Recent additions to Liverpool’s incredible EuroFestival lineup include a psychedelic pop queen, a festival favourite, and a music legend in synth music.
OMD’s Andy McCluskey will join Liverpool’s Red Rum Club and psychedelic pop icon Jane Weaver as members of the supergroup Welcome to Eurotopia, which will perform in an avant-pop spectacle on May 5 at 9:30 p.m. on the Pier Head. The group is made up of Liverpool musicians and Ukrainian artists. The concert will come after Kalush Orchestra, the 2022 Eurovision winners, gave a memorable opening performance in the Eurovision Village.
The band is led by city art scene musicians Natalie McCool and Stealing Sheep and will lead an incredible line-up of musicians to perform a mind-blowing mix of music with eye-popping Euro-style costume and glamour. Other Liverpool musicians performing include She Drew The Gun’s Lou Roach, vocal harmony groupMic Lowry, Mickey Callisto, PODGE, Kelly Shimeya and Dialect.
They will join forces with Ukrainian artists Helleroid, Krapka;KOMA andIryna Muha in what is set to be an unmissable performance and one that will surely go down as a landmark moment in Liverpool’s Eurovision host city offer. The concert in the Eurovision Village will be free to attend.
Welcome to Eurotopia is just one of 24 EuroFestival commissions which will take place across the city from 1-14 May.
Some of the other projects using the city’s rich musical heritage as inspiration include:
- Electronica meets performing arts in Xpresia – an underground counterculture ‘festival within a festival’ – which will erupt across some of Liverpool’s best independent arts and music venues from 7-9 May. Born from the shared desire to bring Ukrainian and UK artists together in solidarity, the festival will celebrate alternative culture, unity and creativity through visual arts, electronic music, DJs, live music, theatre and cabaret and creative technology. Artists and DJs in the festival include Zbaraski, DJ SweetSpot, Nastya Murayova andLove ‘n’ Joy. Tickets are free and available here.
- Two cities. One world-changing rave! Rave UKraine, a collaboration betweenproducer Jez Collins, UAME I Music Saves UA and Open Culture will unite DJs and ravers across simultaneous live events in Liverpool and Kyiv in the first of its kind, sending a message of love, support and solidarity to the people of Ukraine. Tapping into the uniting power of music, the daytime raves will feature headline DJ sets from Hot Chip, DJ Paulette, Mingulitka and the legendary James Lavelle and streamed across the world as ravers descend on the dance floor of CONTENT in Liverpool and HVLV Bar ft Hangout in Kyiv from 2pm on 7 May. Tickets are available to purchase here. All tickets and streaming profits will go to UAME I Music Saves UA, an initiative organised by the Ukrainian Association of Music Events to help those in need during the war in Ukraine
- Together at last at the Eurovision Village! The collaboration that was destined to happen – opera meets Europop on May 9 as the English National Opera does Eurovision. The world-renowned ENO Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Bell, will be joined at 6pm by former Eurovision contestants Ruslana, Sonia and Linda Martin as well as international opera stars including Russell Watson, Ella Taylor, Ellie Neate, Zwakele Tshabalala, Themba Mvula and Collin Shay to perform classical arrangements of some of the Song Contest’s greatest hits. A FREE sensory overload featuring two of the most outrageously visual musical spectacles – expect jaw-dropping costumes, rousing choirs and of course fabulous divas. And singing along won’t just be permitted. It will be mandatory!
- Taking placeon 11 May at Liverpool’s Pier Head (Eurovision Village), Ukrainian Eurovision Song Contest 2016 winner and singer songwriter Jamala will perform a FREE global premiere of QIRIM from 6pm. Thisextraordinary and poignant new album of music is based around Crimean Tatar folk songs and accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. From mysterious mountains and lifeless steppes to lively seaside villages, Jamala invites the audience on a journey across the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea, shining a spotlight on a culture and language most people know little about. QIRIM includes 14 ancient songs, each representing a particular town or village on the Ukrainian peninsula.
The incredible EuroFestival has been made possible thanks to support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, as well as The British Council, Spirit of 2012 and Arts Council England. The content partners are The Ukrainian Institute, the BBC, Liverpool ONE, The Liverpool BID and Royal Liverpool Albert Dock.
For full details about EuroFestival visit the official Visit Liverpool website.
Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan CBE, said:
“EuroFestival just keeps on giving more as we get closer to the Eurovision takeover! When we announced the programme a couple of weeks ago, we had a fantastic response and it’s fair to say people were astounded at what we were planning to deliver across two weeks.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the creativity of the artists involved and despite the pace at which they’re working, the calibre of the commissions is exceptionally high. I’m delighted to see that so many of the projects are inspired by our rich music heritage, and to have some of the best musicians from the city region on stage with incredible Ukrainian talent is going to be unmissable in our host city journey.”
Singer/Songwriter making up part of Welcome to Eurotopia, Natalie McCool said:
“This is an event that most artists can only dream of being a part of – and we’re so excited to present ‘Welcome To Eurotopia’. Our creative home Liverpool has always been a place where art and music collide to make true magic, and by inviting the most interesting and inspiring Ukrainian artists into our midst we can’t wait to share this unity with our city, EuroFestival, and the world!”
Jamala, Ukrainian Crimean-Tatar singer and songwriter, the winner of the award from the US Atlantic Council for Distinguished Leadership in 2022 and Eurovision song Contest 2016 said:
“During these dark times for Ukraine, the presentation of the new album in Liverpool is an essential mission for me. Just like the most precious memories of our lives, we cherish our culture as the most valuable treasure.
“Accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, I will perform the full version of QIRIM for the first time. It is a record that my team and I literally saved from the rubble last year. An album that preserves the beauty and greatness of my home culture.”
READ MORE: EuroFestival will take over Liverpool in the run-up to Eurovision