THIS weekend will see up to half a million people descending on Liverpool for the 10th Mathew Street Festival which is one of the largest free music events in Europe.
This weekend is not only a special weekend for Liverpool but it will be a very special one for one couple, who will be will mark the start of Bank Holiday Monday's entertainment with their wedding!
Paul Shedden from Halifax and Gill Westbrook from the West Midlands met at the Mathew Street Festival in 2001, and will be saying 'Love Me Do' at Liverpool Town Hall on Monday morning (25th August 2003) before setting off on the 'Long and Winding Road' of wedded bliss! Southport Reporter and Mersey Reporter wish you all the best for your big day.
Hundreds of bands from more than 20 countries including Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and even Kazakhstan are playing on five stages on Chavasse Park, Dale Street, Water Street, Castle Street and Victoria Street in the city centre from Saturday to Monday, as well as numerous indoor venues.
Highlights of this year's three-day festival, which starts on Saturday include:-
. "Live Peace" on Saturday
23rd August - when two historic concerts by John Lennon in 1969 and George Harrison from 1971 will be replicated
. An international line-up of bands paying tribute to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra on Sunday 24th August
. All the bands performing at Chavasse Park on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August will be Liverpudlians - including Reece, who won a Battle of the Bands competition and are recording a demo at the world famous Abbey Road studios in London today (Thursday)
The Festival is the culmination of International Beatles Week, and features some of the best Fab Four tribute bands from around the world - including Clube Big Beatles from Brazil, the Australian Beatles and Lenny Pane from Sweden. Even the Beat Beatles who competed at Search For A Star on Thursday in Southport coming second place and going through to the North West Heats Final.
Many other musical tastes will also be catered for over the weekend, as sound-alike bands including The Jamm, The Bryan Adams Experience, The Corrds, Claptonite, the Stereotonics and Rumours of Fleetwood Mac take to the stage.
Councillor Warren Bradley, Executive member for Leisure and Culture, said:-
"This is Europe's biggest free city centre music festivals and I am proud to say that it is held in Liverpool.
As well as being great entertainment, it shows how cultural events can provide a massive boost to the city's economy, with bars, restaurants and hotels all benefiting from the extra trade.
The Mathew Street Festival is an event which already has international links, and we must continue to grow it and turn it into a global event as we head towards 2008."
Report with thanks to Paul Johnston (LCC)