Knowsley has always danced to the beat of its own drum and across ten days (from Thursday 10 to Friday 18 November) the borough was alive with the sound of music.
Some of Knowsley’s most famous musical exports including China Crisis, Craig Charles and Space performed as well as other Liverpool legends including John Power, Ian Prowse, The Real Thing, Anton Powers and DJ Les Spaine. Up-andcoming performers also showcased their talents including ZuZu, Eleanor Nelly, La Lavande, and SILENT-K.
Significantly, events took place at very special venues across the borough including St. Chad’s Church, Kirkby and Shakespeare North Playhouse – the first time a music event has been staged at the newly opened theatre in Prescot.
A special event specifically for Knowsley’s young people took place with legendary DJ, Anton Powers teaming up with DJ 2Kind, DJ Lilsss, Pl3z and KOJ at Halwood Leisure Centre.
The festival was a celebration of Knowsley and Liverpool talent and people voted with their feet, with most events selling out. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive too, with hundreds of messages from people on social media saying what an ‘amazing evening’ they’d had, they ‘loved the whole night’ with many describing gigs as ‘fantastic’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘brilliant’, and ‘quality’.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “We know what music means to our residents and we’re so proud of Knowsley’s rich music heritage. That’s why music had to play a key role in our year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture. We put together a really exciting line-up of artists who delivered outstanding gigs right here in Knowsley – creating memories that will last a long time.”
As part of the festival, Knowsley Council gave funding to local venues to put on their own music event. From Latin American music to a talent competition, there really was something for everyone.
Cllr Powell continued: “Any great festival also has fringe events and it’s fantastic that we were able to support our local businesses to put on their own performances. Not only does it support the local economy, but it makes the festival even richer, with more to see and enjoy.”
As well as experiencing world class music, emerging music artists, bands and industry professionals had the opportunity to attend a free day of workshops and talks, giving them an insight into the music business. Industry experts including G33 (Girls Don’t Sync), musician Michael Aldag, BBC Radio Merseyside’s Dave Monks, and CEO of Sound City, Becky Ayres – to name a few – offered their experiences, leaving a legacy of the festival that gives future generations insights into how they can carve a career in the music industry.
The festival’s programme was designed by Liverpool-based music creative consultant Yaw Owusu who has worked with high profile events and organisations like Liverpool International Music Festival, Universal Records, the MOBOs, MTV and the BBC to name just a few. He said: “I’m really proud of the Knowsley Music Festival – it was a true celebration of some of the amazing talent from Knowsley and wider region. The audience reactions have been amazing, with each venue, including Shakespeare North Playhouse and St. Chad’s Church offering a unique experience that can never be replicated anywhere else. As well as giving audiences the chance to enjoy these one-off experiences and great bands a platform to perform in the borough, I hope it inspired the next generation who want to get into the music industry and shows them the rich music scene there is in the Liverpool City Region and that they can be part of. ”
The Knowsley Music Festival is one of the final events as part of Knowsley’s year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture. The final event of the year will be Christmas with Choir of King’s College, Cambridge on Saturday 17 December. Tickets are now sold out but you can learn more about Prescot’s relationship with King’s College here.
View the Festival Gallery online here: