IT’S going to be another historic week for Liverpool – as the city centre changes shape forever and some of the most eagerly-anticipated Capital of Culture year events take place.
Tourism officials say that “no other destination anywhere” can offer the line-up of events coming up over the next seven days.
This week sees the opening of the first phase of Liverpool One, the £1bn redevelopment of the city centre, the start of Tate Liverpool’s biggest exhibition ever, Sir Paul McCartney taking to the stage at Anfield for the Liverpool Sound concert, and the start of the Liverpool Comedy Festival and the Sound City music festival. Last night, Phil Redmond, 08 creative director, said it was a week which “shows the real depth and spread of what culture means to Liverpool in 2008.”
He said: “This week, starting with the opening of Ben Johnson’s Cityscape exhibition at Walker, the Four Corners community project from L8 to Dovecot, Liver-pool Sound City, the Comedy Festival, the openings of Liver-pool One and the Klimt exhibition at the Tate – and rounded off by Sir Paul’s concert – is definitely the sort of week that underpins what I have said before: if you can’t find something to get involved in Capital of Culture – you aren’t trying hard enough.
“I hope people do take the opportunity, not just this week, but across the rest of the year, to try something new – and see what they might discover. We’ll never have a better excuse to try something different.”
Liverpool One will open with a day of celebration on Thursday.
Chief executive Joanne Jen-nings said: “We are so excited that the launch date is nearly upon us now. Now, finally, the people of Liverpool can see what we have been up to all this time.
“We want Liverpool and indeed the North West to be proud of Liverpool One and feel that it is a new part of the city they can call their own. We have tried to embrace both the past and the future with this project, and hope that because of this people will see that Liverpool One far exceeds all their expectations.
“After this, we will be working towards Phase 2 launch on September 30 when the cinema, bars and restaurants are opened as well as the last remaining streets. Then people will fully see the scope of a project that is the largest urban regeneration scheme in Europe.”
Sir Paul McCartney takes to the stage at Anfield on Sunday for the Liverpool Sound concert, accompanied by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl and supported by The Kaiser Chiefs and The Zutons.
BBC2 will be televising highlights from the concert on the evening of the show.
The former Beatle is not receiving a fee for his appear-ance, and has asked that £300,000 from the concert be donated to LIPA and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity.
Tate Liverpool’s ambitious Gustav Klimt exhibition – the most extensive the UK has ever seen – opens to the public on Friday following a VIP reception to be attended by culture minister Andy Burnham and guests including the Austrian Ambassador to Britain.
Director Christoph Grun-enberg said: “Prepara-tions for the opening of the exhibition are going well. Stunning artworks and objects have been arriving from all over the world and our teams are working hard to ensure that the display is ready to welcome visitors. We have seen unprecedented numbers of advanced sales which shows how excited people are about the exhibition in Liverpool and beyond. Over 12,000 tickets have already been sold, but there are plenty still available.
“We are really looking forward to the opening of the exhibition and are sure that visitors will love the show.”
The Liverpool Comedy Festival, see side panel, the inaugural Sound City event featuring gigs and music industry conferences – and the participation of 270 bands over 20 venues city-wide – and The Mer-sey Partnership’s annual tourism awards also take place this week.
The awards showcase makes its debut at the new BT Convention Centre on Wednesday and will be presented by BBC Northwest Tonight broadcaster Ranvir Singh.
Martin King, director of tourism at TMP, said: “This is going to be another momentous week in our year as European Capital of Culture.
“The destination is firmly centre stage in front of the world and our own Annual Tourism Awards on Wednesday kick off a terrific five days of fantastic events.
“No other destination anywhere can offer that line-up, and our place at centre stage will allow us to showcase our unique appeal to visitors.
“In a few weeks’ time, it will be the Tall Ships, the return of the Open Championship to Royal Birkdale and a host of other events to attract even more visitors.”
Council leader Warren Bradley said: “It’s just been almost non-stop this year and this week will be absolutely brilliant.
“We have wanted to make sure that people see a real legacy, and from the opening of the Arena to the Queen coming and this week, we get to show that Liverpool is now a world-class city, with world-class facilities and world- class events. It is great news.
“I’m really looking forward to the opening of Liverpool One and it has been moving to see it become a reality.
“It is bringing high art right to the doorstep of Liverpool and very popular music, and that’s what we promised – that we would put Liverpool on the world stage while engaging with the communities who live here.”
Klimt set to draw crowds > > >