Celebrating Sgt Pepper at 50
LIVERPOOL is set to embark on a never before seen
celebration of 1 of the most influential albums of all time:- 'Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band.' Hailed as the 1st ever 'art rock' album, the City is curating a unique
festival which brings together world renowned artists and Liverpool based
talent, to pay homage to the 50th Anniversary of what is widely regarded as the
best rock and roll album of all time.
Sgt Pepper at 50 - Heading for Home will use each track on the iconic Beatles
album as the creative springboard for 13 brand new events. The world premiere
commissions reimagining the original track, which will evolve into a mixture of
large and intimate events covering the worlds of art, dance, music, poetry and
For more than 2 weeks, there will be performances, installations, live spectacle
and moments of surprise across the City, as the spotlight will fall on Liverpool
to celebrate their most famous sons in a way befitting of a record which broke
the mould and changed music forever.
Conceptually driven by notable Artistic Directors Sean Doran and Liam Browne,
the festival runs from Thursday, 25 May 2017 until Friday, 16 June 2017 and will see the
involvement of international names such as GroupeF (the organisation behind
several Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies), Mark Morris Dance Group (1
of the world's leading dance companies), Judy Chicago (iconic American feminist
artist), John Cage (1 of the American greats of experimental music), Jeremy Deller (Turner Prize winning conceptual artist), author Frank Cottrell Boyce, DJ
Spooky (American composer) as well some of the very best Indian musicians in the
world such as Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.
The events will take place at locations across the City, including Liverpool's
Royal Court, Hope Street, Woolton Picture House, Camp Hill, Tate Liverpool, St
George's Hall and Aintree Racecourse.
The artists will work in partnership with Liverpool-based cultural organisations
to bring to life each incredible activity.
The festival has been made possible with National Lottery investment of ?750,000
from Arts Council England's Ambition for Excellence scheme.
The exclusive events will be a mixture of ticketed and free, and there will also
be the opportunity for audiences to get involved and perform in a number of the
works themselves. Information on tickets and getting involved can be found
The commissions are presented to give a sense of the original album; events
inspired by tracks from Side One will be performed over the 1st weekend; 1 June
June 2017, and Side 2 over the 2nd weekend, from 8 to 11 June 2017. They will be bookended by
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which will act as the overture (25-27
May), and A Day in the Life will be the finale on 16 June 2017. A snapshot of what to
expect from Liverpool Presents Sgt Pepper at 50 is as follows:-
Pepperland (Inspired by the track Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Thursday, 25 May 2017 ? Saturday, 27 May 2017 -
Liverpool's Royal Court. Ticketed event - ₤24.50 to ?28.50 for standard, ₤15.50
A world dance premiere is heading to Liverpool's Royal Court as Mark Morris
Dance Group present new work featuring an original score inspired by Beatles
tracks, which will be performed live by a chamber music ensemble. The tracks
include Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With a Little Help From My
Friends, A Day in the Life, When I'm Sixty Four, Within You Without You, and
Penny Lane This captivating hour-long production is ideal for dance and Beatles
fans alike and is the only UK performance of the work in 2017.
With a Little Help From My Friends
Thursday, 25 May 2017 and Friday, 16 June 2017,
Presented by Metal, With A Little Help from My Friends is a song about
friendship, loneliness and love. By 1967 The Beatles were the most famous people
in the world; a totally alienating experience considering their youth,
naturally they depended greatly on each other and on a few trusted friends for
support. The relationship between the individual and society is a powerful theme
in the work of Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and in his response to this
song, he has made 2 public art commissions that examine the nature of
friendship and self sacrifice, not just with those we know, but also between
strangers. Be prepared to expect the unexpected.
Suspended Time (inspired by Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds)
Thursday, 1 June 2017, event starts 8pm with the 30min finale performance at 10.30pm,
Camp Hill. Ticketed event only...
GroupeF - the French team led by Christophe Berthonneau which has been involved
in several Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies since 1992 and
is recognised worldwide for its original pyro projects; are working with
American-born Scott Gibbons, who is one of the most exciting electronic music
composers around, to bring a light festival to the beautiful surroundings of
Camp Hill. Part performance, part storytelling and part pyro display, this will
be unlike any event staged before.
