‘Scouse/Ukrainian mashup’ festival celebrates spirit of Eurovision

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A 200-year-old bronze statue commemorating Nelson’s triumph astatine the Battle of Trafalgar is to beryllium surrounded by thousands of sandbags to echo the plight of monuments successful Ukraine.

The program for Liverpool’s Nelson’s Monument is 1 of 24 taste commissions announced connected Tuesday arsenic portion of a festival that aims to alteration the metropolis successful the run-up to its staging of the Eurovision opus contest.

Running from 1-14 May, it will, accidental the organisers, beryllium “the pre-party to extremity each pre-parties” arsenic fans from crossed the satellite descend connected the city.

Claire McColgan, the manager of Culture Liverpool, said the planned EuroFestival would beryllium a “scouse/Ukrainian mashup of brilliance”.

She added: “No different Eurovision big metropolis has ever curated a originative programme of specified standard and scope. This is the tone of Eurovision spilling connected to our streets. Free for all. Accessible to all. Uniting america all.”

In arts festival commissioning terms, EuroFestival has been brought unneurotic astatine lightning speed. There was a call-out successful December that brought much than 700 submissions from artists crossed Europe.

Fifty were shortlisted and 24 person been chosen – 19 of them collaborations betwixt UK and Ukrainian artists.

Protect the Beats volition  situation   the Nelson Monument with 2,500 sandbags
Protect the Beats volition situation the Nelson Monument with 2,500 sandbags Photograph: PR image

They see Protect the Beats, successful which Liverpool’s Nelson Monument volition beryllium surrounded by 2,500 sandbags to replicate the mode monuments successful Ukraine are being enveloped to support them from bombardment. Inside the operation determination volition beryllium screens showing a documentary connected the value of euphony successful Ukraine, including soldiers singing connected the frontline and late-night raves successful Kyiv’s metro stations.

Esther Simpson, of the arts radical Whispered Tales, said the thought was to make a poignant artwork that transformed a metropolis landmark. “As an creator who has lived successful Liverpool for the past 10 years I cognize however the city’s streets continuously vibrate to a assortment of beats owed to its affluent philharmonic practice … We can’t hold to beryllium a portion of EuroFestival.”

Festival organisers said 1 of the astir ambitious projects would beryllium 1 called Soloveiko Songbird – the nationalist vertebrate of Ukraine and “a awesome of opus and happiness”. In English the birds are nightingales and the thought is to person 12 large, lit-up nightingale sculptures crossed the city.

Each volition person unsocial plumage and audio representing antithetic regions of Ukraine. The anticipation is that radical volition travel the afloat way of songbirds.

Another way volition beryllium With Fire and Rage, an immersive audio acquisition and “smartphone adventure” accessed via QR codes located astir the city. It volition see euphony concerts successful metro stations during aerial raids and puppet shows that were livestreamed from weaponry shelters.

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In 1 commission, 450 children from Ukraine and 450 children from Merseyside volition spell connected a simultaneous wide kite-fly, each of the kites designed and painted by the children.

The Bluecoat assemblage volition person an accumulation of enactment by the Liverpool-based creator Ellie Hoskins and the Ukrainian creator Alevtina Kakhidze, some of whom usage humour to observe the satellite astir them.

With Fire and Rage features footage of concerts successful  Ukrainian metro stations.
With Fire and Rage features footage of concerts successful Ukrainian metro stations. Photograph: Kharkiv Music Fest

From 8-10 May, determination volition beryllium a three-day “queer fantasia” astatine Chavasse Park including the “best and wurst of Eurovision” – a time of resistance and cabaret paying homage to each things Eurovision.

Jamala, the Ukrainian singer-songwriter who won the Eurovision opus contention successful 2016, volition premiere her caller medium of euphony based astir Crimean Tatar people songs. It volition beryllium the archetypal afloat show of the medium and she volition beryllium accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

She said it was a grounds she and her squad “literally saved from the rubble past year” and 1 that preserved “the quality and greatness” of her location culture.

“During these acheronian times for Ukraine, the presumption of the caller medium successful Liverpool is an indispensable ngo for me,” she said. “Just similar the astir precious memories of our lives, we cherish our civilization arsenic the astir invaluable treasure.”

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