Mike Deane's Blog #1

By Mike Deane on 23 October 2009

Possibly one of the key factors of festival coordination is good time management, and I suppose the fact I’m only getting around to writing the first LMW blog less than 2 weeks out from our opening show with The Specials, I suppose doesn’t say much for my festival coordination skills.

That said, instead of worrying about spilling the beans on secrets or jinxing deals that are in the balance, it means we’re at the point now where I’m able to chat openly about the exciting festival programme that lies ahead.. which really is our biggest and most interesting line-up of our 7 year history..

This 2009 event is across 2 weeks and 3 weekends of jam-packed venue-hopping action. With our most high profile & diverse agenda of free-entry shows, alongside a burgeoning selection some of the most exciting touring artists around, Liverpool Music Week 09 really is the place to be this November.

After a terrific 2008 festival which saw us team up with MTV Europe and host performances from the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, The Fall, Florence & the Machine alongside a dazzling programme of the city & UK’s best new talent, we were going to find it hard to top it this year.

But we’ve ended clocking up this year approx 400 acts from the UK and beyond that we either just couldn’t say no to, have sweated over confirming, or took several weeks of myspace messages to even get hold of a contact number..

Kasabian, Super Furry Animals & Seasick Steve are my picks of a huge ticketed agenda line-up that headline the festival year. With exciting inaugural shows in the city’s super-venues The Echo Arena, and in particular Liverpool Olympia Theatre, a 70 year old ballroom, located just north of the city centre; the festival’s profile has never been more prominent, and boasts a grass roots city-centre based agenda of new artists that has never been of such a high standard.

Anybody who’s been to Liverpool on a night out will know just how easy it is to get around our buzzing city centre, and just how many surprises will lie behind the rows of club doors that are the gateway to Liverpool’s present, Liverpool’s class of 2009.

The Liverpool Music Week inner-city free-show experience, described by the editor of this very website as a ‘live version of MySpace’, is what makes the festival so unique. Make of that what you will, but I’d hope does paint a basic picture of what we do here. 20 venues within a puddle-soaked  1 mile radius may run at any one time, the majority of which will be hosting free live music. Of course, quantity does not always mean quality, but we’re backed up by the following sentence of Ross Purdie’s live LMW blog that states that ‘90% of which he saw he and his team would go and see again’. I’ll take that, out of a programme that last year hosted 326 acts.

There is quality right throughout Liverpool Music Week, and it’s hardly surprising considering that the region currently appears to have 500+ active bands/artists we have been in touch with this year. That fact, coupled with the insatiable appetite for new & quality music from the festival’s loyal fanbase and the city’s thriving muso community, allows us to continue programming such interesting line-ups year after year ..

Daniel Johnston
headlines this year’s free festival with a midnight performance at the new Masque Theatre on Tuesday 3rd November. A hero to Beck & Kurt Cobain and an inspiration to so many artists in the city, he makes an unprecedented Liverpool appearance in a very intimate manner, collaborating on stage with local artists Wave Machines & Hot Club de Paris.

The festival’s free shows really have it this year, breaking new acts in Liverpool such as Django Django, Chrome Hoof, Jay Reatard, Laurel Collective, Field Music & Grammatics in amongst so many other established recession-busting free-entry shows with Bombay Bicycle Club, Wild Beasts, Maps, The Bays, Dananananakroyd, and Israeli funk band The Apples amongst the picks.

There is so much to chose from - We really do implore you to come and indulge !

No excuses on time as there are 3 weekends to chose from, and not much to defend pleading poverty, as I’ve probably got the message across now that the majority of our events are free entry.. plus there’s always a cheap pint/shot kicking around the festival ‘host venues’.. !

Explore what our fine city has to offer, and the surprise nuggets you’ve never heard of, whilst checking out the hottest touring acts around.

I’ll be back next week with a little run down of the some local gems & festival treats that you should ensure are on your checklist for this year’s event…

See you next week! (maybe..) 

Mike Deane
Director and founder, Liverpool Music Week

DOWNLOAD THE 2009 FESTIVAL BROCHURE NOW: http://www.liverpoolmusicweek.com/downloads/booklet09.pdf

For regular updates go to: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialLiverpoolMusicWeek

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