TRAVEL GAZETTE – Liverpool, birthplace of one of the world’s most famous pop groups the Beatles, and home to one of Europe’s leading orchestras, was Friday declared as England’s first UNESCO City of Music.
The accolade comes by 11 years after UNESCO made Liverpool’s historic waterfront a world heritage site.
Glasgow became the first British city to receive a City of Music title in 2008.
UNESCO said in a citation the new title has been awarded to the city due to music’s place at the heart of Liverpool’s contemporary culture, education and the economy — from the live music scene to tourism, music management courses and digital businesses.
It was also given to the city based on its commitment to having a clearly defined music, education and skills strategy for young people so that Liverpool can continue to produce world class talent.
The judges highlighted urban festivals like Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF), Liverpool Sound City and Liverpool Psych Fest that have cemented the city as a haven for music, and also helped to develop young industry professionals.
The designation also noted the importance and contribution of established names such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Creamfields music festival, and LIPA, the fame school launched by former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool is renowned for its musical influence and this status is the ultimate, and appropriate, accolade for a city which lives and breathes music. I’m confident that with the support of UNESCO, this will grow further and people will realize that it is not just about the city’s contribution to music history, but is about the exciting things happening right now.”
Liverpool was one of 47 cities to Friday join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said: “The UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents an immense potential to assert the role of culture as enabler of sustainable development. I would like to recognize the many new cities and their countries that are enriching the network with their diversity.”