She's Leaving Home?
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 - Sunday, 18 June 2017,
Private homes in Toxteth. Ticketed event - 13+ age recommendation...
This poignant track will be brought to life by the award winning young people's
theatre company 20 Stories High in association with Phelim McDermott
(Co-Artistic Director Improbable). Together they present a brand new play which
has been researched and developed with young adults in Liverpool. The play will
explore themes around housing, what home means and the moment when you
eventually pack up and leave. With live music and puppetry, She's Leaving Home
will be a breath-taking but intimate performance taking place in people's living
rooms in the L8 area.
Fixing a Hole
From Thursday, 1 June 2017 -
The White Tomkins and Courage Grain Silo, Regent Road, Stanley Dock. Free event..
Judy Chicago, an icon of American art, responds to the lyrics of Fixing a Hole
with a spectacular mural on the walls of the monumental Grain Silo in Great
Howard Street. The work is Chicago's largest painting to date. Celebrating the
Beatles' album recorded 50 years ago, the artist, engages the local art
community in her colourful celebration of the four famous lads from Liverpool.
Meanwhile from Monday 29 May to Saturday 10 June 2017 visitors to Tate Liverpool
are invited to participate in workshops where they can create their own image
and text based art in response to the song Fixing a Hole to add to a
collaborative wall work.
Mr Kite's MUSICIRCUS! (inspired by Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!)
Sunday, 4 June, 2 to 5.50pm -
Aintree Racecourse. Free event!
John Cage; 1 of the greats of experimental American music; who happened to
be a neighbour of John Lennon in New York City and was responsible for helping
the Beatle secure his green card, means he is forever entwined with the Beatles
story. On the 50th Anniversary of Cage's ground breaking Musicircus, this
commission is one of the biggest and most ambitious of the entire Sgt Pepper's
programme. Taking over Aintree Racecourse and using the Beatles' back catalogue
as inspiration to play out a strikingly original musical score, it will involve
thousands of local people, performers and musicians. Expect it to be immersive,
inspiring, noisy, joyful and un-missable.
Getting Better? (Inspired by Getting Better)
Monday, 5 June 2017 (ticketed performance) -
Sunday, 4 June 2017 ? Friday, 16 June 2017 (installation on display) -
Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room and FACT. Performance tickets are just:- ₤12.90.
American composer, DJ and writer Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky takes a step back
and questions whether the world is 'Getting Better' through a mixture of
performance and an audio visual installation. Working in collaboration with
multimedia artists, The Holladay Brothers, and guest artists, Miller will infuse
technology to create a dynamic response to the question.
When I'm Sixty Four
Thursday, 8 June 2017 -
Citywide. Free event.
Is age just a number? Are you only as old as you feel? This is all about an
inter generational look at how people approach modern life and will focus on 14
to 64 year olds, looking at what age really means to them. We'll look at what it
means to be 64 today. And we'll celebrate one of the most joyous of the Beatles
songs with a mass sing along live on the radio. 64 choirs (of all ages) from
across the City will join together to perform the track which has inspired this
project. Headed up by BBC Radio Merseyside, the results of this exciting project
will be broadcast on air.
Good Morning Good Morning
Friday, 9 June 2017, 7am to 9am -
Citywide. Free and ticketed event.
Early birds will most certainly catch the cultural worm as organisations across
the City throw open their doors so you can kick start your day with a
culture fest. Theatre shows, clubs, galleries restaurants, cabaret, music venues
and many more will all be inviting people in to make the most of this unique
cultural opportunity. Programmed into BBC Music Day, and with the full support
of BBC 6 Music, surprise performances will take place across the City for 1
'Good' morning only.
Let's not be ourselves (inspired by Reprise)
Friday, 9 June 2017,
Venue TBC. Ticketed event.
Playing on the idea of the Beatles 'not being themselves' this will be a one off
music event performed by leading artist performing incognito. A surprise venue
and a surprise performance.
The Beatles Ragafest and Festival Village (inspired by Within You Without
Sunday, 11 June 2017 ? all day event.
