Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

10th March 2013

Tonight, Mathew, I’m going to be…
Posted by at 1.15pm | No responses | Liverpool

Last August I criticised the Mathew Street Festival, saying that the increasingly vomit-stained event needed an urgent overhaul:-

This really is a case where smaller is better. Take the event back to its roots – a celebration of Merseybeat music that the whole family can enjoy, rather than an excuse to emulate the decadence of ancient Rome. Hell, if they do that I might even go next year.

I’m pleased to report that Liverpool City Council have listened to my counsel and have axed the event, replacing it with a smaller and, I hope, less chaotic shindig.

The Liverpool Echo’s reporting tried to put the worst possible spin on the news, but elsewhere the consensus was that this is a good move. As Sevenstreets’ “Autopsy” put it: “How can it be right for a festival to spend £900,000 to set up, with 80% of that cost going to policing and stewardship, sick-cleaning and staging, and only 20% going on the music? How can it be right for us to constantly be looking back fifty years, or wallowing in the parallel universe of tribute acts, when we’re a city that’s known for its creativity?”

The scrapping of the festival (or “Fezzie” as my mum insisted on calling it, even when no-one else did) is only bad news for yobs and alcoholics. Some bar and pub owners in the city centre are upset, but frankly if they were so interested in the Mathew Street Festival, they should have put their hands in their pockets to support it, rather than relying on the Council to subsidise the binge-drinking.

For the first time in quite a while, I will not be looking to flee the city this August Bank Holiday, and I look forward to seeing music other than naff tribute bands on the streets of Liverpool.

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