Thursday, 31 July 2014

Giant Spectacular takes over Liverpool

Three enormous puppets took over Liverpool city centre for a three-day spectacular called Giant Spectacular last week, an event that pulled in over 300,000 people a day from around the country and truly showcased Liverpool as a fabulous place to visit.

The festival Memories of August 1914 looked back to the time just before the world went to war and at Liverpool’s place in the Great War. Stories were read allowed by Grandmother Giant to the crowd whilst Girl Giant and her dog Xolo explored the city and met the crowds. These giants are French-made,wooden electo-kinetic puppets, suspended from massive cranes and pulled into animation by teams of expert puppeteers, swinging from cords and ropes as they meander from landmark to landmark through the city. It was quite literally an incredible sight and I don’t think I’ve been in a bigger crowd in my life!

The city was on top form; Liverpool Lime Street Station was ready and waiting for the hundreds and thousands of travellers with great crowd control systems and brilliant staff. Albert Docks and Liverpool ONE were abuzz with visitors and the general tone was one of summer-time bliss and ease. It was a gorgeous day. 

Liverpool has the luxury, unlike my native Manchester, of space. Lots of open spaces for massive public gatherings like this. Manchester’s so built-up and land is at such a premium that there is literally no room for this kind of event. So it was great to be part of! It was also great to wander around the usually quite Albert Docks and neighboring areas with it was filled with people, likewise for the St. John’s Gardens, certainly one of the prettiest city centre green spaces.

All in all, bravo Liverpool, you certainly know how to draw (and cope with) a crowd.