Kudos all round to the excellent team behind last weekend’s riotous Threshold Festival. The city categorically set out its manifesto for our creative, inventive and collaborative future. And being at the CUC this weekend felt like you were in the eye of the storm.

In years to come, those who attended can look back, misty eyed, and say, yeah, I was there at the very first one. It was that kind of event; the buzz was tangible. It would be unfair to single out any specific bands, performance companies or other creatives. But let’s just say there were a few SevenStreets spied who we’re very keen to bring to your attention over the coming weeks. Watch this space. And if you missed it all, like, where were you?

Photographer John Hollingsworth was there (well, there was a school of snappers prowling the labyrinthine corridors, and no doubt they’ll have captured a completely different experience – that’s how eclectic and multi-faceted the weekend was. But, for now, feast your eyes on John’s work at his flickr stream.

See you next year…

  • What’s in a name?

    Most new music I like is fun but I found this event excruciating. It was just a festival of soulless, talentless, pretentious pseuds. Liverpool is probably the worst place to be right now culturally

  • http://www.abscraft.com Alison Bailey Smith

    I am afraid I was not able to visit but have been very heartened to see the art work which was on show in conjunction with the music very well documented by several photographers including Terry Hayes and Bernie Howden. Looked like there were some interesting pieces there and I think there is one show which is on-going by appointment…..someone put the details please…

  • http://www.robynwoolston.com ROBYN WOOLSTON

    Contrary to the first ‘post’ I feel Threshold delivered ‘content’, fused bonds and created a grass-roots festival the like of which had never been seen in this city. I admit I have been an artist involved in the project so its easy to say my point-of-view is biased. Yet when one looks beyond the obvious platitude of my ‘connection’ I can honestly reveal that I felt a resilient sense of community and passion. Manifest within the actions of the organisers and artists was a palpable sense of focus and drive. The ‘commitment’ of such collective ‘intention’ in the face of larger economic cuts brought tears to my eyes. Forget the political speak regarding the ‘Big Society’ and the current propaganda of such comments and SEE the reality of the event last weekend. The ‘act’s’ on offer from music to theatre via visual arts and dance offered a wide, wide spectrum of thought provoking entertainment in the widest sense of the word. Each and every room yielded a new discovery, a new view of the world on a journey that lasted three days. It provided a mirror that reflected the enormous variety of talent and passion within the city of Liverpool whilst attracting ‘acts’ of international repute because of that reputation.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com David

    Yep, that was the festival we attended, too. Good stuff, Robyn.

  • T Sundblad

    I found the whole weekend thoroughly enjoyable and i think Liverpool does very well for itself culturally.

    Well done to the organisers and roll on next year!

  • http://www.kcomusic.com Cello Boy

    What’s in a name, or indeed what’s in a post?
    I feel I have to respond to the first post here, which missed the whole point of this weekend.

    I had nothing to do with the organisation of this event and I think there is a lot to be said in favour of putting on fewer bands and using fewer spaces, perhaps even just making this a two day event or schedule it for a Bank Holiday- all of which is exactly what happens when a group of people put on something as ambitious as this for the *first* time. As a performer, especially having been booked three of four months ago, then yes I was pretty hacked off when a sound man drafted in the day before the event started without the tech-spec for our 23 strong line-up was telling me there weren’t enough channels, not enough microphones, monitors and so on. It was a low point after so much anticipation, work, unforseen circumstances- but I left the building knowing that these things will be addressed. But with everyone giving their time up for free, there were bound to be a few mishaps along the way.

    Things go wrong, but despite our experience, I know from spending the Friday night at Threshold an much of Saturday that this event was far from “excruciating” – it was a stepping stone towards establishing something that Liverpool really needs- a festival to call its own- . I didn’t see pretentious, I saw arty, I didn’t see talentless, I saw variety, I didn’t see soulless, I saw people moving from room to room soaking up the atmosphere and hopefully, like me, hoping the teething troubles can be addressed and Threshold 2012 will be the realisation of what audiences and artists had during the best bit (majority) of this weekend.

