Liverpool starts preparations for year in European limelight

Liverpool Culture Company is stepping up its event activity as the city prepares for its year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The division of Liverpool City Council staged its first 'Euro Fest' over two consecutive weekends in May. International artistes represented the city's Irish, Greek and Italian communities by performing at Queen's Square and Williamson Square in the city centre.

The festival attracted 3,000 people and climaxed on European Day on 8 May, when Liverpool hosted performers from the current European Capital of Culture Cork and former holder of the title, Riga in Latvia.

Council leader Mike Storey said: "Liverpool's links with Europe are growing every day and the festival gave visitors a snapshot of what it will be like in the city during 2008."

As Event went to press, Liverpool was about to embark on its programme of activity to celebrate 25 years of the Mersey River Festival. The three-day event ran from 10-13 June and featured tall ships plus the Lord Nelson - a purpose-built vessel for disabled crew.

"2008 will be a phenomenal year for events in the city of Liverpool and much of our activity currently centres around raising the profile of our winning bid plus the national Year of the Sea," said Liverpool Culture Company general manager of events Lee Forde. "We are focused on improving the quality of our activity and the first European festival proved a great hit, which has paved the way for future Euro Fest development."

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