Liverpool unveils 20-week extravaganza of events to mark 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love

Running from April 12 until September 3, ‘67-17: 50 Summers of Love’ will mark the city’s role in the cultural phenomenon of the summer of 1967. Tony McDonough reports.

The 'Summer of Love' in 1967 was a cultural phenomenon that still echoes 50 years on
The ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967 was a cultural phenomenon that still echoes 50 years on

More than 60 events are planned for Liverpool’s programme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’.

Running from April 12 until September 3, ‘67-17: 50 Summers of Love’ will mark the city’s role in the cultural phenomenon of the summer of 1967.

Liverpool contributed to the “outpouring of creativity” that year with the release of The Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It was also the year of the publication of one of the world’s most popular poetry anthologies The Mersey Sound and the opening of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.

50 Summers of Love will showcase the incredible creativity which can be found in the city. Here are some of the events taking place over the 20 weeks:

  • The Metropolitan Cathedral is planning a series of special events to mark their Golden Jubilee. The Solemn Jubilee Mass will take place on June 4th and other events include Voices of The Metropolitan Cathedral.
  • Bluecoat is working with the Metropolitan Cathedral to present The Liverpool Mass – a very special tribute to the work of one of the pioneers of electronic music, French composer Pierre Henry.
  • Liverpool International Music Festival returns to Sefton Park from Friday, July 21, to Sunday July 23.
  • Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, July 8 to 16, is the UK’s biggest annual celebration of Arab arts and culture, will be staging around 35 events throughout the 50 Summers of Love period.
  • The UK’s largest metropolitan festival Sound City is planning some spectacular musical events to bring to Liverpool for the Summer of Love 2017 when it returns May 25 to 28. Already confirmed is global music legend John Cale.
  • From the Wednesday 27 to Sunday, July 30, there will be four spectacular and unique nights of music coming to Liverpool Waters and a musical spectacle for all the family in Penny Lane on the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
  • The Atkinson, a creative hub in Southport, will join the programme with a nod to Summers of Love in their Southport Festival which takes place May 5 to 7.
  • To mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales, National Museums Liverpool will host Coming Out at the Walker Art Gallery – a major exhibition exploring sexuality and gender identity since 1967, starting on July 28.
  • Flower power will take centre stage at the Knowsley Flower Show which is the largest free horticultural show of its kind in the North West. This year it will take place on Sunday, August 6.
  • Milapfest, Liverpool’s Indian Arts Organisation, will be staging a classical Indian dance show on May 12 May at The Capstone Theatre.
  • Liverpool Pride Festival, the region’s established annual celebration of all things LGBT returns for 2017 for its eighth consecutive year.
  • A summer solstice on Wednesday, June 21, in Princes Park will be hosted by Squash Nutrition. It will be a celebratory community get-together marking midsummer’s day, with dawn breakfast, yoga, wild food walks and family activities taking place from sunrise to sunset on the longest day of the year.
  • Inspired by the changes that took place in 1967 in Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery will host the Affecting Change exhibition from July to September.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The summer of 1967 was a hotbed of cultural creativity and it seems as though 50 years on, nothing has changed.

“This is one of the first of a series of announcements about the 50 Summers of Love programme, and already, the number of organisations from across the region who want their events to be part of the season has been staggering.

To see the latest information about 50 Summers of Love visit www.50summersoflove.co.uk, follow CultureLpool on Twitter or Culture Liverpool on Facebook.

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