A unique virtual music festival will be streamed online over the August Bank Holiday weekend to replace the cancelled Waterloo Festival.
Nineteen of the bands originally booked for the June Festival, which could not take place owing to the coronavirus pandemic, have recorded a 30-minute set at a ‘Covid-secure’ studio in Bootle on a full-sized stage with special effects. Plus, there are two international bands, from Brazil and France, taking the total number of acts to 21.
Their pre-recorded shows will be streamed free of charge over three different sessions from this Saturday 29 August to Monday 31 August 31 and will be hosted by radio DJ Claire Simmo.
The Virtual Waterloo Festival also includes five short films produced by the organisers to help promote a positive image of Waterloo to an audience watching the internet streams in this country and overseas.
Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s main Borough of Culture sponsor said: “Each year Sefton Council has supported the Waterloo Festival and I am delighted that this year it will be going ahead in this innovative format.
“The event will showcase our vibrant local music scene and the talents of our bands locally, regionally and worldwide via the internet as well as bringing together local people.
“Although sadly, we won’t be at the usual Waterloo site, I will be ‘going’ to this virtual festival online to enjoy the wealth of local talent.”
Festival organiser Steve McGriskin said: “Producing a virtual festival of this magnitude doesn’t come cheap and paying for it was a challenge.
“We used Crowdfunding which was not easy during a pandemic when lots of people were suffering real hardship. Because of lockdown there were no opportunities to promote the appeal in pubs and music venues or through organising fundraising events. However, with the support of Sefton Council, councillors representing Church, Victoria and Blundellsands wards, Spacehive, Waterloo Town Team, SYN AVS, Logic Estates and backed by more than 50 people, we successfully raised the money needed. It’s a big, big thank you to everyone who helped.”
Any surplus funds made from the event will be donated to Friends of Crosby Beach, Migrant Workers Sefton Community, Sefton Community Pantry and Liverpool Homeless Football Club.