Liverpool International Music Festival 'a success'

Fireworks as part of Liverpool festival Fireworks following the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic performance

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Organisers of the Liverpool International Music Festival have hailed their first four-day event as a success.

The festival combined pop and classical music at Sefton Park and the Pier Head over the Bank holiday weekend.

Merseyside Police said there had been nine arrests during the event - six over Saturday and Sunday, and three on Monday.

But festival director Claire McColgan said it had been a "fantastic weekend".

"Our ambition is to create an Edinburgh Festival for music," she said.

Soul II Soul

"It went better than we thought, it was just fantastic - it was much bigger than Mathew Street (festival).

"We've been planning it for five months. Just seeing thousands of families having a fantastic weekend together just makes it worthwhile."

The festival began on Friday with the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra led by chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, at Sefton Park, and fireworks.

Among the bands playing were The Saturdays, Soul II Soul, The Christians, Little Mix and JLS.

'Phoenix rising'

Jazzie B from Soul II Soul said: "We drove down Penny Lane to soak up the atmosphere. I feel so energetic, I feel like 16 again. I've always loved Liverpool."

Gary Christian, of the Christians, said it would be fantastic if the festival was held every year as he found it "friendlier and better" than the Mathew Street Festival.

"It's like a phoenix rising from the depths of despair. Now we're becoming more international and more on the map - not just this provincial little town," he said.

The festival continues with The Farm and Amsterdam at Stanley Park on 8 September.

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