After six weeks of campaigning across ten cities and with thousands of votes cast, the home of The Beatles, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and The Zutons surged to victory with 49 percent of the public’s vote.
Almost forty years after Merseybeat, 2008’s European Capital of Culture snatched the number one spot from Sheffield, which had been winning an online poll until the last week. Rivals Manchester finished third.
The winning city will be represented by unsigned local band The Affection, who have won the chance to perform in front of 5,000 people at this September’s End of the Road festival in Dorset.
Gordon Ross, music co-ordinator for the Liverpool Culture Company which endorsed the city’s bid said: “Liverpool's music scene is renowned the world over – this award is great news for the city and should serve to encourage those seeking to build on that legacy. The city today has a phenomenal pool of talent and its exciting that now, more than ever, it has the venues, the studios, the promoters and the festivals to nurture new ideas and faces to carry on the city's best musical traditions.”
The nations’ enduring love for the Fab Four along with new acts like The Wombats helped Liverpool beat off the challenge of cities including London, Birmingham, Bristol and Leicester, which finished in a surprise fourth position thanks to strong support from fans of Engelbert Humperdinck who backed the city’s bid.
The results in full were:
During the Most Musical City campaign, unsigned acts from across the country were given the chance to perform at this year’s End of the Road festival. From the online auditions submitted, a panel of music industry experts chose The Affection as Liverpool’s best unsigned act. The band will perform at the festival alongside two additional competition winners – Electric Tape Recorder from runners-up Sheffield and Best of the Rest’ act Bianca Bohl from London.
Mary-Alice Stack, development manager, Arts Council England, said: “It’s clear from the online debate and fierce competition that the music scene across the country is thriving and there are some fantastic new acts. Music is an inspiring and driving force and we hope that Take it away will help young musicians to become the next big thing.”
Take it away is an Arts Council England initiative that offers an interest free loan of between £100 and £2000 for people to buy musical instruments, supporting musical equipment and tuition, through a network of participating retailers across England.