Free Mathew Street tribute festival to take over Liverpool's Cavern Quarter

The Mathew Street Festival first began in 1993, and became a much-loved fixture of the August Bank Holiday weekend.
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News that the iconic Mathew Street Festival is returning to Liverpool as a ticketed, paid event centred at Pier Head has divided music fans. In response, a number of independent venues in the original Cavern Quarter location have joined together to bring a free festival to the city.

The Mathew Street Festival first began in 1993, and became a much-loved fixture of the August Bank Holiday weekend, celebrating the birthplace of the Beatles and showcasing local musicians. Cancelled in 2013, it was recently announced the festival will return to Liverpool this summer, under the name Liverpool Celebrates Mathew Street and will be staged at the Pier Head.

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While organisers said, "the festival in its original format could never take place again spread across the city centre," Cavern Quarter venues are set to bring back the good times this August bank holiday weekend.

The Mathew Street tribute festivities will take place on the weekend of Friday, August 23 to Monday, August 26, and see a main stage erected inside Cavern Walks, right in the heart of Mathew Street.

Organised by Pub Invest Group, the ground floor of the venue will showcase live musicians and pop-up bars as part of the event, and a host local independent venues based within the Cavern Quarter will also take part. They are as follows:

  • Sgt Pepper's
  • Reminisce
  • Revolver
  • McCooleys
  • Scruffy Murphy's
  • The Grapes
  • Hardy’s
  • White Star
  • O’Briens
  • Rubber Soul
  • Eric’s
  • King John
  • Kaiserkeller
  • Heaven
  • The White Star
  • Flanagan’s Apple
  • Kabannas Liverpool
  • Legends
  • Wall of Fame
  • Surrounding area venues, such as Abbey Road Bar & Kitchen on Harrington Street will also be involved.
The iconic Cavern Quarter. Image: HandoutThe iconic Cavern Quarter. Image: Handout
The iconic Cavern Quarter. Image: Handout

Jimmy Boland from the popular Rubber Soul bar said people 'really miss the Matthew Street-based celebrations' and [a dedicated Beatles tribute celebration has been much-missed'.

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He continued: "As one of several local independents based in and around the Mathew Street area, we think we are well placed to hold our own live music tribute celebrations, which means our guests can head to the city’s most iconic music zone for a whole host of live music, which will of course be free at point of entry, which we know is really important right now in these hard economic times.

"We really want to help revive the memories of so many music fans who have spent so many previous summers on Mathew Street enjoying the true birthplace of The Beatles, and our own dedicated celebrations including all-important live music, will give partygoers a chance to make new memories at this really meaningful spot."

More detailed plans and schedules for the tribute festival are expected to be revealed soon.