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Liverpool's HUB hits the street

The fourth annual "HUB Festival"--featuring graffiti art, a skate park and 20 bands--made a big noise in Liverpool July 22-23, drawing some 12,000 attendees. The lively festival was staged by Liverpool Culture Co., a civic organization delivering a range of cultural events in the run-up to Liverpool's role as European Capital of Culture 2008. The city has been chosen by the European Union to showcase its cultural life and development.

This year's HUB took place at Otterspool Promenade waterfront location. A natural sunken amphitheatre along one half of the site allowed splitting the festival into two music zones, which helped contain noise and keep the performances distinct. The stage showcased a selection of rock, metal, thrash, grunge and speed punk bands, ranging from the local talent to bands from the U.S., Canada and Italy.

The festival focused on street culture, including more than 250 metres (820 feet) of graffiti wall, HUB’s biggest skate park yet, a professional, international "B-Boy" (breakdancing) competition, a new dirt jump for BMXers (bicycle motocross) and only the second "dirt jump" competition in the U.K.

“Communication with our audience is key to the success and growth we see each year at the event," LCC event manager Kirstie Blakeman says. "We’ve utilised market research campaigns to identify what people want to see at the event and used this information to introduce new elements like the dirt jump and B-Boy competitions.”

The main stage was a single king pole purple membrane structure supplied by Suffolk, England-based Wangos and chosen for its aesthetics, Blakeman explains. “This was a huge success last year," she says, "and we wanted to continue with a structure that was interesting and different looking.”

“Four years on, this event is firmly fixed in the events calendar, the interest and buzz it sparks in the city is incredible,” Blakeman adds. “We’ve listened to our audience and acted on their feedback which is vital to the event’s development and growth."

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