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Room for a new winter festival? MY CITY.

THERE came a time - especially riding on the coat-tails of Capital of Culture - when even day events became labelled as a festival of some sort.

Eight years on, are there any gaps left in the calendar? According to Andrew Pearce, long associated with Liverpool Heritage Forum, there is room for a winter week of specified Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian days to counterbalance summer music events and river-based attractions.

It sounds a splendid idea, given that these were the golden ages of Liverpool's growth. The key issue is to give people things to actually do.

Although councils are not obliged to spend on tourism, despite its importance, such a festival need not cost a fortune.

But it would require close co-operation between venues such as the theatres, the Philharmonic and museums and galleries. That's because a winter week has to be as much indoors as out.

Planning is always made to sound complex these days. Yet history shows otherwise. In 1951, a group of just seven enthusiastic individuals put together a top-rate programme for Liverpool's contribution to the Festival of Britain.

There were visits by the Old Vic theatre company and Sadler's Wells ballet; Benjamin Britten conducted his own operas at the Royal Court, and Thomas Beecham and Leopold Stokowski directed concerts. As a bonus, William Walton and Edith Sitwell gave lunchtime recitals of Facade at the Walker Gallery. None of the hyper-inflated admin costs and wheeling-in of outside pen-pushers associated with 2008. So there is no reason to believe that this idea could not work, not least as a cure-all for the post-Christmas blues. JOE RILEY ECHO COLUMNIST

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2016
Words:268
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