Waterloo Festival to be held virtually over this weekend

Waterloo Festival to be held virtually over this weekend

by Tom Martin (August 2020)

A UNIQUE virtual music festival, believed to be the first of its kind, will be streamed online over this August Bank Holiday weekend to replace the cancelled Waterloo Festival.

The popular event was due to take place in June but was called off following the virus outbreak, but organisers have been busy behind the scenes to come up with a different concept for the festival.

Now called the Virtual Waterloo Festival, the organisers managed to get 19 of the bands originally booked to record a 30 minute set at a ‘Covid-secure’ studio in Bootle on a full sized stage with special effects.

There are also two international bands, one in Brazil and the other in France, who also recorded a set-list to take the number of acts to 21.

Their pre-recorded shows will be streamed free of charge over three different sessions from this Saturday (August 29) to Monday (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.

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.”

Councillor Trish Hardy added: “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.”

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.

For more details and advice on how to watch the streams visit www.waterloofestival.co.uk

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