New images have revealed the first look of one of the most technologically advanced bandstands in the world ahead of its opening in Liverpool next year.
The bandstand is the exciting new addition to Strawberry Field. Strawberry Field is a new visitor attraction in Liverpool, located at the site of a former Salvation Army children’s home immortalised by John Lennon in The Beatles’ hit, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. The bandstand is based upon the drum featured on The Beatles’ iconic album cover, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, while renowned pop artist, James Wilkinson, has also been commissioned to paint and display artwork on the bandstand.
A bass drum also has close associations with The Salvation Army and its marching bands. The Salvation Army own and operate Strawberry Field, and every ticket sale or donation made at the attraction helps support ‘Steps at Strawberry Field’, a series of programmes which provide employability skills training and valuable work placements across the Liverpool City Region for adults with learning difficulties and other barriers to employment.
Called the Strawberry Field Forever bandstand, it will feature advanced computer lighting and sound technology. It is also planned for visitors to enjoy musical and theatrical performances from the bandstand via wireless headphones as they roam the famous grounds.
The Strawberry Field Forever bandstand is a donation from Cliff Cooper, CEO of Orange Amps and honorary patron of the Strawberry Field project.
Located in the tranquil grounds of Strawberry Field, through archival footage, photographs, timelines and specialist media guides, visitors to the attraction can experience where John Lennon played as a child and what happened behind the famous red gates.
Major Kathleen Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field, said:
“We are very excited to give visitors a first glimpse of our amazing new Strawberry Field Forever bandstand. It’s a culmination of so much hard work by so many people, and I know visitors will love it. The bandstand will be beautiful and in a league of its own, just like John Lennon and his inspired music-making which is still relevant today. It is a bandstand dedicated to peace and we expect it to be an instrument for peace for our visitors, for the Merseyside community and for the entire world.
“The Strawberry Field Forever bandstand will be a wonderful enhancement to our visitor centre, a resource for international visitors, trainees and the local community to enjoy, and a place where new and local talent will be showcased.”
Cliff Cooper, honorary patron of Strawberry Field, said:
“One of John Lennon’s earliest musical experiences was hearing The Salvation Army band playing in the gardens of Strawberry Field. How appropriate is it now to reintroduce music into the gardens.
“I hope the bandstand will bring immense joy to visitors from around the world, and will provide a performance space to help with the development of the students of the Strawberry Field training hub.
“I look forward to seeing the continuance of John Lennon’s legacy, promoting peace and love in the world, an ethos which also reflects the selfless dedication of The Salvation Army, whose people devote their lives to helping others who are in need and less fortunate than ourselves.”
Mick Dines, concept designer, added:
“The bandstand has been built to a very high standard and we have included the very latest technology, making this one of the most advanced bandstands in the world.”
The bandstand will feature a high-powered, computerised grazing LED lighting system which can provide a variety of coloured light washes; a control system which can queue numerous sequences; a second, more traditional stage lighting system which includes pin spots, moving lights and Fresnel lanterns, and a high-quality digital sound system. The bandstand is linked to the main building with digital recording facilities and has full internet video streaming capabilities.