston’s which is sponsoring the Superlambanana stage. They are encouraging local bands to upload their youtube videos for the chance to play at events and festivals in the city. Judging will take place after the Festival and the most popular bands will be invited to play at a range of local venues and festivals in 2011 and 2012. For entries go to this website.

This year is the 19th annual festival taking place on the 28 and 29 August. It has the usual rich mix of international bands and local talent. This year musicians from more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Norway, Germany and the USA will be performing. More than half of the acts are from the Merseyside region, and there will be a strong Beatles and Merseybeat presence across all the stages.

The event will see more than 80 hours of live outdoor music performed on five stages.  Highlights include a Liverpool Number One stage, where all 53 number ones recorded by Liverpool artists will be played, and a special celebration of the music of George Harrison.  The Made In Liverpool stage will feature original bands and artists from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and the Radical Stage will celebrate Liverpool’s Year of the Radicals.  There's also a nod to the 2012 London Olympics with a London Calling stage, while the contemporary stage at The Tunnel has tributes to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Katy Perry.

All the offers festival goers can make the most of so far are:-

►  20% off meals at Lunya, Liverpool ONE

►  10% off accessories such as drum sticks and guitar strings, and all Beatles related music books and souvenirs at Dawsons Music.

► 10% off clothes from Resurrection on Bold Street (excluding sale items)

► 25% off meals at La Tasca

► A free soft drink with any burrito bought from Barburrito, Liverpool ONE

► 3 for 2 on all treatments at Scin Beauty Salon, Liverpool ONE

► 10% OFF at Menkind, Liverpool ONE

► 10% OFF at PizzaExpress, Liverpool ONE

► Free hair corsage with spend over £30 at Ollie & Nic, Liverpool ONE

► Free CD (Laurel Collective/The Boxer Rebellion) with every purchase at Ted Baker, Liverpool ONE

► 10% OFF at Krispy Kreme, Liverpool ONE

► Selected bottled beers and wines by the glass only £2.99 at Vinea Bar Shop & Deli, Britannia Pavilion, Albert Dock

► 10% OFF at Greenwoods, 33-35 Ranelagh Street

► £10 eye test (normally £20.95) and 2-4-1 on glasses (inc free sunglasses) at Specsavers, 52 Lord Street

► 1/3 OFF Radio City Tower tour at Radio City, St John’s Beacon

► 20% OFF the Yellow Boat Tour, 32 Anchor Courtyard, Albert Dock

► 241 Cocktails from Sunday to Thursday 4pm to 8pm and 2 Cocktails for £10 (exc. Saturdays) at Revolution, Atlantic Pavilion, Albert Dock

► 25% OFF at Cafe Rouge, The Met Quarter

Suicide still a taboo 50 years after decriminalisation

A third (33%) of people in the UK would still not talk to anyone about their feelings if they were suicidal, according to a YouGov survey published by Samaritans.   Before the Suicide Act 1961, which was passed into law 50 years ago today (Wednesday) in England and Wales, it was a crime to take your life. Anyone who survived an attempt could be prosecuted and imprisoned, and for centuries it was considered a mortal sin by the Church.

Many callers to Samaritans, which was set up eight years before the legislation was passed, still find it difficult to talk about suicide. Last year, only 20% of calls received by Samaritans - across all methods1 - were about suicidal feelings. In contrast, 43% of emails and 52% of text messages, both more anonymous ways of communicating, were about suicidal feelings.

In 2009, the rate of suicide among men was slightly lower (at 17 per 100,000) than it was 50 years ago. Suicide among women has halved over this period (now about 5 per 100,000). However, it is expected that suicide may increase in the coming years due to a rise in unemployment.

The need for confidential emotional support remains as great as ever today. Samaritans’ 18,500 volunteers receive five million calls a year from people across the UK and Ireland. Every 60 seconds we take a call from someone feeling suicidal.

Clare Wylie, Head of Policy and Research, said:- “We know from people who use our service that they can struggle to talk to family or friends about suicidal feelings, often because they do not want to worry or burden them, or because they feel they wouldn’t understand. Some people who use our service have said that they do not talk to health professionals or mental health services about their suicidal feelings because they are afraid of being sectioned. Some of our callers say Samaritans are the only people they can talk to about their suicidal feelings. Talking about feelings can make all the difference between choosing to live or die.”

Suicide remains a major public health issue, with more than one person taking their life every two hours, devastating families and communities. Across the UK, 5,675 people died from suicide in 2009.

Despite traditional religious views at the time, Reverend Dr Chad Varah CBE founded Samaritans “to befriend the suicidal and despairing.” The Church of England priest was commended for his work during parliamentary debate over the Suicide Bill in 1961.

Dr Varah made it public before the law changed that he was available on the phone for anyone contemplating taking their life. He was moved to act after conducting his first funeral as a curate for a 13 year old girl. She had taken her life after she started menstruating because she didn’t have anyone to confide in and thought she was gravely ill.

More than 100,000 visitors in 8 days

MORE than 100,000 people have visited the Museum of Liverpool since it opened last week.  Crowds have flocked to the new Museum with an average of 12,500 people a day through the doors.  The Museum which is free entry opened on July 19 and tells the story of the city and its people. 

The 100,000 visitor was Carissa Gonzaga, 7, from Tuebrook. She was at the Museum with brother Boj, 11 and parents.  Mrs Gonzaga said:- “This is a world class Museum. It is really great for the city. We have had a great time here and will come back again soon. When you see a Museum like this with all the stories about the city it makes you proud to come from Liverpool.”

Museum bosses had estimated that the Museum of Liverpool would attract more than 750,000 visitors in its first year but that target looks set to be eclipsed.

Jen McCarthy Deputy Director Museum of Liverpool said:- ”The new Museum is a tremendous hit with Merseysiders and people from farther afield. It has been fabulous to see so many smiling faces each day and people seem to really love their new Museum.”

The Museum will open in 2 phases, featuring 4 main galleries and a number of smaller gallery spaces. On 19 July, 3 of the 4 main galleries opened: Wondrous Place, The People’s Republic and Global City. Also open is Little Liverpool, a dedicated gallery for children aged 6 and under, the stunning Atrium space and Skylight Gallery. The second phase will open this winter.

The diverse range of exhibits on display in Phase One includes:-

The stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in 1957

Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape

10 metre-long (30ft) Chinese Ceremonial Dragon

The first Ford Anglia off the Ford’s Halewood production line in 1963

Victoria Cross medal awarded to Sergeant David Jones of the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment on 3 September 1916, for brave leadership while serving in the First World War, at Guillemont, France

360˚ immersive films about football on Merseyside and The Beatles

Life-size 5.5m (18ft) Liver Bird

Cycling legend Chris Boardman’s famous Lotus Sport bike

Model design for Lutyens’ enormous Cathedral of Dreams

Reconstruction of typical court housing

Items from the Everton Collection Charitable Trust

The Museum of Liverpool has been made possible with generous support from major funders, including the North West Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

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