St George's Hall. Ticketed event with Free elements. Tickets from ?10-?20
It's the sort of culture clash that this City embraces as it can only lead to
great things; so expect nothing less when Neoclassical comes up close and
personal to traditional and modern Asia. In a celebration of Indian culture
which drew the Beatles to India, St George's Hall will be filled with ragas
throughout the day which will see the very best Indian musicians in the world
head to the Hall to perform, including the likes of Grammy Award winning
musician Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Rakesh Chaurasia and Anil Srinivasan.
Produced by Milapfest; Britain's leading Indian arts development trust; expect
a feast for the senses with a day of dance, music, food and yoga.
Rita Riot/Rita Requiem (inspired by Lovely Rita)
Saturday, 10 June 2017 - (early) to Sunday, 11 June 2017 (late)
Metropolitan Cathedral, Anglican Cathedral, The Oratory, St James's Burial
Procession, performance, installation, requiem...
International performer Meow Meow is heading to Liverpool to give her take on
Lovely Rita which tells the story of a female traffic warden. Known for pushing
boundaries, Meow Meow will work with her Sleepless Beauties; acclaimed
musicians, composers, sound designers and producers Jherek Bischoff and Jethro
Woodward, and award winning designer Andrea Lauer; to produce a unique
procession down one of the most iconic streets in the City. It will involve 300
members of a brass band, with a little help from the Kazimier. A
thought-provoking installation in The Oratory will follow, with the event
weekend culminating with both an "awakening" and a requiem. This will
undoubtedly a first for Hope Street, the City, for traffic wardens and the
A Day in the Life: 24 Zero Hours (inspired by A Day in the Life)
Friday, 16 June 2017,
Woolton Picture House. Ticketed event...
Writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and film director Carl Hunter of Liverpool based
Hurricane Films, will capture the essence of Liverpool in a 'day in the
documentary. Shot across 24 hours of 1 special day; the 1 June 2017 marks
the actual Sgt Pepper 50th Anniversary; it will be premiered at Woolton Picture
House, in the area where The Beatles lived.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "This is a landmark anniversary
for a seminal album and we wanted to stage a fitting celebration which brings
about a whole new interpretation of this classic piece of music. Sgt Pepper
pushed creative boundaries and we want to do exactly the same; this is a
festival which brings high end art in to the mainstream and gives it a Liverpool
twist which is thought provoking, sometimes cheeky and always entertaining. It's
a huge coup to have these critically acclaimed, international artists work in
partnership with the incredible creative talent we have here in Liverpool and it
will be fascinating to see their creative interpretations of each track brought
to life. I would like to thank Arts Council England for supporting this
ambitious programme and allowing the City to reach its creative potential which
maintains our reputation as a European cultural leader."
Sean Doran, Co-Curator, Doran Browne, said:- "These 13 commissions invite
artists not only to respond to the genius of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album but
crucially to work with and take inspiration from the City of Liverpool, as a
world stage and an unrivalled creative community. We were delighted to receive
Sir Paul McCartney's blessing for our thinking and style of approach to Sgt.
Pepper at 50 and honoured to have been asked to work with the City in this way".
Alison Clark, National Director, Combined Arts and Director, North, Arts Council
England, said:- "Our Ambition for Excellence fund uses National Lottery
investment to support the creation of work for major national moments. The
events to celebrate Sgt Pepper at 50, on the scale and of the quality that this
festival promises are very exciting. It will have huge appeal to many people,
far beyond Beatles fans, and the 13 commissions are a unique opportunity for
artists to make incredible new work connected to this iconic album, and for
audiences to enjoy great art and culture."
For all the up to date details, to buy tickets and to find out how to get
involved, please visit:-
SGTPepperAt50.Com, or follow itsliverpool on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Sgt Pepper at 50 - Heading for Home forms part of the City's 50 Summers of Love
programme which consists of more than 60 events which celebrate the landmark
period that was the Summer of 1967. Liverpool played a central role in the
outpouring of creativity in 1967, in the year saw not only the release of Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but also the publication of 1 of the World's
most popular poetry anthologies:- 'The Mersey Sound' and the opening of the
Metropolitan Cathedral; all of which will form part of some of the activities
50 Summers of Love runs from Wednesday, 12 April 2017, until early Sunday, 3 September
2017 and will showcase the incredible creativity which can be found in the City.
To see the latest information about 50 Summers of Love visit:-