Neil Young signs up for new festival

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Rock legend Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Rock legend Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Legendary artist Neil Young has been announced as the first big-name act for the new Liverpool International Music Festival.

Young, alongside long-time collaborators Crazy Horse, will come to the Echo Arena on Sunday August 18 to kick off this year’s event, which has replaced the former Mathew Street Festival.

As part of his summer 2013 tour, the Canadian singer-songwriter is on his way back to the city having previously played the Empire Theatre in 1973 and it will be the first time the 67-year-old has performed in Britain with Crazy Horse since 2001.

The announcement represents a boost for the festival which was announced last week amidst controversy over the axing of the long-standing Mathew Street Festival, which had previously attracted up to 200,000 visitors to the city during August Bank Holiday weekend. The event, part funded by Arts Council England, will have two stages at the Pier Head and the Philharmonic Orchestra will play at Sefton Park.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson commented: “We are delighted Neil Young and Crazy Horse are going to be part of the first Liverpool International Music Festival. This is a fantastic coup for the festival and for the City. Neil Young and Crazy Horse are world renowned artists and having them as part of the Liverpool International Music Festival will get the week off to an inspirational start.”

Young has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once as a solo artist and once as a member of another of his bands, Buffalo Springfield. The tour will be the first time he has performed in the UK since 2009 when he headlined at Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight Festival and Hard Rock Calling.

Last year Young and Crazy Horse released double album ‘Psychedelic Pill’. They recently toured North America and are set to tour Australia and New Zealand in March.

Tickets, priced between £35 and £55, go on sale Wednesday 27th February.

About Joel Richards, JMU Journalism