Classical broadcast live from LJMU

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Jamie Crick presents Classic FM with producer Colin Simpkin from LJMU Redmonds Building. Pic by  Matt Kirton

Jamie Crick presents Classic FM with producer Colin Simpkin from LJMU Redmonds Building. Pic by Matt Kirton

A national radio station broadcast its output live from the large studio in LJMU’s Redmonds Building in a ground-breaking initiative.

Classic FM’s afternoon show, presented by Jamie Crick, ran for four hours on the opening day of the new Liverpool International Music Festival.

Crick then hotfooted it to Sefton Park – which has recently been made a Grade One heritage site by English Heritage – where he was compering the opening concert, given by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under its chief conductor Vasily Petrenko.

The new Liverpool International Music Festival was set up after the Mathew Street Festival was consigned to history.

The old festival regularly saw up to 500,000 people descend on Liverpool city centre to enjoy music performed at a number of city centre stages as well as in pubs and clubs. However, overcrowding and occasional drunkenness meant that the festival became a hazard.

The new festival is expected to become one of Europe’s biggest free music events within five years.

The line-up on Bank Holiday Monday saw 60,000 people drawn to Sefton Park to listen to Rebecca Ferguson, Deaf School, Soul II Soul, The Christians and Connie Lush perform across two stages.

According to Liverpool’s director of culture Claire McColgan the event was bigger and better than they could have imagined.

Jamie Crick presents Classic FM from LJMU Redmonds Building. Pic by  Matt Kirton

Jamie Crick presents Classic FM from LJMU Redmonds Building. Pic by Matt Kirton

“Normally you would have a year to plan a festival like this, but we had just five months after the decision was taken to move away from the Mathew Street Festival,” she said.

Classic FM has had a long association with the RLPO, after it formed its first partnership with the orchestra in 2001 – the first such venture in the UK. The initial three-year association has been extended and is now scheduled to run until 2015. It was the first such partnership in the country.

The partnership means that the RLPO is frequently mentioned on-air and Classic FM sponsors the popular monthly series of weeknight concerts from September to May. The RLPO also frequently performs in Classic FM-organised events in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London, home of the BBC Proms.

Following the successful four-hour show from LJMU, made possible after the installation of ISDN facilities at the studio, it is hoped that other broadcasters may choose to use the facilities either to record interviews or to broadcast live.

About Glyn Môn Hughes, Journalism Lecturer