NEWS: Legendary comedian Ken Dodd launches city centre’s first ever bandstand

The Squire of Knotty Ash, Ken Dodd, cut the ribbon to open the Liverpool Bandstand yesterday which has been created as part of the city centre’s Summer of Love. Thanks to Arts Council England funding it will feature programmed performances four days a week (Thursday to Sunday) from noon to 5pm beginning today (Thursday, July 26).

The first act to follow Ken was Widnes band The Beach Skulls, a two-piece band that only formed last September and recently won the Merseyrail Unsigned competition.

The pop-up bandstand, which measures 13ft high and 18ft wide and features seating for the public, has been commissioned by City Central BID to run in Liverpool’s historic Williamson Square as a key highlight of its Summer of Love campaign.

Hundreds of musicians, poets, choirs, dancers and comics requested to perform on the unique stage with Open Culture overseeing the selection process that will see 64 acts perform during the free, four week festival, all supported by a professional sound engineer.

Ken Dodd said: “This is tattyfilarious! I’ve always wanted to be a maestro or a busker, so I’m discomknockerated at having the chance to give my rendition of the ‘Ballad of Knotty Ash’ on this beautiful bandstand in Williamson Square!’’

The Summer of Love campaign, devised to stimulate footfall during the £20m redevelopment of Central Station, will be encouraging people to celebrate the Olympics thanks to a purpose built grandstand in front of the BBC Big Screen in nearby Clayton Square, showing live sport from July 27 to August 12.

On Saturday 28 July Threshold Festival will be the hosting a music event as part of their fundraiser. Lots of local artists and bands including: Ponteforte, Dave O’Grady, Science of the Lamps, Indigo Vibe, Dominic Dunn, Crash Amber’s Party, Bolshy and The Fifth Movement. Sunday 29 July will also feature music from Reckless Elbow, Happy Daze, The Glendale Family and SSN.

The programmed performances will be listed each week on the City Central BID and Open Culture websites.

The Summer of Love, which is supported by Merseyrail, Merseytravel, Network Rail and Liverpool city council, will run until September 30.

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