ABOUT MAY WEEKENDER...
May Weekender is a brand-new music festival, an independent three-day music event taking place in Prenton Park stadium, Birkenhead - ten minutes from Liverpool city centre - over the late spring bank holiday weekend. It features a fusion of hip-hop, rap, grime and R&B acts, from both sides of the Atlantic, carefully curated to match the taste of music fans in the north west of England and giving them unprecedented access to a line-up that is the envy of the rest of the UK.
What genre is it?
Hip hop, rap, grime, R&B, urban? Look at the line-up, you don’t need us to tell you that!
Who is it for?
If you listen to what's on in Liverpool today in terms of radio, even if there is a a local flavour at certain times of the day, the playlists are put together to target a national audience. We know what we like, but we did our homework, we spoke to Merseyside and Wirral people and what we heard matched what we thought: this is what's on Liverpool teenager’s Spotify playlists, what’s blasting out of earpods as people trudge to work or college across Wirral and Merseyside, what clubs in Liverpool are bouncing to, the soundtrack to countless stories on SnapChat and Instagram.
We aren’t the only Liverpool music festival, but we are maybe the only one offering such a carefully curated list which, we feel, has artists throughout the three days that genuinely compliment each other.
What do YOU mean by independent?
Practically all the UK festivals, and there are hundreds every year, are put on by just a couple of major events companies, who also run the majority of tours by big-name and up-and-coming artists. Festivals aren’t always run for the fans, they are run for the people behind the festival and what suits their business needs, to break a band or subsidise a tour. That is why there is often such a mismatch in music styles in a festival line up. Sometimes that works, sometimes it’s a horrendous mix.
At May Weekender we aren’t trying to sell albums, or nationwide tours, or ten more festivals in every corner of the UK. We are putting on a festival in the North West for people in the North like us, people who wonder why it is that we have to traipse down to London to see the acts that we love, the artists whose music resonates with us and with our lives. We’ve met resistance from what you might term the music establishment but we’ve also found plenty of common ground with those who get what it is that we are trying to do. Best of all, the artists themselves really want to be part of this.
Why not? Prenton Park is usually a football stadium and it’s five minutes the other side of the tunnel from Liverpool city centre. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Liverpool every day but see the river as a barrier to explore what’s a few miles in that direction in the Wirral area.
Stadium gigs have a feel of their own to them, distinct from festivals in the countryside or under cover in an arena. You can sit in the stands or you can watch from the pitch. It’s round the corner, not in a farmer’s field miles away from anywhere, so you can go home afterwards and still get back the next day. There is no way we would have got this level of control over the venue from the likes of Liverpool or Everton football clubs, or from the Echo Arena. We wouldn’t expect it.
Didn’t Jeremy Corbyn do something there last year?
Yes. The festival is the successor to a more pop-and-rock oriented event in 2017 that showed the country just how well Jeremy Corbyn had captured the hearts and minds of young voters as he appeared on stage to a rapturous welcome. Prenton Park was the birthplace of the “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” chant, still heard at gigs up and down the country.