We launched Liverpool's 12 months as European Capital of Culture – and then helped bring down the curtain on this extraordinary year.
A stunning opening act for Liverpool's big year.
We shaped a truly unforgettable opening spectacle for the people of Liverpool, celebrating the city’s diverse heritage and paving the way for a year of cultural events in this great city.
This was a truly epic event, designed to reflect the unique culture of Liverpool and its people. Written and directed by Mark Murphy, the production used stunning pyrotechnics and spectacular video mapping on the city’s buildings to create a collective celebration.
The ceremony featured a precious cargo containing Beatle Ringo Starr, who performed 100 feet above the city on the roof of Liverpool’s landmark St George's Hall. Other performers included Dave Stewart, the Wombats and over 600 Liverpudlians, including guitarists, choirs and schoolchildren. The show also featured aerialists dangling from cranes to reflect the mass of building work that has transformed the city, while other cranes carrying shipping containers highlighted Liverpool’s longheld status as a major global port.
Written & directed by Mark Murphy
Executive Director: Nigel Jamison
Production Designer: Dan Potra
Composer: Patrick Dineen
Lighting Designer: Stephen Page
Aerial Design: Vicky Amedume & James Doyle-Roberts
Show Caller: Laura Edwards
Produced by The Liverpool Culture Company & John Wassell/Walk the Plank.
’Delivered with style, creative pizzazz and just enough self deprecatory wit. Aerialists scaled the side of a huge video screen slung on the side of St George’s Hall, manipulating the video images like the touch-screen on an iPod. 200 local children at both shows proudly carried their own “cultural cargo” in illuminated boxes. Simple, symbolic and evocative.’
Bill Morris, Director of Ceremonies, Culture, Education & Live Sites, London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games
Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture needed a send-off to remember, both a fitting reflection on an incredible 12 months and an optimistic look to the future. We created a huge choreographed fireworks display on a city-wide scale that all Liverpudlians and visitors could enjoy from miles around – set to a stirring soundtrack of Liverpool favourites, including The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun and The Farm’s All Together Now.
Our pyrotechnics experts had to draw on all their expertise to kit out two huge barges in the middle of the Mersey with more than a tonne of launching equipment. Designed as part of a wider celebration that also included projection mapping on to the Liver Building, the fireworks provided the finale for which everybody was waiting – and left the huge crowds buzzing at the end of a year that truly changed the city.
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