Mathew Street festival (320)
ALMOST 100 bands have signed up to play new themed stages at this year’s Mathew Street festival.
The August bank holiday extravaganza will celebrate the best of Liverpool’s music scene and pay tribute to its musical heritage.
The likes of cult double act Chas & Dave and 1990s chart-toppers Right Said Fred are among those already signed up.
News of this year’s line-up comes 12 months after the outdoor festival was cancelled over concerns about safety.
Health and safety officials have given the 2008 festival, which will cost £750,000 to stage, a clean bill of health.
More than 80 hours of outdoor music has been programmed, with 95 bands from as far afield as Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, Italy, Finland, Poland and Turkey.
More than 30 indoor venues have also signed up.
Outdoor stages will operate from 11am to 6pm on August 24 and 25, with indoor venues offering live music from noon until the early hours.
Highlights include a 42-piece orchestra from the Czech Republic and a 32-piece military band from Brazil accompanying two Beatles tribute acts.
Chas & Dave will appear on the main stage on Sunday, with Right Said Fred and blues singer Connie Lush on the Diva stage on Monday.
The festival will also promote local hiphop to indie and psychedelic folk rock, in Williamson Square, and crowd favourites on the Pub Rock and Merseybeat stages.
The new Mathew Street Fringe festival will feature nine venues with original bands from Liverpool.
There will also be a new European dimension through a Streetwaves competition for unsigned bands, involving Marseilles, Bremen, Gdansk, Istanbul and Naples.
Liverpool council, working with the directors of Mathew Street Festival Ltd, has co-programmed the new-look festival for Capital of Culture year.
Council leader Warren Bradley said: “This year’s festival has more to offer than ever before. Like our culture year, there will something for everyone to enjoy.”
Bill Heckle, director of Mathew Street Festival Ltd, said: “We have listened to the public, the bands and the venues to programme this year, and I believe we have got the perfect balance for a fantastic music festival, celebrating Liverpool and music in all forms.”
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