    And without things like this, without culture, Arts, live music, bands trying to put on something special, theatre, cinema, dreams, hopes, aspirations- I fear there’s only the X-factor and a styrofoam wasteland waiting for us all out there.

  • What’s in a name?

    There ‘s was nothing more musically or artistically valid at Threshold than X Factor in my book no matter how many people you have in your band to justify it

  • http://www.kcomusic.com Cello Boy

    Did you see the artworks, the installation “Field Of Dreams”, the photography, any of the theatre, some of the band highlights such as We The Undersigned, Jo Bywater, Ogo, any of the bands in the mezzanine on the Friday, the retro games, the acoustic sets in the foyer cafe? If you can’t see the difference between artists and bands playing for free during the most ambitious event in Liverpool for a long time, and a load of varyingly talented singers singing cover songs on a Saturday tea-time to line the pockets of Simon Cowell et al in a popularity contest (audience vote, right?) – and there’s a place for both to exist in my view- then I don’t think we went to the same event.

  • Chris

    Oh dear ‘Whats In a Name’ you seem to be a very negative soul indeed.

    After the time and effort put in by the volunteers, organizers, promoters and artists of all backgrounds for this festival, you are quickly and incredibly dismissive.

    If you think that Liverpool is the ‘worst place’ culturally right now and that all Threshold gave you was ‘x-factor’ standards then I personally think that you need to re-evaluate your definitions.

    If ANYTHING what you are doing is paradoxically undermining the best efforts of this cultural community to try and raise these standards and allow the creative industry to grow from the roots up.

    I think the replies of the other users here speak volumes.

    That said, I’d like to offer you an open invitation to come and sit down with me at CUC and tell me how this festival can become more artistically and culturally valid.

    Please contact me on the address below:

    chris@undertheinfluencebase.com

    I’ll look forward to hearing further from you.

    Chris.

  • http://www.thresholdfestival.co.uk Kaya

    The creative arts is obviously very subjective, and perhaps you were unlucky to land in rooms that didn’t appeal to your personal taste. However; with a little bit of research I am positive that you could have seen something interesting and good in most genres and artforms.

    Out of interest; what bands are you in to? If we have forgotten a scene, then we are obviously keen to include it next year..

    None of the festival organisers or volunteers working received a penny for doing this, on the contrary; put out plenty of money to make something like this happen because we believe that there should be a grass-root multi-arts festival showcasing all the interesting stuff going on in the area.

    Sunday was chaotic, because some of the things and people we relied on did not come through, and that becomes difficult to manage with no extra staff or money and a (in heinsight) too ambitious line-up. But we are learning and very happy to take on constructive criticism.

    All the bands, artists and performers were either hand picked by us or promoters that are established on the scene and that we respect. Some of the acts were not to everyone’s taste, but to call it “a festival of soulless, talentless, pretentious pseuds” is harsh and counterproductive. Should you wish to host a room to ensure that some of your favourites are included; please feel welcome to send us a proposal.

    submissions@thresholdfestival.co.uk

    We are an inclusive, community created festival :O)

  • http://www.jobywater.com joby water

    awesome weekend of mixed creative culture!., especially with the size of the event, the newness and the budget (or lack of it). Any negativity has to come from someone who either didn’t get chance to represent themselves there or saw a couple of things they didn’t like but bring everything down. A proper grass roots set – up showing how amazing and diverse culture is in Liverpool at the moment. I was really proud to be a part of it and to see how much talent and energy was under one roof..and to see how many of those people are people i know ….AWESOME! respect….! it takes serious guts to put on an event like that…! 🙂

  • Boring-corporate-crap

    Bands playing for free, raising their profile, having a super-fun arty time!!!
    =
    bands being ripped off in the course of aiding the brand image of a completely dead space.

    A complete atmospheric vacuum.

  • Toby

    This was a pretty fun event, and I’d be interested to see what they do next year with it if it happens again. It was very ambitious, and the sheer number of artists involved – and who actively wanted to get involved – was impressive even if they didn’t get paid. It felt very inclusive.