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Everything you need to know about the Smithdown Weekender 

4 weeks ago

Everything you need to know about the Smithdown Weekender 
Mamadou and the lekette

Smithdown Weekender is happening this Bank Holiday weekend with an incredible line-up of live music and DJs, and fab fun events.

Smithdown Weekender is happening this Bank Holiday weekend with an incredible line-up of live music and DJs, and fab fun events.

As always there’ll be some well-known bands along with a few up-and-coming names playing over four fantastic days.

Organiser Kev McGrath says: “We’re really excited for this year’s Weekender.

“For a free event you’d struggle to get a line up showcasing such a range of talent as we have here, with  Handyman Bar and the likes of local legends Edgar Jones and Tramp Attack, complementing stages like Black Cat, with Queensway Collective DJ takeover, through to Bean There showcasing spoken word hosted by Plazzy Bags.

“There really is something for everyone.”

So if you fancy going along to Smithdown Weekender, here’s everything you need to know …

When is it on?

Smithdown Weekender takes place across four days, from Friday, May 3 to Monday, May 6.

Where can you see bands?

A range of artists will perform in venues stretching from Penny Lane to Gainsborough Road, with main stages for bands located in the Handyman bar and brewery. Other venues include Bean There, Penny Lane Wine Bar, Black Cat, Franks, Beeswing and Nomad.

Smithdown Weekender

What time is it on?

All the venues have got different start and finish times but the action generally starts around 6pm on the Friday night and 2pm at weekend and on Bank Holiday Monday.

Is it just live music?

Not at all. As well as live music, there are loads of DJs, fun quizzes, and a spoken word night.

How much does it cost?

Nothing, nowt, nada! It’s all free to go and watch because the venues share the costs of paying the bands, although as in previous years Smithdown Weekender is working with the Whitechapel Centre to raise money to support their homeless services in Liverpool. 

There’ll be donation buckets around the bars for people enjoying the music and quizzes to throw some money in, and donations can also be made online via the website.

How did the Weekender begin?

The first Weekender took place in 2016 with just four venues, to try and attract interest in the area which was then still quite run-down. It was so busy, the next year there was a bigger stage and more venues taking part, and it’s just got better ever since. 

Kev McGrath from the Handyman pub, one of the organisers, explained it this way: “We wanted people who might not normally come to the area to see Smithdown as somewhere that was a destination, where they knew they could have a whole night out without going into town – get food, see live music, and do a bit of a pub crawl because there are lots of good places now.”

What are some of the highlights?

Visits from Tramp Attack and Strange Collective are a throwback to the original Smithdown Festival – they’re at the Handyman on Saturday and Friday evenings respectively; and you can find more recent favourites including Mamadou and the Lekette at the Handyman on Sunday (along with Liverpool Indie Choir, and Me and Deboe).

Black Cat: has got a collection of singer/songwriters performing during the day from Saturday to Monday including Grace Parry (2pm Saturday) and Roisin McCauley (4.30pm Saturday), and Maddie Lara (3.40pm Sunday).  DJs will take audiences into the early hours with the Queensway Collective DJs – a unique and inclusive organisation providing a platform for underrepresented groups in the electronic music scene – taking over the Friday night slot from 7pm-2am.

Kicking-off the Monday tradition, the Hangover Quiz at 2pm will be followed by a stage takeover from local Americana act Motel Sundown with guests.

Bean There will host ‘Alter Egoes’, a spoken word night hosted by Plazzy Bags on Sunday from 6.30pm.

Penny Lane Wine Bar has acts from 7.30pm Friday to Sunday including Chrissy Mark and DJ Carl Dillon (Saturday), and it’ll be hosting the Penny Lane Quiz at 8pm on Monday.

On Saturday, Franks welcomes resident DJs Nathan Adekoye and Terry with special guests Rob McPartland, Amelia Preston, and Kaci Lea Lynch from 4pm until 2am.

Find more information on the Smithdown Weekender website.

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.

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