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Something for the weekend (11/13 Jan 08)

It's here, it's happening. Let's hear it for the opening salvo of culture year, says Ben Patey

Published on January 11th 2008.

Something for the weekend (11/13 Jan 08)

'The People's Opening'
It's being hailed as 'The People's Opening' - a celebration of Liverpool's transformation from 'Big Dig' to 'Big Gig'.

Starting at 20:08, the artists and people of Liverpool will gather to officially declare the Capital of Culture year open. The curtain raiser will include unique rooftop performances from mass community choirs, epic ballets of dancing cranes (?!) and containers containing 'celebrities'. How wonderfully bizarre? Rumours are unconfirmed as to who the celebrities will but the council have covered their back by making the event free. No money back if it's Kerry Katona, then.

Performances from The Wombats and Ringo Starr will certainly be highlights of the event whilst crazy acrobats will ensure a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Here are some numbers to crunch:

This live outdoor production has required:

  • Four cranes including a 150 foot and 250 foot crane to form part of the show
  • Four performing forklifts
  • 50 km of cable
  • 60 tonnes of containers
  • 100 tonnes of staging and structures
  • 80 tonnes of lighting
  • 14 tonnes of speakers
  • One km of performance space
  • Four km fibre optic cable
  • 15 cameras
  • Two 40 x 40 foot projection screens and a 10 metre sq LED screen
  • Event personnel of 250 doing over 40,000 hours of work to create and build the show

There is of course also Liverpool: The Musical, the official opening of the Arena on Saturday but unfortunately, unless you were lucky enough to buy a ticket in the 08 Lottery last year, you're probably not invited so we won't pipe on. It's nay impossible to get a ticket for this one. Don't worry - you're the real VIPs, people.

The People's Opening @ St George's Plateau, Lime Street.
8pm (well 20:08 to be precise)

And it was all mellow
If the crowds at St George's are a bit too much for you or Ringo is simply not your cup of tea, there are still quality live music alternatives. Try Mellowtone which is back at its spiritual home at The View Two Gallery on Mathew Street. There's a range of acoustic music on offer - the gorgeous harmonies of The Jeff Jepson Band, intricate folky sounds of Campbell-Todd, and piano-led delicacies of Jez Wing. As well as this, resident DJs Richie Vegas and Musica del Alma will be spinning funk, soul, hip hop, broken beat, rare groove, blues, jazz & reggae.

Mellowtone & Friends & The View Two Gallery, Matthew Street
Friday 11 January

Where for art thou
Art lovers, listen up. The Cornerstone Gallery at Liverpool Hope University this weekend opens up its first exhibition of 2008. Entitled Collected, the it pulls together samples of both modern and contemporary works by national and international recognised artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibits are made up of art acquired by five Merseyside-based private collectors resulting in a rare opportunity to see stuff you've never seen before - national treasures that are usually hidden away from mere mortals' eyes.

Joint curator/managers, Jason Jones and Peter Dover bigged up their collection saying, "Usually when works enter into private collections they are never seen again in the public domain, but thanks to the five generous collectors we are able to unveil some of the amazing wealth of artwork that resides in Liverpool."

The 'Collected' exhibition @ The Cornerstone Gallery
Haigh Street
Friday until Friday 8 February
0151 291 3997

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