We’re still compiling our own rundown of 2011, but we’ve got a couple more takes from others in the city’s great and good first.

Next up is Phil Hayes from The Picket, an enduring venue – and an enduring promoter – who’ve had quite the year.

The city’s been packed with rather brilliant events and goings on this year. What were your personal highlights?

The Don’t Buy the Sun/Hillsborough Justice Campaign Gig at the Olympia on Saturday 24 September.

I stage managed the event with my colleague Neil Robinson from the Picket. We had the job of getting Mick Jones from the Clash, Pete Wylie, The Farm, John Power The La’s/Cast, Digsy and the Sums, Tea Street Band and a dance group of young children from Fazakerley organised, and off and onstage in quick succession.

Their was great sense of camaraderie backstage amongst the artistes and the organisers. It was a great success, a brilliant show – Mick Jones performing Train in Vain in the soundcheck- and around 2,000 people attended!

The bond developed between the artistes led to The Justice Tonight tour that took the message of Justice for the 96 nationwide. Result!

Also Billy Bragg, Akala and Sound of Rum playing at the Picket over two nights under the banner ‘Leftfield in Motion’ in November.

Two sold shows, which was smashing for us, no airs or graces amongst the artistes, a great time was had by all. Just what the doctor ordered!

Was there anything that disappointed you, or you think the city could have done without this year?

It was bad news that the Masque and CUC/Novas building are closing. People assume that as a competing venue you would welcome their demise, but it sends out a bad message about the state of live music in Liverpool, which is not good for those of us in the city who have its best interests at heart.

If you had to recommend one thing in the city, what would it be?

Sefton and Greenbank Parks mate… we are so lucky to have them and they’re literally on my doorstep.

I’m a big fan of them – it’s great that Africa Oye happens every June and I would like to see more music events taking place there – on the Sefton Park bandstand for instance.

2012’s looming. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to next year in the city?

The Baltic Community interest Company our new landlords are about to begin the second phase of the development of the Baltic Creative District.

This will include refurbishment of the Picket in Spring 2012, so we are planning a big relaunch of the venue in May.

Watch a short video about the Picket below – and look out for a book about the venue later this year.

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