You wait all year for a pop-up arts space in the city, and two come along at once. Hot on the heels of the Tate’s new space, City Central BID (the consortium of city centre shops and businesses) has installed a handsome wooden bandstand on the paving slabs of Williamson Square as part of their Summer Of Love campaign. It’s – apparently – an opportunity for those sick to death of the Olympics to escape the games, and seek solace in an afternoon’s worth of summery pop.

If only it were that simple. Still, it’s a welcome addition to the city.

This weekend, Threshold Fest are holding a mini taster session, a satellite event of their fundraising efforts down at Camp and Furnace, followed by lots of nu-folky sets throughout Sunday.

The pop-up bandstand will feature programmed performances four days a week (Thursday to Sunday) from noon to 5pm – although Kenn Dodd’s drum solo was a one-off, sadly.

During the four week festival, 64 acts (whittled down from hundreds) will perform, for free. It’s an interesting development, in light of the current debate about buskers in the city. We’re hoping it confirms that BID’s desire is not to silence the streets, but maybe just to manage them a little more.

“We wanted this stage to be a showcase for our culture much like the way the Olympics is for sport and the response has been phenomenal,” said BID’s Ged Gibbons.

Charlotte Corrie of Open Culture – the people in charge of the selection process – added: “We’ve been completely overwhelmed with the hundreds of applications to perform on the Liverpool Bandstand. The whole process has been a great reminder of the incredible talent we have in the region and this is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s out there.”

Liverpool Bandstand
Williamson Square

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